As you know, native speakers of English tend to use a lot of phrasal verbs (sometimes called prepositional, multi-word verb, verbs) in everyday spoken English. In fact, this is quite frustrating for students who often have learned one-word verbs during their English studies and then are confronted with an English speaking world where people usually favor phrasal verbs in daily discourse. If you are unfamiliar with phrasal verbs, this guide to what are phrasal verbs explains everything. Teachers can use this introducing phrasal verbs lesson plan to help students become more familiar with phrasal verbs and start building phrasal verb vocabulary. Finally, there are a wide variety of phrasal verb resources on the site to help you learn new phrasal verbs and test your understanding with quizzes.
I'd like to focus on a few specific areas in which these phrasal verbs are commonly used. This page focuses on an area of great interest to all of us: MONEY. For a reference list of phrasal verbs please refer to my phrasal verb reference chart.
Phrasal Verbs about Money
Spending Money -
lay out - to spend money. especially a large amount
splash out - to spend a lot of money on something you don't need, but is very pleasant
run up - to create a large debt
fork out, fork over - to pay for something, usually something you would rather not have to pay for.
shell out - to pay for something, usually something you would rather not have to pay for.
cough up - to provide money for something you do not want to
Having Just Enough Money -
get by - to have just enough money for your needs
scrape by - to manage to live on very little money
Helping Someone with Money -
bail out - to help a person or organization out of a difficult situation
tide over - to help someone with money for a period of time until they have enough
Paying Debts -
pay back - to return money owed to someone
pay off - to finish paying all money that is owed
Saving Money -
save up - to keep money for a large expense in the future
put aside - to save money for a specific purpose
Using Saved Money -
dip into - to spend part of your saved money
break into - to start to use money that you have saved
Here is a practice dialogue using some of the above vocabulary.
Well, last week I finally dipped into that money that I had been putting aside for the past year and a half. I decided that I should really enjoy myself so I splashed out and had a great meal at Andy's. Next, I went to Macys on Saturday and laid out $400 for that suit I'd told you about. Of course, I used a great deal of what I had saved up to pay back that bill I had run up on my Visa card. It feels great to finally have some money after all those years of scraping by. Thanks again for tiding me over during that long winter of '05. I don't think I would have got by without your bailing me out.Unfortunately, I also had to cough up about $250 in insurance costs. Oh well, I guess shelling out the cash for those things is just as necessary as anything else...
One last tip
Make sure that when you are studying new verbs in the dictionary to read the entire entry. Don't just learn the main verb; take time to look at the phrasal verbs that are constructed using the verb. This will save you a lot of time in the long run. Believe me, if you haven't been to an English speaking country, chances are that one of the biggest difficulties for you will be understanding phrasal verb usage. If you already live in a country where English is the primary language you certainly have already experienced this.
Test your understanding with the phrasal verbs about money quiz.