Phrasal verbs are considered to be an indispensable part of the English vocabulary. But its learning may be a tough thing for teenagers. Nowadays there are a bunch of ways to teach phrasal verbs. Benjamin Franklin said: “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I remember, involve me and I learn”.  Therefore,  the best way to work with phrasal verbs is not just to give a list of them to remember but to involve students in games, use realia from their lives etc.

Games with phrasal verbs

  1. Catapult is an online game which helps to learn and practise phrasal verbs through a game. It is designed as a competition game, but can also be played by just one person. So let’s have a look how it works: there is a sentence with a missing phrasal verb. Students must choose the correct answer from the three options given. The graphics put the team in two towers, and students’ knowledge of phrasal verbs will help them catapult the other team out of its tower.
  2. Charades is an interactive game that most students know, and it’s very useful for teaching phrasal verbs. Divide the classroom into two groups, on a sheet of paper write down those phrasal verbs that show some physical action. Each group chooses one student who will implement the task. The latter reads in mind the word and tries to act it out without speaking. If the participants of his group guess the word, they win.
    3. Taboo is a card game that you can use not only in the real classroom but also for your online classes. The main rule of taboo is to describe a phrasal verb without using words written on the card. Here is an example:
    The phrasal verb is ‘to break up’, and the taboo words are ‘to end’, ‘to finish’, ‘a relationship’. The learners must explain the word without using the taboo words.
    You can create your own taboo phrasal verbs or just search on the Internet.
    4. Phrasal verb matching
    can be assigned both as homework and as a pair work in the classroom. Make sure to have all new learnt phrasal verbs written on the cards and their definitions on separate cards. Ask your students to find the definitions and match.
    5. Cut up phrasal verbs. The task is aimed at practising phrasal verbs formation. Print out phrasal verbs and then cut out the particles. Divide the classroom into separate groups, give each of them 10 verbs and 10 particles. Set a time limit. Ask them to make 10 phrasal verbs with the cut words. The quickest team wins.

Vlogs and songs with phrasal verbs

A key to success in learning a foreign language is the motivation. It is a general fact that teenagers are fond of the Internet. And with the help of vlogs on YouTube, we can make them get motivated to learn even phrasal verbs. We have already written about famous vloggers who motivate to learn English. There are separate videos on phrasal verbs as well.

English with Lucy has a short but an informative video on food phrasal verbs, where she not only explains them but also shows how to use them in a context.


VenyaPakTV has recorded a video on the most useful phrasal verbs, where he gives their definitions and makes sentences.

English lessons with Adam has released some videos on phrasal verbs as well. He introduces a verb with different prepositions and explains the meaning. For example the verb ‘to take’ with ‘after’, ‘out’, ‘in’, ‘over’.

Moreover, students will remember phrasal verbs better if they hear them in songs. You can just google song lyrics with the phrasal verb you want to practice or use this website  


Ask students with visual memory and visual intelligence to create mindmaps and  funny pictures (ask to draw a funny association with a phrasal verb)

Learning English is not only about separate words, and also about phrasal verbs, the acquisition of which is a must as well.

How do you work with phrasal verbs?

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