Business Phrasal Verbs: 15 Phrasal Verbs and Expressions You Can Use Over Coffee
Phrasal verbs are most English learners’ worst nightmare. Unfortunately, they are so commonly used in English by fluent speakers that you’ll hear them several times in a conversation. And that’s the same for communication with proficient English speakers in a business setting. You can’t escape them!
What are phrasal verbs?
Phrasal verbs are verbs used with another word (an adverb or preposition) to create a commonly used phrase.
Phrasal verbs are idiomatic — you can’t guess the meaning of a phrasal verb by interpreting each of the words it contains literally.
For example, if you say, “I’ll look into the mirror,” you are going to direct your sight to a mirror. In this case, look into is not a phrasal verb; it’s simply a verb followed by a preposition.
On the other hand, if you say, “I don’t know what phrasal verbs are, but I’ll look into it,” you are not directing your sight into phrasal verbs—you are going to find out more about them.
How to learn and remember phrasal verbs?
My clients often ask me how best they should learn phrasal verbs and I categorically tell them that memorising a list of phrasal verbs outof context is a big NO!
What is far more effective is to learn them in context, in other words, in the different settings you find them. If the setting is familiar, the phrasal verb will be easier to understand and remember.
I prefer to teach phrasal verbs under different topics. This does three things:
1) it shows you that phrasal verbs are a normal part of English
2) it ensures you don’t get overwhelmed by too many phrasal verbs at once
3) it gives you practice using phrasal verbs in the correct context
Let’s take a look at a business meeting over coffee
Imagine this scene. Tony has arranged to meet a good client of his, Jack. Instead of meeting at their offices, they’ve decided to meet for a coffee at a nearby cafe’.
Tony: Hello Jack. Sorry for being so late. Have you been waiting long?
Jack: Not too long. About half an hour.
Jack: No problem at all. It gave me a chance to catch up with (do something that should be done) my emails. What would you like? An espresso, cappuccino or latte?