Three Phrasal Verbs With “Work”.

Work, work, work! Learning a language needs a lot of that!  But I like to help you use your time effectively – remember, my blog doesn’t only promote passive language-learning through reading, but also helps you actively learn something specific in each article.

Work, work, work!

Learning a language needs a lot of that!  But I like to help you use your time effectively – remember, my blog doesn’t only promote passive language-learning through reading, but also helps you actively learn something specific in each article.

In this blog post, I’m helping you widen your vocabulary with some phrasal verbs.  I find that the most effective way to learn phrasal verbs is just a few at a time, keeping the verb the same while adding different particles.  So, there are only three for you to remember today! I’ve got more tips to help you learn phrasal verbs in another post.

Another helpful way to help you learn new any words and phrases is to keep a common link between them.  With this in mind, the link I’m using today is “work”.  In this post, I’m giving you some phrasal verbs for use on and off the job*.

What are you working on right now?  If you are working on something, this is your project.  It may take some time to complete:  by using “on”, we understand that this is a long-term thing and probably won’t be finished quickly.  Here are some examples:

-Kate is working on a really difficult project and it’s taking all her time and energy.

-“We need to find out everything we can about the problem before next week’s meeting”.

“Don’t worry, I’ll work on it”.

If your latest project is proving quite stressful, you may be worked up at the moment.  This is a common way to describe someone who is showing signs of stress, worry, or even annoyance.  It doesn’t describe someone’s character though; it’s more like a temporary feeling, or reaction. So you could say:

-She is normally such a quiet child but today she got really worked up about something before dinner!

But you wouldn’t use it like this:

-I would describe him as an over-confident man and quite worked up (you’d need to say “excitable/highly-strung” as a more suitable alternative).

Finally, after a hard day at the office, do you like to go to the gym to work off the stress of the day? Or do you know anyone who rushes to a second job because they need to work off some debts? We use the phrasal verb “to work off” to talk about offsetting one action or state with another.  So, I go to the gym – I lower my stress. I have a second job – I lower my debts. The most common things we work off are:

  • stress
  • debts
  • energy

Let me know what you are working on at the moment.  Are you getting worked up about it or are you getting a lot of enjoyment from it?  Hopefully you don’t need to work off any stress!

*an idiom that, in this context, means “while working” (on the job) and “while not working” (off the job).

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