Test the phrasal verbs you know with this quiz! These 13 phrasal verbs are used in English conversations every day – do you know them all? Test what you know and learn to use common phrasal verbs fluently!
CLICK HERE to read the full lesson transcript.
More English lessons recommended for you:
Well hey there I'm Emma from mmmEnglish! I'm super excited about today's lesson I've got some super useful phrasal verbs to share with you that are going to help you in your everyday English conversations.
Knowing them will help you to understand English speakers, using them will help you to sound more natural and more relaxed when you speak and practising with me today will really help you to level up your conversation skills.
Now there are a lot of videos about phrasal verbs here on my channel but this video is a quiz that's going to test how well you know these phrasal verbs. I've got thirteen to test you on and they are going to get more and more advanced as we go through the quiz.
Come give it a shot with me! What have you got to lose?
Now all of the phrasal verbs in today's quiz have come from lessons on the mmmEnglish channel. So if you've watched all of the phrasal verbs lessons on my channel then this is going to be really good revision but if you haven't watched them yet, then it'll be a really good opportunity to test what you know.
The quiz is divided into two sections. We'll start with some of the easier verbs and by easier, I mean high intermediate level verbs. And then we're going to move into some more advanced ones. For each phrasal verb, you just need to choose the definition that best describes the meaning of the verb and notice
I said best describes like this example, to run out.
Does that mean:
- to move at a pace faster than walking?
- to finish or to use something so that there's none of it left?
- or to do exercise outdoors?
Can you guess which of these meanings is the most correct? It's a little tricky, right? You can always hit pause if you need to think about it for a moment longer all the way throughout this quiz.
But the correct answer is B.
Now there are thirteen questions in the quiz. If you don't know any of them or you get some of them wrong, please don't worry. This is just your chance to learn some new words and some different ways of expressing yourself in English.
Please grab a notebook and write down any of the new phrasal verbs that you learned with me today and maybe some of the example sentences that you write yourself that you want me to check, you can write them down in the comments below this video and I will get to them very soon. So let's get started!
1. bring (something) up
So the first phrasal verb is bring up, to bring something up.
So does it mean:
- to start talking about something
- to produce a new product and start to sell it
- or to take something from one place to another?
The answer is A, to start talking about something.
There is something I want to bring up at the next team meeting.
So this verb is transitive and separable and that means it's also possible and correct to say:
I want to bring something up at the next team meeting.
2. back up (someone/something)
Okay, the next one is back up, to back up someone or something. Does this mean:
- to make a structure stronger or more stable
- to walk backwards
- or to provide support?
The correct answer is C, to provide support especially by telling other people that you agree with something they did or something they said.
I'm so glad my dad backed me up yesterday, otherwise, I could have been in a lot of trouble!
3. go without
The next one is go without, to go without. So what exactly does that phrasal verb mean? Does it mean:
- to leave something important behind
- to manage to live without some essential items
- or to move or travel somewhere without using a car?
It's B, to manage to live without essential items or manage to live despite not having the things that you need or you'd like to have.
I'd rather go without food than work at this terrible company.
Now go without is transitive and inseparable and it's so important to look out for these things when you're learning to use phrasal verbs accurately in English. Transitive and inseparable. So that means that yes we need an object but no we cannot put that object between the verb and the particles, right? Got it?
4. fall for (someone)
Moving right along we have the phrasal verb fall for, to fall for someone. So does this mean:
- to trip over another person and land on the ground
- to stop being friends or having contact with another person
- or to have strong romantic feelings about another person?
It's C, to have strong romantic feelings about another person.
We say: I'm falling for you.
It's the same as saying: I'm falling in love with you. I'm starting to have really strong romantic feelings for you and it's a wonderful feeling.
5. look down on (someone)
Okay next up we have look down on someone, to look down on someone. So does it mean:
- to have a low opinion of someone
- to watch someone from a higher position like maybe up on a balcony
- or to avoid eye contact because you don't want to look at someone?
The correct answer is A, to have a low opinion of someone.
Now this phrasal verb implies that the person who is looking down on someone else thinks that they are better than that person in some way.
She thinks they look down on her because she doesn't have a degree.
So this phrasal verb has two particles, look down on. Please make sure that you're using both of them.
Don't say: Look down her or look on her. Neither of these have the same meaning, okay?
It's: Look down on her.
6. pass away
Okay so now we have the phrasal verb pass away, to pass away. So this one was in my most recent phrasal verbs lesson. Did you see it? Does it mean:
- to give something to someone
- to die
- or to drive too far?
The answer is B, to die. So this is a more sensitive and polite way of saying that someone has died.
He passed away from natural causes.
Now it's really important to note here that pass away is intransitive so there's no object needed and that also makes this phrasal verb inseparable so there's only one way that you can use it accurately.
7. pick up on (something)
Next we have pick up on, to pick up on something. So what does it mean? Does it mean:
- to lift something off the ground or a flat surface
- to be really mean to another person
- or to understand something that is not communicated directly?
The answer is C, to understand something that is not communicated directly.
When you pick up on something, you learn about maybe you learn about it through little pieces of information that you connect together in your own mind.
He didn't pick up on her bad mood.
Now things are going to get a little bit harder. Are you ready for this?
So these next phrasal verbs are more advanced. If you know these, it means that you're already operating at a really high level with your English. If you understand them, awesome! If you use them, amazing. But if you don't, that's perfect. You're building your skills and you're levelling up your English now.
8. brush up on (something)
To brush up on, to brush up on something. Maybe we need to brush up on this one. Does it mean:
- to sweep something from the ground up onto a higher surface
- maybe it means to do your hair in an elaborate style up on top of your head
- or does it mean to improve or refresh your knowledge of something maybe something that you've already learnt?
The answer is C, to improve your knowledge or refresh something that you already have learned. So this is a verb that we tend to use when we are coming back to a skill that we haven't used in a while.
Maybe you lived in the UK for a while but it's been about ten years since you were there and you were frequently speaking English, maybe you're feeling a little rusty a little out of practice so you need to brush up on those skills, right?
She wants to brush up on her English vocabulary.
Now notice the word order here in this sentence. We've got our verb, our particles and our object and that's fixed. We can't change it okay because that phrasal verb is inseparable.
9. butt in
The next one is butt in, to butt in. What do you think? Do you know what it means? Does it mean:
- to use your bottom to open a door
- to interrupt a conversation
- or to disagree with a statement that someone else has made?
So the correct answer is B, to interrupt a conversation. Butt in is definitely informal maybe even a little bit rude especially when you're using it to describe what someone else did because it's almost as if the person who's interrupting doesn't really care about what's happening. They don't really care about the fact that the other person is talking, it's quite rude.
Henry kept butting in with silly jokes every time I explained I had lost my job. It was really rude.
Now this phrasal verb is intransitive and therefore it's also inseparable right? So nothing can come between butt and in, it's almost like the verb itself can't be interrupted right? You can't interrupt that phrasal verb because it knows exactly what that behaviour is like.
10. drift apart
Well how about this one, to drift apart. Do you know this phrasal verb? Does it mean to move slowly with no control or direction? Does it mean:
- to fall asleep slowly
- or to become less friendly
- or less close with someone?
The correct answer is C, when two people in a relationship slowly start to become less close, they drift apart, you know maybe they want different things in life or their values have changed but either way, their relationship will gradually come to an end over time.
Over the years Mary and Johnny drifted apart.
11. fight (something) off
Moving right along, what about the verb fight off, to fight something off. Any idea what it means?
- to free yourself from illness or desire to do something that you shouldn't
- to escape a swarm of insects
- or to try hard not to show strong emotions?
The correct answer is A, to free yourself from an illness or a desire to do something that you shouldn't.
So to fight something off is like overcoming something and it's used all the time to talk about recovering from an illness, that is really common.
Meredith came down with a cold but luckily she was able to fight off the infection. Or she was able to fight the infection off.
But we can also use it when we overcome an urge or a desire to do something.
He fought off the desire to eat another tub of ice cream.
(I wish I had that guy's self-control)
Now did you notice that the word order changed with these examples? Well, that's because this is a transitive phrasal verb and it's also separable so that gives us a little bit of flexibility when it comes to forming our sentence. We can do it in a few different ways.
12. let on
All right let's talk about let on, to let on. It's a bit of a funny one. Does it mean:
- to allow someone to sit on your lap
- or to lease or rent a property to another person
- or to share a secret?
The correct answer is C, to share a secret. So if you let on it means you're telling other people something that you know, something that they're not supposed to know or that you don't want them to know.
Sarah's already led on that she's thinking about leaving the company.
13. rally around (someone)
Last but definitely not least is rally around, to rally around someone. Does it mean:
- to offer help and support
- to attend a protest and march through the city
- or to take part in long-distance motorbike or car races?
The answer is A, to offer help and support.
So when you rally around someone, you're showing them that you care by offering that moral support or that help, whatever they need to make their situation easier.
When James was ill, his friends rallied around him.
So this one is transitive. See the object here? But it's inseparable which means that you can't change the order of the words all, right? Rally him around?
No, rally around him. That's the way to do it.
And that's all folks, awesome work to you well done for sticking with me all the way through. I'm curious. How did you go? I hope that there were a few new phrasal verbs in there or maybe some that you'd forgotten about that we've sparked in your memory again.
Don't worry at all if you didn't get a couple of them right. It's a really great thing that you've reviewed them now and you can begin to lock all of those phrasal verbs back in your mind again, right? You're reviewing, you're checking, you're remembering.
Just make sure that you practise using them now while they're still fresh in your mind so maybe practise writing some sentences in a notebook or even add them into the comments below. If you've got doubts or you've got questions, just add them into the comments, I'll be down there in the next few days to check them out.
So if you're ready to keep practising with me right now, I've got lots of different English lessons here on the mmmEnglish Youtube channel, grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, lots of Imitation Lessons so you can practise speaking with me.
Here are a couple of my favourite ones that will keep you busy until my next lesson comes out next week. Bye for now!
mmmEnglish Video Lessons are a series of video lessons created to build confidence in English learners and focus on English in daily life. Download them and watch them anywhere! Subscribe to my YouTube Channel to be the first to get my new videos, and come and say hi on my Facebook page!!
THanks a lot for this first lesson on your website. I am going to memorize those verbs and build some sentences on my daily basis.
Excellent plan, Lionel! You can do it!
Amazing ! very good quiz Thanks for this lesson who improve a little more my english skills
Thanks Luc! How many did you answer correctly? 🙂
Emma, I love all of your videos they have been so helpful to me but lately I have been having problems with the audio as when you talk is like too soft but suddenly when your logo appears the volume goes up too much an it hurts my ears. Is there a way to fix it? I'm sure it's not my device.
Thanks in advance.
Your english lessons really help me to improve my english.
Thanks a lot Emma!!
I'm so glad to hear that Suley, thank you!
I'm really grateful for your interesting lessons
Thanks Emma! Your lessons help me a lot to develop my english skills.
I'm so glad to hear that, Jocelyn!
Hi I have greeting you Emma
I am very exciting to get this Aportunity really you are an Amazing teacher that I have seen ever.
I would like to upgrade my English skills so what do I need to do?
I share some tips in this lesson that you might find helpful!
This video and through this quiz I learned to use phrasal verbs fluently. Really, you're awesome. Thank you
Emma very nice way to learn thank you so much
Hi dear teacher Emma
I like your pedagogical method .
I fell that my English start to improve. Thank you dear teacher.
That is fantastic to hear Mohammed! Thank you!
I found the lesson on phrasal verb very interesting. I missed one from the advanced phrasal verbs and altogether got 12 out of 13.
Thank you for helping us to develop the knowledge we have on this area.
Dear Emma, this quiz is helpful for me to learn new phrasal verbs like rally around and drift apart. Some of them. I also could brush up like pick up on and butt in. in my opinion you could offer more quizzes. You are a great teacher.
Thank you Emma!
Very useful lesson. Particularly, this test about phrasal verbs!
I like your manner of teaching. It helped me to memmorize and understand easily your examples and to build my own too. I regularly follow your videos.
Dear Emma,I am always happy to study your English lessons.
Svetla from Bulgaria
Thank you for your continuous support, Svetla!
Good morning, love to hearing from you about something new, a new word or phrase. Many thanks for dropping a line. I would like to know whether you run pre-IELTS classes or being on just social media. I was recommending a student in my family in Pakistan to join your online classes. I will appreciate it if call or write an email to him, please. Mr Faizan Ali, WhatsApp number 00923024006683 firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks a lot Emma! Another great lesson from you!
I learnt new phrasal verbs [look down ON (so); butt in; drift apart; fight off; let on; rally around (so)].
Dear Emma, If I want to brush up on my english knowledge I need to follow your lessons. Thank you.
Great example Jozef! 😉
Thank you very much for this new lesson, as usual, the lesson is very well explained. I learned new vocabulary words.
I'm thrilled with all your lesson that your proving is very usefully. Thank you so much ☺️
You're so welcome, Vijaya!
Hi Emma, I like the quiz. I got 10 out of 13. Not too bad. Thank you.
Hi Emma, I love the quiz. I got 10 out of 13. Not too bad.Thank you.
That's a fantastic result!
I am excited with this lesson thanks my best teacher.
wow thanks so much Emma, I had 10 out of 13
Hello Emma, this is an excellent video to brush up on our knowledge of phrasal verbs. I remembered some of them from your previous lessons. Some of them were completely new for me and I failed though. Let me let on my score. It is 10/13.
Thanks for the quiz. Some of the phrases I learned just the past few weeks. So the was a welcome exercise. Only two mistakes.
Nice work Naushad! Which ones did you answer incorrectly?
Hi Emma! Your lessons are really very useful, thanks a lot.
Thank you, Mariana!
I’m so grateful for your help