17 New English Phrasal Verbs for 2017
At the start of a new year everyone’s talking about goals and resolutions. We have new hopes and dreams. We have new determination and motivation to succeed. That means it’s the perfect time to review new phrasal verbs in English.
Every week I want to challenge you and help you grow in your English. I want you to learn and use real-life English so you can be confident in any speaking situation.
To get you started for the new year, let’s start with some new vocabulary.
You know we have an endless list of phrasal verbs in English. So let’s add some new ones to your active, daily English vocabulary. I promise you’ll find some fun, interesting phrasal verbs in today’s lesson.
Are you ready to get started and make a big jump into 2017 with your English? Then let’s go!
Common English phrasal verbs.
Lesson by Annemarie
17 New Phrasal Verbs in English
To brush up on
To improve, refresh one’s knowledge of something
Example: This year I’m hoping to travel to Italy so I need to brush up on my Italian skills. I haven’t studied it in over 10 years!! Hopefully I still remember some words and useful expressions.
To break up
To come to an end (marriage, relationship)
Example: Oh no! Did you hear that Lara and Tom broke up just a few days ago? I’m so bummed. They’re supposed to come to the New Year’s Eve party tonight… I’m not sure that they will. It might be too awkward.
To burn out
To become exhausted from overwork
Example: For 2017, My resolution is to find a better work/life balance. I love my job but I really felt burnt out by the end of the year.
To clam up
To refuse to speak; to be unable to speak
Example: Do you ever clam up when you’re feeling nervous in a second language? Sometimes I do.
To dress up
To wear elegant, beautiful, or very nice clothes
Example: In my daily life I just wear casual clothes at work, so from time to time it feels nice to dress up and go out like for New Year’s Eve tonight.
To focus on
To concentrate on something
Example: Did you hear – our neighbors are throwing a huge new year celebration tonight? And I’ve got this massive exam to be studying for!!! I’m not sure how I’ll focus on my studies with all that music and noise.
To get away
To escape; to travel for a short period of time
Example: Let’s get away this weekend. I know the holidays are supposed to be relaxing but I just feel worn out and stressed. Is there somewhere close we could go to escape for a few days before we get back into our normal life routine?
To get out of
To avoid doing something; to avoid a situation
Example: Look, I love your family but I’d prefer to spend New Year’s Eve celebrating with our friends. Is there any way we could get out of dinner with them tonight?
To kick off
To begin, start
Example: Are you going to kick off the new year with any new goals?
To let (someone) down
To disappoint someone
Example: I’m so sorry to let you down but I can’t get out of dinner with my family tonight. Don’t have too much fun at the party without me.
To make up
To resolve a relationship problem; to cease or stop fighting/arguing
Example: After many long and sometimes angry discussions over finances, we’ve decided to compromise and just make up so we can move forward.
To nod off
To fall asleep
Example: Hey – could you drive for a bit? I’m getting too sleepy and I keep nodding off. Just give me an hour to nap and I’ll drive again. We only have a few hours to go.
To run into
To meet by accident or unexpectedly (also: bump into)
Example: Guess who I ran into at the grocery store?!? Josef! We haven’t seen him for years since we moved away from the old neighborhood, so I invited him over for dinner this week.
To shop around
To compare prices
Example: I’d love something new to wear to the party tonight so I’m going to shop around at the sales to see if I can find anything.
To stay up
to go to bed later than usual; to not go to bed until very late
Example: Did you stay up all night celebrating the new year?
To straighten up
To put things in order; to tidy or clean
Example: Oh my! This place is a disaster! This is the last time I’ll host an all-night party. It’s going to take all day to straighten up.
To try on
To wear something to see if it suits or fits
Example: Here – try this on! It might be exactly what you’re looking for to wear to the party tonight.
Take some time today to practice 2 or 3 of these new phrasal verbs with your own example sentence. Then come back tomorrow and in a few days to practice again. You can do so in the comments section below.
Or answer these two challenge questions:
- How did you celebrate your new year? Share some of your celebrations and traditions below.
- In your answer about how you celebrate the new year, try to use a few of the new phrasal verbs you’ve learned. Get real life practice and I’ll provide you with feedback.
Thank you so much for joining me and I look forward to seeing you next week!
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Please Annemarie, I would think that my expressions below with learnt phrasal verbs are correct. Thank you for allowing me to join in.
I hate it when ships arrive at our island. This is the time when I really get burnt out after the day’s load. Additionally, I have to dress up as sometimes our Education officers arrive and should look professional, when in fact I like wearing casual clothes at work.
I am Mohit Joshi, here I am going to express about how I usually make New Year Day. First me and my family goes for shop around at market and buy necessary things for party. Day starts with wishing each other and straighter up all things to make house look clean and sober after then we invite our neighbors for a party to be held at night. Then we kick off arrangements for a night party. At noon we nod off for sometime to get brushen up for a party and that’s how I enjoy the day with my friends… Read more »
I was totally burnt out due to hard work I’d done this year in office, so to get away from all this fatigue and kick off my new year with great celebration. I planned to throw a party at my place and I shop around different shops to buy dresses for myself and gifts for my family and friends.
Great use of some of the phrasal verbs in the lesson, Fantasia! Thank you for sharing. I hope you’re feel rested and ready to get back to normal life after the new year.
New year will always be a new beginning, for this 2017, I want to kick off a fresh start. By joining this English community headed by Annemarie to brush up on my English language. I need to straighten up my English in order for me to have a good job. I hope to focus on my goal to have a better life for my family.
For 2017, not for “this 2017.” There is only one 2017, so no need to use the word “this” 2017. That would only be needed if you were distinguishing that you mean as opposed to some other 2017, but again, there is only one.
New Year’s Day was wonderful with us here at Ebolowa, Cameroon. I was invited by a cousin in town. I arrived his place at 2 pm. The table was served and every guest ate to their fill. Then we started chatting and watching television. I started nodding off. This usually happens to me after meals but when I go to bed, I go through sleepless spells. I came back home after some time hoping to continue sleeping: impossible. The neighbours were all busy celebrating with din. I was very angry but I could do nothing. This made me clam up… Read more »
I wanted to brush up on my english level. This caused me to jump to Tanzania. When my wife heard it, she clamed up. To break up to this, i asked to her what was wrong and she answered me:” i want to dress up”. I kicked off looking for money. To satisfy this want, i shopped around. On the celebration day, we stayed up because everything was to be straightened up. In this moment, everyone was nodded off and to get out of this, we went to sleep
Funny story, especially that your wife clamed up, not you. I like it 🙂
Thank you for your comment
Thank you so much for sharing your examples and practicing! You’ve provided a very clever story in using so many phrasal verbs.
A quick note:
– With to kick off, the subject should be a thing/event, not a person. For example, the party will kick off at 8:00 p.m. or the community festival kicked off this morning.
I’m glad you found this lesson useful to you! Best, Annemarie
This year one of my aims is to brush up my English via everyday practice with variety of resources. I fancy that it would be a great accomplishment to be on the ball when it comes to enhancing vocabulary as well as developing speaking self-confidence. I am compelled to give assent the theory that ‘perseverance is the clue’. Then again, treating myself with a pinch of salt can be helpful especially in the face of obstacles. I am not prone to break up with people who are close to me. However, it sometimes happens that the relationship with cantankerous human… Read more »
Wonderful uses of to brush up on, to break up, and to burn out, Anetta. I truly enjoyed reading these miniature stories or opinions. You also seem to have quite a bit of knowledge for idioms as well.
Thank you so much for sharing your answers and practicing! I look forward to you doing more of it as part of your everyday English practice. 🙂 Best, Annemarie
Working as an accountant I had much work in December. Almost the whole month I have stayed up working in the office. At the end of the year, I felt burnt out. But all my efforts brought me up very good results at work and I have got away for the celebrating New Year with my friends.
Thank you so much for practicing and sharing your examples. Very well done!
It sounds like December was a challenging month for you at work and I can completely understand feeling burnt out. And I’m glad you were able to enjoy celebrating the new year!
Great work with the phrasal verbs: stay up, burn out, get away. I look forward to hearing more from you! 🙂 Best, Annemarie
Hi, I really excited to write this but not to let down anyone. Actually I don’t use to celebrate a new year but I tried myself to stay up all night because I do that sometimes either to study or watching movies. I thought to kick off new year with positive things but it didn’t work. I sometimes feel organized as well as disorganized in doing things so i need to make up my self. Months ago I had a dream of studying in Germany, so I brushed up my German for that as being disorganized sometimes or lack guidance… Read more »
It’s wonderful to have you comment and share in the lesson today! Thank you.
And excellent work. I can certainly say, you didn’t let anyone down!
I enjoyed reading a little bit about you. And maybe at a different time you’ll be able to make it to Germany to study!
In your examples, I noted the following phrasal verbs: let down, stay up, kick off, brush up on.
Well done!! ~ Annemarie
Hello Annemarie! These are my examples. I have to confess that I hate shopping around and try to get out of doing it as long as possible. My way of shopping – come, try on maximum two things and get away! A month ago I did need something to dress up for the New Year party and I focused on this hard task;) . I went to the shopping mall with a firm intention to buy a bright, beautiful and elegant dress. Two hours later I felt burnt out and I bought as usual a black long-sleeved T-shirt, but with… Read more »
Fantastic Olga! What a great story and perfect use of the phrasal verbs you chose. I loved it.
And I’m like you. I don’t enjoy shopping around either. I want to get in and out of the store as fast as possible. 🙂
In your examples, I noted: shopping around, get out of, try on, get away, dress up, burn out.
Excellent work and thank you for sharing! I’m always happy when you do. ~ Annemarie
– What do you think about to get away to Paris next weekend?
– It would be great! Croissants and coffee, Eiffel tower and reason to dress up even for go to the grocery… I have to brush up on my French. I used it last time 5 years ago!
Love your examples, Yulia! And I hope you do make a get away for Paris! It would be so fun.
And yes, also great for all the reasons you’ve provided.
Well done with to get away, to dress up, to brush up on.
One quick note: In your first sentence, “to get away” is actually used as a noun so we would want to say “a get away.” How might you change the sentence to use it as a verb?
Awesome work. I love reading your sentences. ~ Annemarie