Are you very advanced in your English skills but have recently been feeling frustrated with your progress? If so, then it may be the time for you to start focusing on phrasal verbs. Phrasal verbs are a big part of colloquial English language conversations, using them will set you apart from other English language learners and get you on the road to becoming a near-native English speaker.
In a basic sense phrasal verbs are formed like this:
The particle can be either a preposition or an adverb.
In the example above the form is:
It is important to note that phrasal verbs take on a completely different meaning to the normal verb, for example:
Keep: have or retain possession of.
To keep up: move or progress at the same rate as someone or something else.
I will keep this money in my pocket for later.
I couldn't keep up with him in that race, he was too fast.
There are three different kinds of phrasal verbs depending on the way they have been formed, more information on this can be found here:
For now, however, we will focus on phrasal verbs containing “go”.
Definition: to try something in order to see if one is able to do it
Example: I’m not sure I’ll be very good at tennis but I’m willing to have a go.
Definition: to criticise someone, shout at them for doing something wrong
Example: Oh no! I can’t believe I smashed the plates. My mother is going to have a go at me for this.
Definition: to be left, remaining
Example: There are only two weeks to go until Christmas, I can’t wait!
Definition: to match, to be the right colour - in relation to clothes
Example: Does this tie go with this jacket?
Definition: to agree to - often used when the person isn’t particularly enthused about the idea
Example: In the end she decided to go along with their plans to go to that restaurant because she didn’t want to miss out.
Definition: to be well received, accepted gladly - often a piece of news, a decision or a person
Example: She told her parents that her and John were getting married after just three months. Unfortunately, the news didn’t go down well.
Definition: to be remembered in a certain way, to go down in history for a certain reason
Example: He will go down as the best General in the history of the Korean Military.
Definition: to continue, to last, to go ahead
Example: Sorry, I didn’t mean to interrupt please go on.
This apartment is so messy, it can’t go on like this.
Definition: to happen, occurring
Example: I didn’t realise there was so much going on in this city, it’s super cool.
Definition: to talk about something repeatedly, complaining, asking someone to do something
Example: That’s enough, please stop going on about it.
I’m sorry to go on about it, I just need you to tidy your room.
Definition: to rely on - often information or a piece of evidence
Example: The police had very little to go on as there was no DNA at the crime scene.
Definition: to move on to another place after the one a person is currently in, to proceed to the next level or stage
Example: We’re at the bar now but we’re going to go on to the restaurant in maybe 15 or 20 minutes.
Definition: to experience a bad time
Example: His mother died last week and he’s really going through a bad time.
Definition: lasting a period of time
Example: I’m really happy, I’ve gone through a whole year without drinking alcohol.
Definition: to go over, to revisit
Example: We really need to go through these figures before our meeting tomorrow.
Definition: to look at someone’s belongings without permission
Example: The security guard had to go through my bags before we went into the concert.
Example: There’s no milk here. We go through it so quickly!
Definition: to come into being, to be completed - often in a business sense
Example: If this deal doesn’t go through, we’ll have to fire five people.
This is by no means a completely comprehensive list so please add more phrasal verbs using “go” in the comment section should you know them. Also, please use some of the phrasal verbs noted in this article and create your own sentences. Go on....give it a go!