If you are a non-native English speaker and want to migrate abroad to study or work, you must be aware of the IELTS exam. 

And to ace the IELTS exam with a good band score, the best way is to improve your grammar. 

Although there is no specific module for grammar in the IELTS exam, it is helpful in every module of the test.

A very important and useful concept of grammar that can be very helpful in securing high band scores in the IELTS exam is “Phrasal Verbs.”

I have created this blog to help students get the best IELTS Phrasal Verbs to secure high band scores.
You will get everything you must know about Phrasal Verbs, including definitions, rules, and useful Phrasal Verbs with examples.

So let’s get started!

What Are Phrasal Verbs?

Phrasal verbs are nothing but just groups of words that show action. The Phrasal Verbs include a verb followed by a particle, which can be an adverb or a preposition.

For example: 

  • Rahul got on the train.
  • Ram and Shaam are looking forward to starting their own business.

The Phrasal Verbs are used just like the regular verbs in a sentence. We can use them in the IELTS speaking module to secure high band scores.

But to use Phrasal Verbs for the IELTS exam, you must know some rules for using them in your speaking.

Rules To Know About IELTS Phrasal Verbs

Here are some rules for Phrasal Verbs to use in sentences in the IELTS exam without making mistakes so you wouldn’t lose any band score. 

Separable and Inseparable Phrasal Verbs: Phrasal verbs can be classified as separable or inseparable. Separable Phrasal verbs have the verb and the particle (preposition or adverb) that follows it separable by the object. 

For example:

  • She turned on the light. (Separable)

Inseparable Phrasal verbs have the verb and the particle that follows it always together, with no object separating them. 

For example:

  • He ran out of money. (Inseparable)

Particle Placement: When using a separable phrasal verb, the particle can be placed before or after the object. However, when the object is a pronoun, the particle must come after it. So before using the IELTS phrasal verbs, you must know this rule.

For example:

  • He picked up the book. (Particle before the object)
  • He picked it up. (Particle after the object, pronoun)

Verb and Particle Agreement: The verb determines the particle (preposition or adverb) used in a phrasal verb. Different verbs can take different particles to create different phrasal verbs. 

For example:

  • Look up (to search for information)
  • Look after (to take care of)

Multiple Meanings: Phrasal verbs often have multiple meanings depending on the context. It’s essential to consider the context to understand the intended meaning. 

For example:

  • Turn off the TV. (Switch off)
  • Turn off the main road. (Take a different road)

Idiomatic Usage: Phrasal verbs can have idiomatic meanings that might not be noticeable from the particular words’ definitions. Learning the idiomatic usage of phrasal verbs is crucial to use them correctly. 

For example:

  • Break up (end a relationship)
  • Break down (stop working)

Formal vs. Informal Usage: Phrasal verbs are commonly used in spoken and informal English. Using their formal equivalents (single-word verbs) is preferable in formal writing or professional contexts. As in IELTS writing, you have to write the IELTS Academic writing in a formal tone, so you should avoid IELTS phrasal verbs in the writing module.

For example:

  • Informal: Find out (phrasal verb)
  • Formal: Discover (single-word verb)

Now that you know the rules to use phrasal verbs in the IELTS exam, here are some phrasal verbs that you can use to secure good marks in the IELTS exam.

IELTS Phrasal Verbs

Here, you will get the best phrasal verbs that you can use as vocabulary in the IELTS exam to improve your usage of lexical resources to score high bands.

Phrasal VerbMeaningExample
Break downto stop working or functioningMy car broke down when I went to Delhi last week.
Call offto cancel or postponeThey had to call off yesterday’s game due to the bad weather.
Carry onto continue or proceedYou have to carry on your work when I am gone.
Come acrossto find or encounter by chanceI come across our old photo while cleaning up the drawer.
Cut offto disconnect or isolateThe thunderstorm cut off the electricity in our area.
Fall apartto break into pieces or deteriorateDue to a misunderstanding, my friend’s family fall apart.
Figure out to understand or solve a problemIt is easy to figure out how to solve this puzzle.
Get alongto have a harmonious relationshipNo matter how much we fight, we always get along.
Give upto surrender or stop tryingNo matter how hard the situation is, you should never give up.
Go onto continueWe should go on in our life despise all issues.
Hang outto spend time together casuallyLet’s hang out today.
Keep upto maintain It is necessary to keep up according to the latest trend.
Look forward toanticipating with pleasureI am looking forward to my cousin’s marriage next month.
Make upto reconcileRam and Shaam fought in the morning but quickly made up before dusk.
Put offto postpone or delayWe should never put off our work until the last minute.
Run outto deplete or exhaust the supplyYesterday, I had some guests, and when I opened the fridge, I found that I had run out of milk.
Set upto establish or arrangeRam helps Mohan to set up his new business.
Take offto leave the ground (for an aircraft) or to become successful quicklyPlease wear your seat belt, we will take off in 5 minutes. (announcement in the plane)
Turn onto activate or startYou should turn on the lights now as it is getting dark.
Wake upto rouse from sleepWe should wake up early in the morning.
Bring upto raise or mention a topicAs both of my parents are working so I was brought up by my grandparents.
Check outto examine or investigateWe must check out the food of the new restaurant in our town.
Dress upto wear formal or fancy clothingWe are going to a party, so let’s dress up quickly.
Fall asleepto start sleepingAfter playing the whole day, the baby falls asleep immediately after hitting the bed.
Give into yield or surrenderAfter the pressure from everyone, Mohan finally gives in.
Go over to review or examine thoroughlyThe doctor said let’s go over your reports once again.
Hold onto wait or pauseYou should hold on a bit more until our boss comes in.
Keep onto continue doing somethingYou will improve your skills if you keep on practicing.
Look afterto take care of or be responsible forI have earned huge money by looking after my neighbor’s children.
Make outto understand or perceiveIt is hard to make out what you are saying because your voice is unclear.
Pick upto collect or acquireCan you pick up a parcel for me on your way home?
Settle downto establish a stable or permanent lifestyleIt’s time for you to do married and settle down.
Take onto accept or undertake a task or responsibilityOur business is now stable so we should look up to take on new employees.
Turn off to deactivate or switch offYou must turn off the lights before leaving the room.
Wake upto become fully awakeIt is hard for me to wake up in the morning without bed tea.
Break upto end a relationshipThey decided to break up over a silly argument.
Carry outto perform or complete a taskTo collect the data it is important to carry out the research.
Come up withto create or produce (an idea, solution, etc.)Ram comes up with an amazing idea for his start-up.
Cut outto remove or eliminateFor a healthy life, you must cut out junk food.
Fall behindto fail to keep up with othersDue to bad health, I fell behind in my study, so I need to catch up now.
Get overto recover from or move on from a setback or lossIt was a hard time for me, so it takes a while to get over it.
Give awayto donate something for freeI have decided to give away my old furniture.
Go throughto undergo or experienceBefore boarding the plane, it is compulsion to go through security.
Hold upto delay or hinderWe must hold on to our meeting because I got stuck in a traffic jam.
Look upto search for information in a reference sourceTo learn new vocabulary for IELTS, you must look up the meaning of the unfamiliar words in the dictionary.

These are the best IELTS phrasal verbs that students can use to get a good band score in the IELTS exam. 

Also read: IELTS Vocabulary pdf

Also read: IELTS Vocabulary Books


The phrasal verbs in the IELTS speaking test act as the vocabulary that is helpful for you to complete the requirement of lexical resources.
To help students, I have mentioned 45 IELTS phrasal verbs in this blog. Students must use these phrasal verbs in their speaking and avoid using them in their IELTS writing module.

For easy understanding of the phrasal verbs usage in the IELTS, I have also mentioned some rules students must follow.

I hope this blog has cleared all your all queries about IELTS phrasal verbs, and if you still have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact our experts.

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FAQs (IELTS Phrasal Verbs)

Why are phrasal verbs important for the IELTS exam?

Phrasal verbs improve your language proficiency, showing a deeper understanding of English vocabulary and improving your overall score.

How can I effectively learn and remember IELTS phrasal verbs?

Practice regularly with context-based exercises, create flashcards, and engage yourself in English materials to strengthen your understanding and retention.