Phrasal Vocabulary

How big is your phrasal vocabulary? We get many emails from listeners asking us about phrasal verbs and expressions.
If you find them difficult, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Phrasal verbs and expressions are really hard to learn.  For example, understanding the core definition of to give may be simple but learning all of give’s phrasal verbs (give up, give out, give in, etc.) can be a real challenge! Knowing both core definitions and phrasal expressions is important for listening and reading. One way to improve your knowledge of phrasal verbs and expressions is to determine how much you already know. An easy way to do this is with the Phrasal Vocabulary Size Test. It’s free to take and can be found online by clicking this link.

The test will determine how many phrasal expressions you know out of the 505 most common in English. Here are the instructions on how to take the test.  Once you have completed the test, you can use this list to study any expressions that are unfamiliar to you.Another great way to study phrasal expressions is by listening to Culips! Culips members have access to detailed descriptions of the most important expressions that we discuss on the podcast. Click here to become a member now.

The phrasal vocabulary test was created by Ron Martinez, a linguist from San Francisco State University. A lot of research and effort went into the creation of the test and it is a great resource so I recommend that you try it out. The test is hosted on the website Lextutor. Although the website is a little difficult to navigate, it is a fantastic resource and I use it all the time. It offers both learners and teachers of English many really cool tools and I’ll make sure to write about more of them in the near future.

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