Phrasal verb: hang out

  1. hang out (with someone)
    Meaning: spend time relaxing (informal)
    Example: Let’s hang out at my apartment tonight.  We can order some food and watch a movie.

The following is a funny article from The Onion, a satirical publication in the United States:,1800/

There are a lot of phrasal verbs and slang in the article!  Do you know what they all mean?

buckle down: to concentrate on a task with determination

shape up: to improve

goof off: to joke around or misbehave

kick back: to relax

screw/mess around: to joke around or misbehave

hook up: to become romantically or sexually involved with someone

flip out: to panic

get down: to lose one’s inhibitions—to enjoy oneself

jam away: to listen to or play music in a spontaneous way

take up: to join a new activity

straighten tight: to set priorities

bust forward: to move forward towards a goal

Phrasal verb: turn off / turn on

  1. turn something off
    Transitive, Separable
    to stop the energy, to deactivate
    Example: Please turn off the television and do your homework.


         turn something on
         Transitive, Separable
         Meaning: to activate, to start the energy
         Example: Turn on the lights.  I can’t see anything!


Did you know that the average American turns the TV on for four hours a day?  How   often do you watch television?  What’s your favorite television show?

Phrasal verb: take off

  1. take off
    Meaning: start to fly, depart
    Example: Oh no, I’m going to be late.  My plane takes off in thirty minutes!

         take something off
         Transitive, Separable
         Meaning: remove something
         Example: It is polite to take off your shoes when you enter someone’s house.


Did you know that in China and Japan it is normal for the host to provide slippers for their guests to put on after they take off their shoes?  Additionally, when using a restroom, house slippers are taken off and a different pair, just for the restroom should be used.


In Ethiopia, the Orthodox people don’t wear their shoes when they enter a church to show respect to God.  In a similar way, Muslim people also take off their shoes when they enter a Mosque.


In the United States, some people prefer to have guests take their shoes off when entering the house.  It is always a good idea to ask your host, just in case.

Phrasal verb: get up

  1. get up
    Meaning: get out of bed
    Example: I got up early today to study for my exam.

    When I was a child I used to sleep walk.  I would get up in the middle of the night and roam around the house until my parents heard me and told me to go back to bed.  Unlike the movies, sleepwalkers do not walk with their hands extended in front of them.  In the morning I would have no recollection of anything. Once I even sleep walked in a hotel!  Have you ever sleep walked?

Meaning: stand
         Example: Everyone got up when the judge entered the courtroom.

Phrasal verb: cut back on

  1. cut back on something
    Transitive, Inseparable
    Meaning: consume less
    Example: My doctor suggested I cut back on alcohol.

Did you know that 63% of adults in the United States are either overweight or obese?

In 1970, Americans spent about $6 billion on fast food. Nowadays the spending is nearly $150 billion.  Maybe we need to cut back on fast food!