Phrasal verbs with multiple meanings

One of the most difficult things for non-native English speakers is learning and memorizing phrasal verbs. Phrasal verbs are often really confusing, and more than likely have more than one meaning which would make any student wary of using them in conversation or in the correct context.

Luckily here at ABA English we love to help you learn as efficiently and quickly as possible. And so, today we are going to look at 8 phrasal verbs which are written the same way but have different meanings altogether!

Ready? Let’s go!

Bring up

  • To raise and nurture children to become adults.
  • Sam was brought up by his grandparents after his parents separated.
  • To introduce a topic of discussion
  • Tony brought up a great idea at today’s meeting. I think you should hear it.

Make up

  • To invent a story or a situation
  • At first I believed him but then I realized he had made up the story.
  • To reconcile or become friends again after fighting are arguing
  • My brother and I have decided to make up, it’s not worth fighting.

Get over

  • To literally climb over something
  • There was nobody home so I managed to get over the gate and open the door.
  • To overcome a situation or sickness
  • I was really sad after breaking up with my boyfriend, but I got over it very quickly.

Get through

  • To finish or use up something.
  • How much cheese do you kids get through a day? I just bought that block yesterday!
  • To deal with a difficult situation until it’s over
  • I just need to get through these last few weeks of studying and then I’m finished forever.

Hang up

  • To put down the telephone after speaking
  • Ok Kim, I need to hang up now, I have a lot of work to do. I’ll phone you tomorrow!
  • To suspend clothes on a hook, coat hanger etc..
  • Please hang up your jackets when you come into the classroom.

Pass out

  • To faint
  • It’s so hot in here I feel like I’m going to pass out!
  • To hand out/distribute something
  • The teacher handed out the exams to the students.

Blow up

  • To explode
  • The bomb blew up just outside the shopping centre and everyone ran.
  • To lose your temper or get angry
  • When I asked him to work overtime he blew up and told me I don’t pay him enough.

Work out

  • To  do exercise
  • I’m going to work out at the gym tonight so I can’t come to dinner.
  • To solve a problem
  • I can’t work out this maths problem, I have been trying for two days.

If you continue to practise phrasal verbs in English, they will get easier. Starting the ABA English course will help you conquer this hurdle in English even easier.


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