10 Important Phrasal Verbs for Elementary Learners

From speakspeak

A phrasal verb is made up of a verb + a short word (up, off, in, etc.).

There and many phrasal verbs in English, but you don’t need to know them all! Here are 10 important phrasal verbs for elementary learners of English to start with.

wake up

definition: to stop sleeping
irregular verb: wake, woke, woken

  • I wake up at 6 o’clock every morning.
  • I woke up at 7 o’clock yesterday morning.

get up

definition: to get out of bed
irregular verb: get, got, got (US English gotten)

  • I always wake up at 6.30 and then I get up at 6.40.
  • I got up late yesterday.

speak up

definition: to speak more loudly
irregular verb: speak, spoke, spoken

  • Speak up, please! I can’t hear you.

hurry up

definition: to go more quickly

  • We are late. Hurry up!
  • You’re so slow. Please hurry up!

give up

definition: to stop a habit
irregular verb: give, gave, given

  • I want to give up smoking; it’s unhealthy and expensive.
  • I gave up smoking last year. I feel much healthier now.

wash up

definition: to wash the plates, cups and cutlery

  • My wife cooked the dinner and afterwards I washed up.

slow down

definition: to go more slowly

  • Don’t drive so quickly – slow down!
  • You’re speaking too quickly. Please slow down!

break down

definition: when a car or machine stops working
irregular verb: break, broke, broken

  • Old cars often break down.
  • My car broke down yesterday and I was late for work.

look out

definition: to be careful, to pay attention

  • Look out! The floor is wet.

grow up

definition: to stop being a child, become an adult
irregular verb: grow, grew, grown


  • My daughter is growing up fast.


  • He grew up in London but now he lives in Paris.

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