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Newbie with Phrasal Verbs?

A2 level phrasal verbs

Good day everybody! 

I’m writing this article hoping to help Cambridge English A2 learners become familiar with what phrasal verbs are, what their structure is and the way these verbs are used in English.

If your level is higher than the A2, I’m sure you will find out new things about phrasal verbs, information that will help you easily remember the newly studied verbs.

If you are a teacher of English, I’ve also got some interesting games to help your learners control the phrasal verbs by engaging in all-time popular games, like memory or charades.

Are you ready? Let’s go!

They say phrasal verbs are not easy. They say phrasal verbs are too many! Worries away!! You are already using them, you are! From your very first English lesson, when your teacher taught you how to talk about your daily routine, you’ve been using them again and again, without realizing that you are already mastering these tricky verbs. 

Let’s read a poem about a friendly, happy monkey.

Up high in the trees, a monkey swings,
And rests at night while all the jungle sings.
When morning comes, she wakes up bright,
And quickly gets up to start her big day right.

Putting on her favourite hat with a playful grin,
She goes out to explore the world with a happy spin.
Jumping and leaping from tree to tree,
She’s always on the move, happy, wild and free.

You know wake up and get up, put on and go out, don’t you? These are the most common phrasal verbs. So, you are not going to start from square one! 

A2 phrasal verbs

Learner's corner

Phrasal verbs - definition

Phrasal verbs are verbs that have an extra word, or two, that goes with them.  So, they are a type of multi-word verb in English. These extra words are particles. The particle can be an adverb or a preposition, and it changes the meaning of the verb. 

For example, the verb ‘get’ can be combined with different particles to create phrasal verbs like get up, get out, get on, etc. These new phrases mean something different from the original verb ‘get,’ so it’s important to understand what the extra words mean.

Phrasal verbs - A2 Key list

Here is the list of phrasal verbs you should know at the A2 level. They are classified in groups of verbs with the same particle:

  • AFTER: look after – take care of somebody
  • AT: look at – examine something
  •  AWAY
    • get away  – go somewhere to have a holiday
    • throw away – throw something you do not want
  • BACK
    • get back – arrive at home
    • take back – return something you bought to the shop
  • DOWN
    • lie down  – move into a position to sleep or rest
    • break down – when something falls and stops functioning
    • write down – write on paper
  • FOR
    • look for – search for something
  • IN
    • come in – enter a room or a building
  • OFF
    • get off – leave a bus, train, aeroplane
    • take off – remove a piece of clothing
    • turn off (the PC) – push or turn something to make a machine stop working
  • ON
    • get on – move into a bus, train, aeroplane
    • put on (the clothes) – pull a piece of clothing onto your body
    • turn on (the PC) – push or turn something to make a machine work
    • try on (the clothes) – put on a piece of clothing to decide if it looks good
  • OVER
    • come over  – visit somebody at their home
  • OUT
    • clean out  – make something neat
    • find out – discover something new
    • go out – leave a room or building to enjoy yourself
    • hang out – spend time with somebody
    • take out – take something from somewhere
    • work out – exercise
  • ROUND: turn round – move to face away
  • TO:
    • get to  – arrive at a place
    • turn to – open a page in the book
  • UP
    • get up – wake up and get out of bed
    • give up – stop trying
    • grow up – gradually become an adult
    • look up – try to find a piece of information
    • meet up – meet a person
    • pick up – lift somebody or something using your hands
    • put (your hand) up – raise your hand
    • ring somebody up – make a phone call
    • tie up – fasten something together
    • turn up – make a piece of clothing shorter
    • wake up – become conscious after sleeping
    • wash up – clean the plates

As a learner of English, the higher you climb on the Cambridge English pyramid of levels, the more phrasal verbs you will study. Step by step. Rome wasn’t built in a day!

Phrasal verbs - types

There are four common types of phrasal verbs:

  1. Intransitive phrasal verbs. These phrasal verbs don’t take a direct object. For example, “The cat woke up.
  2. Transitive phrasal verbs. These phrasal verbs take a direct object after the particle. For example, “She picked up the book.”
  3. Separable phrasal verbs. These phrasal verbs can have the particle separated from the verb by the direct object. For example, “She turned the lights off“, or “She turned off the lights“, “She turned them off“.
  4. Inseparable phrasal verbs cannot have the particle separated from the verb. For example, “I got to school early in the morning”, orLook after the baby, please!”

Phrasal verbs - particles' meanings

In phrasal verbs, the particles, which are the prepositions and adverbs that follow the verbs, have a variety of functions. Here are some common functions of prepositions in phrasal verbs:

  • Indicate direction or movement: “up,” “down,” “out,” and “in”. For example, “get up” means to rise from a sitting or lying position.
  • Indicate a location or position: “on,” “in,” and “at”. For example, “put on your shoes” means to place your shoes on your feet, while “get on the bus” means to enter the bus.
  • Add emphasis or intensify“up” and “out”. For example, “clean out/up” means to make something very clean, while “work out” means to exercise intensively.
  • In many phrasal verbs, the preposition changes the meaning of the verb. For example, “hang out” means to spend time with somebody.

At A2 level, it’s very important to pay attention to the prepositions in phrasal verbs. They often help to understand the meaning of the verb. In this way, you can learn the phrasal verbs faster and use these verbs correctly.

It’s also important to remember that many phrasal verbs can have more than one meaning. This depends on the context in which they are used. For example, “look up” can mean to search for information in a book or online, or to raise your head to see something. So, it’s always a good idea to pay attention to the preposition and the overall meaning of the phrasal verb to fully understand what it means in each context. 

Phrasal verbs - quiz

Take the phrasal verb quiz below. Choose the right meaning of the phrasal verb in each question. Good luck!

Master the most common phrasal verbs in English!

A2 phrasal verbs

Teacher's corner

Here are some tips to successfully explain phrasal verbs to A2 learners of English:

    Start with simple examples. Begin by giving examples of common phrasal verbs that the students will understand, such as “get up,” “put on,” or “turn off“. Explain that phrasal verbs are made up of a verb and a particle, and that the meaning of the verb changes depending on the particle that follows it.

    Show the difference between literal and figurative meanings. Many phrasal verbs have both a literal and a figurative meaning. For example, “get up” can mean physically standing up, or it can mean waking up in the morning. Make sure students understand the difference between these two meanings.

    Use visual aids. To help students understand the meaning of phrasal verbs, use visual aids such as pictures, diagrams, or videos. For example, you could show a picture of a person getting up from a chair to illustrate the literal meaning of “get up“.

    Use context clues. When introducing phrasal verbs, provide plenty of context to help students understand their meaning. Use examples in sentences, and explain the situation or action taking place.

Check out this story in which the main character is our friendly and happy monkey.

Once upon a time, there was a friendly monkey named George. George loved to play and explore in the jungle every day. One sunny morning, George woke up and quickly got out of bed. He put on his favourite banana-print shirt and went outside to play.

As George played in the jungle, he saw a big bus driving by. He wanted to explore more of the jungle, so he decided to get on the bus. He waved goodbye to his new monkey friends and ran to catch the bus.

George got on the bus and found a seat near the window. As the bus drove through the jungle, George saw lots of animals and trees he had never seen before. He was so excited!

When the bus arrived at a stop, George got up from his seat and thanked the driver. He got off the bus and explored a new part of the jungle, making even more new friends along the way.

As the sun began to set, George knew it was time to go back home. He found a ride back on the bus and got off at his stop. When he got back home, he took off his banana shirt and got ready for bed, feeling happy and grateful for the fun day he had and the new friends he had made.

There are endless ways you can use this story to reinforce learners’ control of phrasal verbs, such as: listen and mime, fill in the story with the missing phrasal verbs, etc. Why not try drawing the three pictures, like in Reading and Writing Part 7 of the YLE A2 Flyers exam?

  Finally, the best way to help A2 learners understand phrasal verbs is to provide plenty of opportunities for practice. Use exercises and activities that encourage students to use phrasal verbs in context, and provide feedback on their use of the language. With practice, our learners will become more comfortable using phrasal verbs and won’t find their early encounter with these verbs so difficult.

It’s important to make learning about phrasal verbs fun and engaging for children. You could play games or activities that involve using phrasal verbs in context, such as filling in the blanks in a sentence with the correct phrasal verb or acting out different phrasal verbs with charades. Let’s have a look at such activities, in which I’m sure the learners are going to have much fun!

Phrasal verbs - Bingo

Here’s a fun and easy bingo game that features the ten most A2 phrasal verbs.

To play the game, first, shuffle all the domino pieces and place them face down on a flat surface: on the left – the phrasal verb cards, on the right – their meaning. Each player, in turn, picks up one of each. If there is a match, they keep the cards, if not, the cards are left back on the table; it then the next player’s turn.

Phrasal verbs - Charades

Here are some phrasal verb charades that you can use to help A2 learners practice and remember some common phrasal verbs:

  1. GET UP: Pretend to sleep lying down and then suddenly jump up as if you’ve been woken up by an alarm clock.
  2. TURN ON: Pretend to turn a light switch on or to start a machine, like a blender or a washing machine.
  3. LOOK AT: Pretend to hold a pair of binoculars and look out into the distance.
  4. PUT ON: Pretend to put on a hat or coat, or to apply makeup or sunscreen.
  5. TAKE OFF: Pretend to take off a hat or coat, or to remove your shoes or socks.
  6. GO OUT: Pretend to walk towards a door, then open and walk through it, as if you’re going out of a room.
  7. COME IN: Pretend to knock on an imaginary door, then open it and walk into the room.
  8. TURN OFF: Pretend to turn a light switch off or to stop a machine, like a TV or a fan.
  9. GET ON: Pretend to climb onto an imaginary bus, train, or aeroplane, as if you’re getting on for a trip.
  10. GET BACK: Pretend to come into the room and close the door.


To play the game, divide the learners into two teams. One player from the first team acts out a phrasal verb charade without speaking while the other team members try to guess the phrasal verb. If the team guesses correctly within a set amount of time, they get a point. Then, a player from the second team acts out another phrasal verb charade, and the game continues until all the charades have been acted out. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins!

A2 phrasal verbs

I hope you will become a real A2 lord of phrasal verbs. It takes time, practice and patience.

The more phrasal verbs you learn, the more challenging they become. Practise their use in context. Try using phrasal verbs in your writing and speaking, and don’t be afraid to ask for feedback from your teacher or classmates.

This will help you become more comfortable and more confident using them in your everyday English communication and of course in all the Cambridge English examinations. 

Never give up and you will get there!

If you are looking for higher, B1 Preliminary level, phrasal verbs, check this out: Phrasal Verbs By Topics

Stay tuned for more words of advice and handy material!

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