Phrasal Verbs for Emotions/Feelings

Phrasal verbs, phrasal verbs, phrasal verbs! I love phrasal verbs but I feel like most students overlook their importance. Phrasal verbs are a very important part of the English language, there are over 10,000 of them, they are often used in spoken English, and they are probably the reason why you find it so hard to understand when English speakers are talking to you. So here are 10 common phrasal verbs connected to emotions and feelings. Try to use them the next time you’re speaking English

to cheer up

Meaning: to make yourself or somebody else happy when feeling sad

E.g. ‘I took my friend to the pub last week to cheer him up after he broke up with his girlfriend

to lash out at someone

Meaning: to attack someone physically or verbally because you’ve had a bad day.

E.g. ‘My sister always lashes out at me when she is in a bad mood

to crack up

Meaning: to suddenly laugh; laugh without control because it was just so damn funny

E.g. ‘I cracked up when my sister fell down the stairs

to calm down

Meaning: to become less angry or upset

E.g. ‘I try to count down from 10 when I am angry to calm down

to choke up

Meaning: to almost cry. That moment when you want to cry but other people are around and you have to remain strong.

E.g. ‘I choked up like five times while I was watching Coco

to let someone down

Meaning: to disappoint someone.

E.g. ‘I let my friend down yesterday because it was his birthday and I forgot to message him ‘Happy Birthday’.

to grow on someone

Meaning: to gradually like something or someone; to slowly like or appreciate someone/something.

E.g. ‘It usually takes some time for people to grow on me.

to bottle up

Meaning: to not express your emotions.

E.g. ‘I know it is not healthy but I usually bottle up my feelings.

to goof off/around

Meaning: to not focus; to be silly; to watch funny cat videos on youtube when you should be doing your homework ;p.

E.g. ‘When I was at school, I was a very lazy student. I always used to goofoff/around in class.

to lighten up/loosen up

Meaning: to be less serious and more fun

E.g. ‘I wish my friend would lighten up/loosen up a little and come to the pub with me but he just wants to study all the time.

Extremely Informal Phrasal Verbs

English speakers love phrasal verbs like a fat man loves cake but they are often a problem for students as there are more than 10,000 of them and one phrasal verb can have several different meanings depending on the context.

Today we will focus on some very informal, extremely rude and wonderfully useful phrasal verbs you can use to talk about partying and relationships. However, they should only be used with friends or people you know well. You have been warned

Note: sb = somebody

to fuck up

In general, to fuck up means to make a mistake.

E.g. ‘I fucked up on my English test last week‘ or ‘I forgot my girlfriends birthday last week. I totally fucked up!

to make out

Making out with somebody is similar to kissing somebody but that kind of kiss you wouldn’t want your parents to see because, let’s face it, you wouldn’t want to see your parents make out either.

E.g. ‘Did you see Daryl making out with Hannah at the party last night?‘ or ‘I made out with a girl last night in the club

to hook up

This is something we’ve all been guilty of at some point in time, especially when we were younger. This means meeting a person, usually at a bar or a party and then at some point during the night persuading them or being persuaded to have some fun in the bedroom.

E.g. ‘Did you hook up with anyone last night?‘ or ‘I hooked up with some guy last night and had the best sex of my life.

to pick sb up

Means to go to a bar, a club, a party, etc. with the intention of meeting someone to bring back home and have sex with.

E.g. ‘Let’s go to a club tonight to pick up some girls.

to pass out

Have you ever drunk so much alcohol that you fell asleep and woke up wondering where you were and what happened? If yes, then you have definitely passed out.

E.g. ‘I was so drunk I passed out as soon as I got home

to get fucked up

Getting very, very drunk.

E.g. ‘Did you have a good time at the party? Yeah, I got really fucked up and hooked up with someone.

to sleep around

When your just not ready for the commitment of a relationship and you just want to have some fun with other fellow human beings.

E.g. ‘I used to sleep around in my twenties until I met my wife.

to feel/touch sb up

When somebody touches you/puts their hands on you in a sexual way.

E.g. ‘Some guy tried to feel me up at the club last night so I threw a drink in his face.‘ or ‘Did you have sex with that guy last night? No, I just let him feel me up.

to mess/fool around with sb

When you do sexual things with someone but not sex. You meet someone at a club, dance all night, go home with the person with the intention of sex but you’re just too tired or not as interested as you were now that you’ve sobered up. Or perhaps you just don’t feel comfortable with having sex but you want to do something; because something is always better than nothing.

E.g. ‘Did you have sex last night? No, we just messed around a little.

to hit on sb

A direct way to show your interest in someone. Some would say it’s an art form and some would say it’s just a game of numbers. Either way, it means to compliment/flirt with someone in order to have sex with that person.

E.g. ‘Are you hitting on me?‘ or ‘I’ve never been able to hit on someone. It’s too embarrassing!’

to cheat on sb

When you have sex with another person (not your boyfriend/girlfriend) while in a relationship. This is a terrible, terrible thing to do to someone but if you have done it, just know Karma is just around the corner waiting for your arse.

E.g. ‘I broke up with my boyfriend/girlfriend last year because he/she cheated on me.

to fuck with sb

When you joke with someone. Usually a friend because you want to see their face drop when they realise you are joking and you haven’t really killed their cat while they were away on holiday.

E.g. ‘Relax Adam, it’s just a joke. I was fucking with you.‘ or ‘Are you fucking with me? How did you get a flight to New York for only £19?!