10 Phrasal Verbs in Conversation

pull off / pull through

“Congratulations on finishing the marathon!”

“Thanks! I can’t believe I pulled it off.

“Did you find it difficult?”

“My legs started hurting during the last five miles – but all the people cheering us on definitely helped me pull through the pain and reach the finish line.”

pull off (an accomplishment) = To succeed in doing something despite difficulties or obstacles.

pull through (a difficulty) = To continue through a difficulty

“Pull off” refers to the success; “pull through” refers to the difficulty.

  • I pulled off an 85% on the test even though I didn’t study!
  • Listening to music helped me pull through my depression.

run into / run out of

“Have you seen Jerry lately?”

“Yes, actually, I ran into him at the supermarket yesterday.”

“Oh, really?”

“Yup. My wife sent me to the store because we had run out of sugar. I saw Jerry in the checkout line and we chatted for a few minutes.”

run into = meet someone by chance (without planning)

run out of = when you don’t have any more of something

  • I ran into a former teacher of mine at the concert.
  • Oh no – we’ve run out of toilet paper! Can you go buy some more?

take up / keep up

“You look fantastic! Have you been working out? (= exercising)

“Yes, actually I’ve taken up yoga. I started classes last month, and I love it!”

“That’s great! Keep it up – it’s really good for your health.”

take up = to start doing something

keep up = to continue doing something

  • I’m thinking about taking up guitar – I’d like to learn how to play a musical instrument.
  • Your English is improving. Keep up the good work!

put away / throw away

“Where are the papers that were on the table? Did you put them away?”

“I threw them away. Why, were they important?”

“Yes! It was my English homework. Now I’ll have to do it over again.”

put away = put something in its place

throw away (or “throw out”) = throw something in the garbage / trash

  • My kids leave their toys all over the floor, and I have to put them away.
  • I threw away the leftover pizza. Nobody had eaten it and it was starting to go bad.

get along (with) / get over

“It took me a really long time to get over my last breakup. (= end of a romantic relationship). I thought he was the man I was going to marry, but then he dumped me and started dating my sister.”

“Ouch. Do you get along with him now?”

“Not really. We say hi to each other, but I can’t talk to him because it makes me too angry.”

get over = recover from something emotionally

get along (with) = have a good relationship

  • It took me years to get over the disappointment of being rejected from Harvard University.
  • My brother and I get along really well. I can’t even remember the last time we had a fight.

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