17 New English Phrasal Verbs for 2017

Jan 11, 2017 | Advanced Vocabulary, Phrasal Verbs

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:

  1. How did you celebrate your new year? Share some of your celebrations and traditions below.
  2. 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!

~ Annemarie

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