A Phrasal Verb a Day

A Phrasal Verb a Day


Learn a phrasal verb every day with this series of short podcasts by Luke Thompson from Luke’s English Podcast. Each episode contains definitions, explanations and improvised examples of each phrase to help you understand and remember these complex but important parts of the English language! Transcripts are available at http://teacherluke.co.uk/phrasal-verb-a-day/


#134 - TO PLAY UP  

1. when a child misbehaves, e.g. "The kids were playing up all morning, it was a nightmare!" 2. when something fails to function properly. e.g. "The battery in my phone is playing up" 3. when a part of your body causes you pain or doesn't function properly "my back's been playing up again" 4. to exaggerate a problem - make it seem more serious than it really is "Papers are playing up the fighting between Bernie Sanders and Hilary Clinton" More information and a transcript (soon) here: http://wp.me/P4IuUx-65h

#133 - TO PLAY DOWN [+ VIDEO]  

= to make a problem seem less serious than it really is e.g. The government played down the threat to public health after the radiation leak from the nuclear accident. Click here for a transcript (soon) and to see me explain this on video http://teacherluke.co.uk/133-to-play-down-video/

#132 - TO PLAN AHEAD  

to think about what's going to happen in the future and prepare for it. "If you've got an exam coming up I suggest you plan ahead in order to get the best mark." Transcript here http://wp.me/P4IuUx-5X7


Lots of phrasal verbs with the word 'piss'. Watch out, this one contains some rude language and swearing. You'll learn at least 4 phrasal verbs with the word piss.

#130 - TO PIPE UP  

= to start talking suddenly, to interrupt, to speak after a period of being silent "I asked the class a question and everyone was silent for a moment before Anna piped up and gave me the answer." This quote from theage.au.com "My kids spent the sober, rainy days that followed the horrific Paris attacks with their grandparents, playing Monopoly. So it was somewhat gingerly that I introduced the subject later, asking what they had heard, and knew. "Not much", they responded, both walking into the kitchen and shrugging nonchalantly. A couple of minutes later my nine-year-old piped up: "Well I did read the newspaper and find out some stuff." "Like what?" With an alarming level of detail, she quickly outlined the number of people who had died and how, the carnage inside Bataclan concert hall, the reaction of the rock band on stage, and the bombs outside the stadium. She then asked if she could see footage of the shooting: I refused." http://www.theage.com.au/comment/how-to-talk-to-kids-about-terror-20151119-gl38qw.html More info at teacherluke.co.uk

#129 - TO PIPE DOWN  

This phrase is used to tell someone to make less noise, or to stop talking. "Could you pipe down a bit please, I'm trying to work in here!"


1. to put all the blame onto someone - to accuse someone of doing something, especially if they didn't actually do it also, the fixed phrase: to pin your hopes on something/someone = to put all your hope on one thing, when all other things have failed. For explanations and examples, listen to the episode. Notes and transcript here soon:

#127 - TO PIN DOWN  

1. to understand, explain or describe something specifically 2. to keep people contained in a particular place (especially used when talking about military action) 3. to force someone to make a decision 4. to hold someone on the ground so they can't move For examples and explanations, listen to the episode. Transcript coming soon here: http://wp.me/P4IuUx-5Dl

#126 - TO  PILE UP  

= put lots of things on top of each other to make a pile (often passive) http://wp.me/P4IuUx-5gD

#125 - TO PILE IN  

= to enter a place or a thing (e.g. a car) in very large numbers "The doors of the store opened and everyone piled in, hoping to get a bargain in the sales." http://wp.me/P4IuUx-5gA

#124 - TO PIG OUT (ON)  

= to eat an enormous amount of food - much more than you need. "We just pigged out on pizza. I felt so disgusting afterwards." http://teacherluke.co.uk/phrasal-verb-a-day/124-to-pig-out-on/


1. To collect lots of bits of information and put it together in order to understand the full situation Transcript here soon http://wp.me/P4IuUx-5gp

#122 - TO PICK UP ON  

1. to talk about something specific that someone else already mentioned 2. to notice or register something that's changed Transcript soon at http://wp.me/P4IuUx-5gk


To treat someone badly, like criticising them, when it's unfair. "Why are you always picking on me?" "Pick on someone your own size for a change!" "The other kids at school used to pick on me for being a swot" Transcript here http://teacherluke.co.uk/phrasal-verb-a-day/121-to-pick-on-someone/

#120 - TO PHASE IN/OUT  

phase in = to gradually start using something phase out = to gradually stop using something Listen to the episode for examples. Donate to Luke at www.teacherluke.co.uk

#119 - TO PETER OUT  

To slowly get weaker or softer and then to disappear/end completely. E.g. "The music just petered out as the band stopped playing" "We followed the path through the forest but eventually it just petered out." "I can't talk to Jeff about anything. Our conversation always just peters out, unless we're talking about biscuits." Transcript here http://teacherluke.co.uk/phrasal-verb-a-day/119-to-peter-out/

#118 - TO PERK UP  

1. to become more lively, happy and energetic 2. something perks something/someone up = it makes it more lively or exciting. More details and transcripts at www.teacherluke.co.uk

#117 - TO PENCIL IN  

1. To arrange an appointment, meeting or date in a diary, but it's not a fixed plan - it might change later. Transcript here http://teacherluke.co.uk/phrasal-verb-a-day/117-to-pencil-in/

#116 - TO PAY OFF  

1. to get the benefit of something later 2. to repay a loan or debt 3. to bribe someone to do something bad 4. to bribe someone to keep a secret Transcript here http://teacherluke.co.uk/phrasal-verb-a-day/116-to-pay-off/

#115 - TO PASS OUT  

1. To hand something out to everybody. To give something to everybody in a place. E.g. "all the students were silent as the exam papers were passed out" 2. To become unconscious, to faint. "She passed out due to heat exhaustion" More info at teacherluke.co.uk/Phrasal-verb-a-day

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