Learning phrasal verbs is definitely difficult but well worth the effort as it will undoubtedly make you sound more natural in your communications. The most important thing is to remember that it will take some time. The following are some tips that may help.
- Read and listen
When you see or hear a phrasal verb you don’t know, write it down. But don’t just write down the verb and the preposition. Write down the sentence so that you can understand the context. By learning the context in which it is used, it will be possible for you to use the phrase yourself in the future.
- Find out the meaning in that specific context.
That is where people like me come in. A native English speaker can save you time, because there is often more than one meaning for each phrasal verb, but if you don’t have one of us around, look it up in a dictionary and try to find the definition that best fits the context.
- Practice it in conversation and/or writing.
Use or lose it! Try to find out from your teacher or native English speaker if you’re using it in the correct way (a.k.a. the way native speakers do). And keep practicing!
- Study your list of phrasal verbs and continue adding to the list.
When you find a phrasal verb from your list used in a different way, write down the new example. Also, make a smaller list of your phrasal verbs to focus on a short number of them at a time, especially as your list grows. Keep the small list in your pocket, wallet, or bag and bring it out periodically throughout the day. Make a new small list every few days.