Top 5 most used phrasal verbs

top 5 most used phrasal verbs in EnglishPhoto credit:

There are loads of  phrasal verbs in English, and I’ve tried to pick those that are absolutely indispensable in everyday life. In my experience these are the most commonly used phrasal verbs, at least I hear them all the time.

1) Pop in

It means to go somewhere briefly. You usually pop into a shop, to a greengrocer’s, to a pharmacy, that kind of thing.


– Once you’re ready, it’s good to get out at least once a day, even if it’s just to pop to the local shop. A change of scene will make you feel better, while your baby benefits from fresh air (BBC).

– Why don’t you pop in and see us this afternoon? (Cambridge Online Dictionary)

2) Turn up

It has several meanings, but the most common, in my experience, are ‘to come somewhere, especially without any prior arrangement’ or ‘to happen’.


– She failed to turn up for work on Monday (MacMillan Dictionary).

– She said she’d let me know if anything new turned up (Cambridge Online Dictionary).

3) Top up

You can top up your phone, in other words, pay for it. Or you can add more water to a teapot or a cup to make it full. So, if you’re having tea in a café you can ask for a top-up. It’s something I didn’t know until I was actually offered one.


Top up with £15 for unlimited calls, texts and 100MB of data (for once text messages from my mobile operator came in handy).

– Complimentary top-up on tea and coffee (

Here’s an interesting account of the differences between ‘a top up’ (British English) and ‘a refill’ (American English).

4) Drop off / Pick up

These are really useful if you’re driving or you ask somebody to drive you somewhere. They pick you up at a certain place and then they drop you off.


– Can you drop the kids off at school this morning? (MacMillan Dictionary).

– A truck picks up the recycling once a week (Cambridge Online Dictionary).

5) Come up with

It means to think of something, such as an idea or a plan. However, I’ve written about this phrasal verb before.

P.S. And here are some links to Top 10 Phrasal Verbs and an Infographic of Most Common Phrasal Verbs.

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3 thoughts on “Top 5 most used phrasal verbs

  1. […] Top 5 most used phrasal verbs ( […]

  2. […] Top 5 most used phrasal verbs ( […]

  3. […] there’s a new word I wanted to share. The other day my husband and I popped into a supermarket to get some food to celebrate his new job (and a dream job at that!). The guy at the […]

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