Phrasal Verbs ESL Games, Activities and Worksheets

Don't say it!

ESL Phrasal Verbs Game - Listening and Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 20 minutes

In this phrasal verbs speaking activity, students play a game where they describe and guess phrasal verbs. Divide the students into pairs (A and B) and give each student a corresponding worksheet. Students take it in turns to describe the phrasal verbs in bold on the worksheet to their partner, but they cannot use any of the words in italics or variations of the words in their descriptions. Their partner then tries to guess the phrasal verb being described. For each correct guess, students score a point. The student with the most points at the end of the game wins.
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Find Someone Who...

ESL Phrasal Verbs Activity - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 25 minutes

In this communicative phrasal verbs activity, students ask and answer questions that contain phrasal verbs. Give each student a copy of the worksheet. Students begin by reviewing the phrasal verbs on the worksheet and preparing the questions they need to ask in order to do the activity. Students then go around the class, asking each other the questions, e.g. 'Are you eating out tonight?' When a student finds someone who answers 'yes' to a question, the student writes down their name and asks a follow-up question to gain more information, noting down the answer in the last column of the worksheet. When everyone has finished, the students give feedback to the rest of the class on what they found out and students review the meaning of each phrasal verb.
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Phrasal Verbs Race

ESL Phrasal Verbs Game - Reading and Writing Activity - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 30 minutes

In this phrasal verbs game, students race to make phrasal verbs with a specific verb and write each phrasal verb in a sentence. Divide the students into teams of three. Write a verb on the board, e.g. take. The teams then have five minutes to make phrasal verbs from the verb on the board and write each phrasal verb in a sentence, e.g. 'I had to take my shirt back to the clothes shop, because it was the wrong size'. When the time limit has been reached, the teams swap papers for marking. For each grammatically correct sentence that conveys the meaning of the phrasal verb, teams score one point. Play several rounds using a different verb each time. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins.
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Phrasal Verbs with Take, Go, Come and Get

ESL Phrasal Verbs Worksheet - Reading, Writing and Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 60 minutes

This free phrasal verbs worksheet helps students to learn and practice phrasal verbs with take, go, come and get. The worksheet also helps students to understand what phrasal verbs are and how to use them. Give each student a copy of the two-page worksheet. Read the introduction on phrasal verbs with the class. The students begin by learning 16 phrasal verbs with take, go, come and get. The students complete each set of sentences with the verb in the box and a preposition to make a phrasal verb. Students write the phrasal verbs in the spaces provided in their correct form. There are words in brackets at the end of the sentence that describe the meaning of the phrasal verb to help them. Next, divide the students into pairs. Working with their partner, students take it in turns to test each other on the phrasal verbs by reading a sentence using the words in brackets instead of the phrasal verb. Their partner then tries to remember the correct phrasal verb. Next, students choose four of the phrasal verbs and use them in their own example sentences. The students then read each sentence to their partner, leaving the phrasal verb out for them to guess. After that, students think of other prepositions they can place after 'take', 'go', 'come' and 'get' to make phrasal verbs. Students write down the meaning of each phrasal verb and use it in a sentence. Finally, have the students compare their phrasal verbs and write down any they are unfamiliar with.
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Story Time

ESL Phrasal Verbs Game - Listening and Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 15 minutes

This amusing chain game can be used to practice phrasal verbs. The students sit together in a circle. Begin a story by saying a sentence that includes a phrasal verb, e.g. 'I walked down the street'. The first student repeats the sentence and continues the story by adding a sentence containing a phrasal verb, e.g. 'I walked down the street and went into the corner shop'. The game continues with each student in turn trying to remember what was said and then adding a sentence containing a phrasal verb to continue the story. Students are out of the game if they cannot think of a continuation to the story using a phrasal verb, forget what was said or take too long to answer. The last student left standing wins the game.
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The Get Report

ESL Phrasal Verbs with Get Activity - Reading, Listening and Speaking - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 40 minutes

In this phrasal verbs speaking activity, students ask and answer questions containing phrasal verbs with 'get'. Give each group of four a set of cards, which they shuffle and place face down in a pile on the table. Students take it in turns to pick up a card and ask the questions on the card to the group. Each group member then answers the questions in turn and the students discuss the topic. The student with the card writes down the group members' responses on the back of the card. When the topic has been fully discussed, the next student picks up a card and so on. When everyone has finished, the groups report back their answers for each question in turn.
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What's the Phrasal Verb?

ESL Phrasal Verbs Activity - Reading and Writing - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 30 minutes

In this useful phrasal verbs activity, students share their knowledge of phrasal verbs they already know as well as learn new phrasal verbs from other students. Give each student a copy of the worksheet. Students begin by writing 12 prepositions in the preposition column on the worksheet. Students then write a sentence using each preposition in a phrasal verb, leaving the verbs missing for another student to complete, e.g. 'I ...... on the lights when it gets dark'. Next, collect in the worksheets and redistribute them, so each student has someone else's worksheet. The students read each sentence on their classmate's worksheet and try to guess the missing verb. The students write the missing verbs in the verb column at the top of the worksheet. Afterwards, students hand the worksheet back to their classmate for marking. That person checks the student's work and gives feedback on any wrong answers.
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Acting out

ESL Phrasal Verbs Game - Miming and Speaking Activity - Intermediate (B1) - 25 minutes

Here is a free phrasal verbs miming game to help students review some commonly used phrasal verbs. Divide the class into two teams (A and B). A player from Team A comes to the front of the class. Give the player a mime card. The player reads out the introduction on the card, which tells the teams what information they are looking for, e.g. 'You are looking for a place and two phrasal verbs'. The player then performs the mime on the card. Team A has two minutes to guess the information they are looking for. If Team A does this successfully, they score two points. If Team A hasn't guessed successfully after two minutes, Team B can try to answer for one point. Afterwards, a student from Team B comes to the front of the class and so on. This continues with teams taking it in turns to mime until all the cards have been used. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins. As an alternative, students can play the game in competing pairs or small teams.
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Change it

ESL Phrasal Verbs Game - Reading, Listening and Speaking Activity - Intermediate (B1) - 25 minutes

In this engaging phrasal verbs guessing game, students guess phrasal verbs from sentences that describe their meaning. Give each pair of students a set of cards, which they shuffle and place face down in a pile on the desk. Students take it in turns to pick up a card from the top of the pile. The student then reads the first sentence on the card to their partner, signalling the words in bold with quotation marks. The words in bold in the sentence describe the phrasal verb. Their partner then reads the sentence back to the student, changing the words in bold to the phrasal verb. If their partner says the correct phrasal verb, he or she keeps the card. If not, the card is placed at the bottom of the pile. The game continues until all the cards have been used. The student with the most cards at the end of the game wins.
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Come up with it

ESL Phrasal Verbs with Come Game- Reading and Matching Activity - Intermediate (B1) - 20 minutes

In this phrasal verbs with 'come' game, students complete sentences with phrasal verbs that include the word 'come'. Give each pair of students a set of cards. The students shuffle the cards and spread them out face down on the table. The students then take it in turns to turn over two cards, a large card containing a sentence and a small card that shows a phrasal verb with 'come'. If a student turns over the phrasal verb that correctly completes the sentence, the student reads out the completed sentence and keeps the cards. The student then has another turn. If the cards don't match, the student turns them back over, keeping them in the same place. The game continues until all the cards have been matched. The student with the most cards at the end of the game wins. Finally, go through the correct answers with the class. As a variation, students can play the game with a points system, scoring one point for each correct match. The students then score an extra point by making their own sentence with the phrasal verb that demonstrates the meaning.
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Come up with some questions

ESL Three-Part Phrasal Verbs Activity - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking - Intermediate (B1) - 40 minutes

In this three-part phrasal verbs activity, students think of three-part phrasal verbs and write questions with them. The students then ask and answer the questions with their classmates. Give each student a copy of the worksheet. Students begin by replacing the underlined words in the questions on the worksheet with three-part phrasal verbs that have the same meaning. They do this by choosing one word from each box in order, e.g. 'Who do you look up to the most?' After the answers have been checked, divide the students into pairs. Working with their partner, students use the words in the boxes to make 11 more three-part phrasal verbs and write a question for each one. When the students have finished, they ask their questions to three classmates. The students write each classmate's name at the top of one of the columns on the worksheet and put their answers underneath. Afterwards, review the three-part phrasal verbs and their meanings with the class. The students then report back and discuss their findings.
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Copy me

ESL Phrasal Verbs and Idioms Game - Reading and Writing Activity - Intermediate (B1) - 40 minutes

Here is a fun phrasal verbs game to help students practice the meaning of various phrasal verbs and idioms. Divide the class into two teams. Each team nominates someone from their group to be the first player. The two players go to the front of the class and sit facing their teams. Next, give each student a copy of the worksheet. Everyone in the class then answers the first question on their worksheet. The question contains either a phrasal verb or an idiom. When everyone has finished writing, the teacher reads out the first question, i.e. 'something that might take time to get over'. The two players at the front then read out or show their answers followed by the team members. Teams score one point for each answer that matches their player's answer. The players then swap with someone from their team. This process is repeated until the worksheet is complete. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins.
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Get Acquainted

ESL Phrasal Verbs with Get Activity - Listening and Speaking - Intermediate (B1) - 30 minutes

In this phrasal verbs speaking activity, students ask and answer questions containing phrasal verbs with 'get'. Give each student a question slip. The student's task is to find out the information on their card by speaking to everyone in the class. Each student goes around the class asking their question and noting down the most common or interesting answers on the back of the slip. When everyone has finished, students report back to the class on what they found out.
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Phrasal Verb Jeopardy

ESL Phrasal Verbs Quiz Game - Listening and Speaking Activity - Intermediate (B1) - 30 minutes

In this free phrasal verbs quiz game, students guess phrasal verbs from their definitions. Divide the students into four teams. Draw a grid on the board with points at the top and verbs down the side. The students then play a quiz game by guessing phrasal verbs from their definitions. The first student to raise their hand and give the correct phrasal verb wins that square for their team and the amount of points in the square. The winning team gets to choose the next square. However, any team can try to guess the phrasal verb. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins. As a variation, when a student answers correctly, the winning team tries to make a sentence with the phrasal verb. If they do this successfully, the points for the square are doubled.
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Phrasal Verbs with Get

ESL Phrasal Verbs with Get Worksheet - Reading, Writing and Speaking Activity - Intermediate (B1) - 20 minutes

In this phrasal verbs worksheet, students learn and practice phrasal verbs with 'get'. Give each student a copy of the worksheet. The students begin by completing sentences with prepositions to make phrasal verbs with 'get'. Following that, the students match the sentences from the first exercise with sentences that have similar meanings. Afterwards, divide the students into pairs. The students then ask and answer questions with their partner to practice the phrasal verbs with 'get' from the worksheet.
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Interactive Version - Here is a phrasal verbs interactive worksheet to help students learn phrasal verbs with 'get'.

 

Phrasal Verbs with Up

ESL Phrasal Verbs with Up Activity - Reading and Writing - Intermediate (B1) - 20 minutes

This free phrasal verbs crossword activity helps students to practice phrasal verbs with 'up'. Give each student a copy of the worksheet. The students write verbs in the sentences on the worksheet to make phrasal verbs with 'up' and complete a crossword with the missing verbs. When the students have finished, check the answers with the class and review the meanings of the phrasal verbs.
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img_interactive img_notes

Interactive Version - In this free phrasal verbs with 'up' interactive worksheet, students do a crossword and gap-fill exercise to learn phrasal verbs that go with 'up'.

 

Take It As It Comes

ESL Phrasal Verbs with Take Game - Reading, Listening and Speaking Activity - Intermediate (B1) - 25 minutes

In this phrasal verbs with take board game, students listen to sentences and rephrase them with phrasal verbs. Give each group of three or four a copy of the game board, a set of cards, counters and a dice. The students shuffle the cards and place them face down in a pile on the table. Players take it in turns to roll the dice and move their counter along the board. When a player lands on a 'Take' square, the student to their right picks up a card and reads the top sentence to the player, e.g. 'My telephone rang while I was putting the rubbish outside'. The player listens to the sentence and then uses a suitable phrasal verb with 'take' shown on the game board to rephrase the sentence, changing the form of the phrasal verb as needed, e.g. 'My telephone rang while I was taking out the rubbish'. If the player uses the correct phrasal verb and rephrases the sentence, keeping the meaning of the original sentence intact, they move forward one space. If they answer incorrectly, they move back one space. The first player to reach the finish is the winner.
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Three-Part Phrasal Verbs

ESL Three-Word Phrasal Verbs Worksheet - Reading and Writing Exercises - Intermediate (B1) - 30 minutes

In this three-part phrasal verbs worksheet, students learn the meanings of 12 three-part phrasal verbs and practice using them. Give each student a copy of the two-page worksheet. Students start by putting a conversation between two people in the correct order. Next, students read the three-part phrasal verbs in bold from the conversation to guess their meanings and then match each phrasal verb with a definition. After that, students complete a second conversation with three-part phrasal verbs from a box, changing the verb forms if necessary. In the last exercise, students see if they can remember the 12 three-part phrasal verbs by combining words together without looking at the rest of the worksheet.
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Interactive Version - In this three-part phrasal verbs interactive worksheet, students learn 12 phrasal verbs that contain three words.

 

Use Them Up

ESL Phrasal Verbs with Up Game - Speaking Activity - Intermediate (B1) - 35 minutes

In this phrasal verbs with up game, students talk about various topics and try to use phrasal verbs with 'up' in their conversations. Give each group of three a set of picture cards and a set of phrasal verb with 'up' cards. The students shuffle the picture cards and place them face down in a pile on the desk. The phrasal verb cards are shuffled and four cards are dealt to each student. The top picture card is turned over for everyone to see and the students look at the phrasal verb cards in their hand. The students then start talking about the topic on the picture card. The aim of the game is to be the first person to use all their phrasal verbs with 'up' in the conversation. When someone uses a phrasal verb appropriately, they put the card down on the desk. The first student to use all four phrasal verbs wins the round and keeps the picture card. The students then collect in the phrasal verb cards, shuffle and deal them out. The next picture card is turned over and the group plays again. This continues until there are no more picture cards left. The student with the most picture cards at the end of the game wins.
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