phrasal verbs 1

Phrasal Verbs List: Part 1 – Act and Break

Hello everyone! I am Ms Joei, a teacher at Lil’ but Mighty.

Let me start by asking you a question – which preposition goes with the verb in the following sentence:

The naughty boy was acting ____ because he was bored and wanted his mother’s attention.

Would the answer be ‘on’, ‘up’ or ‘out’? If you chose ‘up’, then congratulations! You are absolutely correct. To ‘act up’ is a phrasal verb that means to behave badly, which is what the naughty boy is doing in this instance.

What are phrasal verbs?

This is just one phrasal verb from the many that exist in the English language. For those of you who are unsure, a phrasal verb is a combination of a verb and a preposition or an adverb, and when combined, this group of words has a different meaning from the words that compose it. For example, the phrasal verb ‘break down’ has a different meaning than if you were to look at the two words ‘break’ and ‘down’ individually.

Since there are so many possible combinations, I can understand why some of you may find learning phrasal verbs confusing or challenging. That is why, starting from today’s blogpost, I will be consolidating a list of common phrasal verbs and their meanings for you to use as a revision resource. Do take note that you can change the word form of the verb to past tense or continuous tense, so it fits properly into the sentence you are writing!

Phrasal Verbs Part 1: Act & Break

For today’s post, let’s begin with these two verbs: act and break. To form a phrasal verb with each of these verbs, you would need to combine each with a preposition or an adverb. Take a look at the diagrams below:

Act & Break

Act & Break

How to revise for phrasal verbs?

Before ending this first post on phrasal verbs, I would like to suggest a simple yet fun way to revise phrasal verbs with the use of flashcards. You can buy plain index cards that are sold at any stationery shop or you can make your own cards using drawing block or A4 paper. First, write the phrasal verb on one side of card (this will be the front of the flashcard). Then turn it over and write the meaning on the other side (this will be the back of the flashcard). Take a look at the example here:

Act & Break

After making a stack of flashcards for yourself, you can choose to test yourself by looking at the meaning of the phrasal verbs and guessing the phrasal verb or looking at the phrasal verb before guessing the meaning of the words. Using this method will help you to remember each phrasal verb as well as its meaning better as you can test yourself in two different ways. To make it more exciting, you can gather some friends and quiz each other using the cards.

I will be back with more phrasal verbs and their meanings so you can consolidate more flashcards to practise with! Until then, have fun learning!

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Course Features:

1) Coverage of essential components crucial for Primary 1
– Grammar
– Sentence Construction
– Comprehension
– Reading Skills

2) A short presentation in the second lesson (good lead-in to show-and-tell component in Primary 1)
– Feedback for parents will be provided after the lesson

3) Sight Word List (a learning resource for parents to assist children in their reading at home)

4) Fun activities and children’s books are used to bring out the lessons


Group 48
Ms Joei

Ms Joei had volunteered her time to teach basic English and Grammar to orphaned children in Phnom Penh, Cambodia when she was in Junior College. This life-changing and self-fulfilling experience made her discover her interest in teaching.

As a teacher, she believes that all children have the potential to do well, and different children would require different approaches to unlock their true potential. Ms Joei hopes to discover the suitable approaches for her students so that she can bring out the best in them!

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