How to learn phrasal verbs in Portuguese and English?

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One of the great difficulties of the English language is the “phrasal verbs”, which are verbs formed with more than 1 word. There are usually 2 words with unique and different meanings that together create a new meaning. Phrasal verbs are like verbs, but formed in conjunction with another word, preposition or adverb.

They cannot be literally translated into another language because they have different meanings, so it is necessary to know, use and see in practice to fully understand the meaning of these verbs. A single verb can create several phrasal verbs and have many, many meanings.

Let's see in practice! Notice the word “eats“, It can mean: come over; to arrive; log in; come back; arise; come; to happen; to occur; stay; pass; enjoy; come… 

But along with another word "eats”Can have several other meanings.

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English Portuguese
To eat come, arrive; log in; come back; arise
Come across encounter by chance, come across, run into
Come down descend, lower, fall apart
Come in log in
Come on come on the scene, come on, let's go
Come off leave, detach, escape, end
Come out go out, get it right, get published, fall out of teeth or hair
Come up rise, rise, grow

As you may have seen, it is very complicated, there are thousands of different meanings. But if you know all the other words and verbs that make up the phrasal verbs, you will automatically know the meanings.

How to study?

Don't be in a hurry to learn the phrasal verbs, study in a natural way, do not run behind so as not to complicate your mind, let phrasal verbs appear in your study naturally. Study, read, listen to as much English content as possible, and when you come across phrasal verbs, it will be much easier to learn. Focus on learning common verbs and vocabularies first, so you will better understand the meanings of phrasal verbs.

Another way to learn phrasal verbs naturally and quickly is by studying ready-made phrases. By doing this you will not only learn phrasal verbs, but all grammar and vocabulary in English or any other language. So never try to break your head with just one piece, do it together in a natural way.

Not that you shouldn't try to memorize phrasal verbs separately using flashcards, lists, memorization programs and more. Just avoid focusing too much on one thing and forgetting the others. We recommend that you visit the section phrasal verbs from the site of our partner Mairo Vergara. There you will find detailed analysis of several phrasal verbs. Access by clicking here.

List of phrasal verbs

Finally, let's leave a list with some popular phrasal verbs, so you can start memorizing and learning more.

  • Add up to something: Be equal to
  • Ask around: Asking the same question to several people
  • Ask out: ask someone to go out, go on a date
  • Ask someone out: Invite to leave
  • Back someone up: support, revert
  • Blow something up: Blow
  • Blow up: Explode
  • Break down: Getting upset or angry
  • Break down: Stop working (vehicle or machine)
  • Break in: Force entry somewhere
  • Break in: Interrupt
  • Break into something: Enter forcibly
  • Break out in something: Developing a skin disease
  • Break out: Escape
  • Break something down: Divide into smaller parts
  • Break something in: Vestir/calçar algo algumas vezes, para que não pareça novo
  • Break up: Start laughing (informal)
  • Break up: End a relationship
  • Bring about: entail
  • Bring someone down: Make it sad
  • Bring someone up: Educating a child
  • Bring something up: Start talking about a certain subject
  • Bring something up: To vomit
  • Bring up: to raise children; raise a question or topic
  • Bring up: Raise (a topic, for example).
  • Call around: Ligar para muitas pessoas/lugares diferentes
  • Call back: return a phone call; call back
  • Call in: consult, go to a special place
  • Call off: cancel, revoke
  • Call on someone: Ask for an answer or opinion
  • Call on someone: Visiting someone
  • Call on: call, visit, ask a student
  • Call someone back: Return a call (call back)
  • Call someone up: To phone
  • Call something off: Cancel
  • Call up: call, remember, call on the phone
  • Calm down: Relax after being angry
  • Catch up: Getting to the same point as someone
  • Check in: Arriving and registering at a hotel or airport
  • Check in: register at a hotel, airport
  • Check out someone/something: Looking at (informal)
  • Check out: Leaving a hotel
  • Check someone/something out: Look carefully, investigate
  • Cheer someone up: Making someone happy
  • Cheer up: Animate.
  • Cheer up: Getting happier
  • Chip in: to help
  • Clean something up: Clean up, clean up
  • Come across something: Find unexpectedly
  • Come apart: to separate
  • Come back: Come back.
  • Come down withsomething: Get sick
  • Come forward: volunteer for a task or give testimony
  • Come from somewhere: Being from
  • Count on someone/something: Trust
  • Cross something out: Draw a line (in the sense of being crossed out)
  • Cut back on something: Consume less
  • Cut in: Start running (an engine or electrical device)
  • Cut in: Interrupt
  • Cut in: Getting in front of another vehicle
  • Cut someone off: Remove from will
  • Cut something down: Do something fall to the ground
  • Cut something off: Failure to provide
  • Cut something off: Remove with something sharp
  • Cut something out: Removing part of something (usually used for scissors and paper)
  • Do away with something: To discard
  • Do someone/something over: Hitting, looting (British English, informal)
  • Do something over: Do it again (N. Am.)
  • Do something up: Hold, close
  • Dress up: Wear cool clothes
  • Drop back: Voltar para uma posição/grupo
  • Drop in/by/over: Appear without an appointment
  • Drop off: Leave something somewhere.
  • Drop out: Leaving a room, school, etc.
  • Drop someone/something off: Take someone or something somewhere and leave it there
  • Find out: To discover.
  • Find out: To discover.
  • Hang on: Wait a little.
  • Look over: Review.
  • Not care for someone/something: Dislike (formal)
  • Put on: Wear.
  • Run out of: Running out of something.
  • Set up: Establish, build.
  • Think over: Consider.
  • Throw out ou Throw away: Discard, throw away.