In this lesson, the difference between phrasal verbs and verb phrases will be discussed. Together with this, some of the most used verbs in English will also be covered and used as examples.

Indeed, it has been mentioned that out of the parts of speech in English, verbs are probably the most essential. Basically, the nine parts of speech include nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, articles, conjunction, preposition, and interjections. Before moving forward, here is a quick guide to the other parts of speech.

The Parts of Speech

Firstly, nouns are names of persons, places, objects, or concepts. Some examples of nouns include: Kate, Charles, lion, Rio de Janeiro, love, professor, whale, Portugal, table, city, basketball, New York. Secondly, pronouns are words that are used to replace nouns. In other words, they take the place of a noun in a sentence. I, I, you, he, she, it, and they are all examples of pronouns. On the other hand, articles are words used before a noun. Words like the, a, and an are all articles.

most used verbs in english
This sentence contains every element of the parts of speech. Well, almost…

Then, we have adjectives and adverbs. Adjectives are words that describe nouns or pronouns; while adverbs are words that describe verbs, adjectives, and even other adverbs. Some examples of adjectives include: pretty, smart, huge, angry, young, smooth, delicious, bitter, cold, and tiny. Meanwhile, carefully, only, quietly, neatly, sweetly, almost, very, quickly, gently, and seductively are all examples of adverbs.

Next, we have conjunctions, prepositions, and interjections. Conjunctions connect words in a sentence with each other. Meanwhile, prepositions relate nouns or pronouns with other words. And lastly, interjections are words used to express emotion. Some examples of conjunctions include: and, but, for, and yet. While words like about, beneath, toward, and upon are all prepositions. Finally, words like ouch, wow, and oh are all interjections.

Most Used Verbs in English

Before moving forward, here is a list of some of the most used verbs in English. For English language learners, it would be very useful to take note of these following words and their meanings for example:

  • ask: As in, “Can I ask you a question?”
  • call: As in, “Feel free to give me a call.”
  • come: As in, “Come closer so I can see you better.”
  • feel: As in, “I just want to feel real love.”
  • find: As in, “Let us go find some treasure!”
  • get: As in, “Go get me a sandwich.”
  • give: As in, “We should give to those in need.”
  • go: As in, “Let us go to the mall!”
  • know: As in, “Do you know how to drive?”
  • leave: As in, “Just leave in the morning.”
  • look: As in, “Look at this beautiful dress.”
  • make: As in, “I make wedding cakes for a living.”
  • put: As in, “Put your hand on my shoulder.”
  • say: As in, “I do not know what to say.”
  • see: As in, “Come see me tomorrow.”
  • seem: As in, “The sky seems dark today.”
  • take: As in, “Please take me with you.”
  • tell: As in, “Do not tell me what to do.”
  • think: As in, “I think I am in love with you.”
  • try: As in, “Try to understand each other.”
  • use: As in, “Try to use salt in your cooking.”
  • want: As in, “I want to be famous!”
  • work: As in, “Work hard to succeed.”

Phrasal Verbs vs Verb Phrases

Now that some of the most used verbs in English have been discussed, it is time to move on to the main focus of this lesson – phrasal verbs and verb phrases.

Phrasal verbs and verb phrases may sound alike, but the truth is, they are two different concepts. Firstly, a phrasal verb is a verb that contains a verb and a preposition. Phrasal verbs usually contain some of the most used verbs in English. The meaning of phrasal verbs changes dramatically based on the preposition used. In fact, the addition of these prepositions often gives the verb an idiomatic meaning. In other words, it gives the verb a meaning that is far from what it originally means. On the other hand, a verb phrase is a group of words that contain a verb plus auxiliaries. The predicate of a sentence is usually made up of a verb phrase.

Using some of the most used verbs in English, here are some examples:

Most Used Verbs in English: Phrasal Verbs

The verb “get” is one of the most used verbs in English. It is also one of the most common phrasal verbs. Take note of the different uses of the verb “get” based on different prepositions:

get around – means “to convince someone to do something that they do not want to do.”

  • As I have said, I finally got around to asking my father for some money.

get out – means “for a secret or something confidential to become known.”

  • This time, none of the employees knew how the news got out.

get over  – means “to finally move on from something.”

  • It took a while for Sandra to finally get over her breakup with Ben.

get to – means “to annoy or anger someone through actions.”

  • Do not let the baby’s cries get to you, you will be fine.

get up – means “to rise from the bed, or from lying down.”

  • Get up! You have been sleeping for twenty hours!
most used verbs in english

The verb “put” is another of the most used verbs in English common to phrasal verbs. Take note of the different uses of the verb “put” based on different prepositions:

put off – means “to procrastinate.”

  • She put off going to the doctor because of a prior appointment.

put out – means “to extinguish a light source.”

  • It is almost midnight, time to put out the fire and go to bed.

put up – means “to tolerate an annoying behavior.”

  • I cannot continue to put up with Jessica’s constant snoring!

Most Used Verbs in English: Verb Phrases

Unlike phrasal verbs, verb phrases are relatively easy to form. In fact, any verb can form a verb phrase. Just take a look at the following examples with some of the most used verbs in English:

Call the police later

Feel the heat soon

Know how it feels

Make some magic instead

Look to the left (Note: Although look is followed by the preposition to, this is not a phrasal verb because the meaning of the verb is unchanged.)

Take some time 

Think about it later

Work with him eventually

In conclusion, knowing the difference between phrasal verbs and verb phrases can be confusing. But with constant use and practice, mastering the difference between these two is not impossible to do. Can you think of other phrasal verbs? Do share them with us in the comments.

Additionally, want to know how well you grasped the difference between phrasal verbs and verb phrases? Take this short quiz to find out.

If you’re heading to the market, you have to dress down completely.In this sentence, "dress down completely" is a?

Correct! Wrong!

The papers were handed to the class by the class beagle.In this sentence, “handed to the class” is a?

Correct! Wrong!

Chris carelessly put on his trousers.In this sentence, “put on his trousers” is a?

Correct! Wrong!

The baby broke out into laughter.In this sentence, “broke out into laughter” is a?

Correct! Wrong!

She is reading a book.In this sentence, “is reading a book” is a?

Correct! Wrong!