Learn 20 intransitive PHRASAL VERBS in English


All right.

Hey, everyone.

I'm Alex.

Thanks for clicking, and welcome to this lesson on "20 Intransitive Phrasal Verbs".

"Intransitive", this means these phrasal verbs do not have objects.

Now, some examples of transitive phrasal verbs are, for example: "My friend opened up a business."

This means...

"Business" is an object, my friend opened it, and he opened up a business.

"I will call you back", "you" are the object and I will call you back, so these two examples:

"Open up a business", "Call someone back", they both have objects which means they are


These phrasal verbs don't have objects, no objects, they just exist by themselves.

They don't need an object after.


So, let's look at the first 10.

First: "break down".

"My car broke down."

So, here, this means that your car stopped working.

Now, you can't say, like: "My car broke down", you know, something else, like if I ran over

a motorcycle with my car, say: "My car broke down a motorcycle."

You can't say that.


It's just: "My car broke down.

My car stopped working."

Other things that can break down: Your computer, your phone, usually mechanical things-okay?-or

electronic things.


"Catch on".

If something catches on, it means it starts to become popular.

So, viral videos on YouTube catch on.


For example: "That new dance is really catching on."

I'm not going to mention the dance and the example, because by the time you see this

video, there's probably a new Gangnam Style or a new dab, or something like that available

to the young kids out there in the dance clubs.

So: "That new dance is really catching on", it means that that dance is becoming popular.

"Die out".

If something dies out or is dying out, or has been dying out, it means it is slowly

dying, slowly decreasing in popularity.

So, for example: "Blackberry", the company, the cellphone company.

"Blackberry has been dying out for years, for many years."

So, the Blackberry is not as popular as, you know, it was or is not as popular as the iPhone

or Android phones, so the company's popularity has been dying out.


If a species of animal, or insect, or anything is going extinct, you can also say: "That

animal, that species is dying out."

So, bees, for example, are dying out across the world, which means we will all be dead


Next: "drop by".

"Can we drop by the bank?"

So: "to drop by", this means to make a quick stop, make a quick visit.

Now, you're saying: "Alex, you said intransitive phrasal verbs have no object.

Why is the bank here?"

Well, you're not dropping the bank, you're not doing something to the bank.

The bank is not an object, here.

The bank is merely a location.


So: "Can we drop by?", "Can we stop...?"

You can also say: "Stop by".

"Can we drop by the bank?", "Can we make a visit by the bank?", "Can we stop by grandma's

house?", "Can we stop by the grocery store?", "Can we make a stop and then continue to another


Next: "end up".

"Where did you end up?"


So: Where did you, you know, end your travels?

What is your final location?

Not only a physical location, it can also be, you know: "Where did you end up in your


Where did you finish in your career?"


"I ended up working for Apple."

Or: "I ended up working for Microsoft."

I ended up doing something, my final location, my final destination in my work life or in

my personal life, or a physical location, too, it can be.

So: -"Oh yeah.

Where did you end up moving to?"

-"Oh, we ended up moving to London", for example.

Or: "We ended up moving to Cadaqu�s", whatever.

All right.

"Get back".

So: "We got back from vacation yesterday."

So: "to get back" in this context means to return.

So: "We got back from vacation yesterday."

We returned from vacation yesterday.

Next: "go ahead".


So if you're telling someone to go ahead, you're telling them to go before you, and

you will catch up with them later.

So: "You go ahead.

I will meet you there."


So, you and your friend, you have a plan and, you know, you have to do something at home

first, maybe wash your dishes or do the laundry, or I don't know, help your sister with something,

or help your son or daughter with their homework, and you say: "Okay, you go ahead.

I will meet you there.

I will be, you know, 15 minutes late", for example.

"You go first."

"Grow up".

So: "to grow up" means to mature, where you became an adult or where you grew up.

"They grew up in Braslia", so that is where they were born, and that is where, you know,

they became...

Turned from children into adults, or adolescents and everything.

So: "They grew up in Braslia."

You can't, like, grow up a person, grow up a thing, grow up an object.

No object, intransitive.


You can grow the flowers, you can grow things in a garden, but you can't grow up flowers.

It doesn't really exist, that expression.

So: "Where did you grow up?"

"Hold on".

So: "Could you hold on a minute?"

So this just means to, you know, wait.

So, if you ask someone to hold on, you can't hold on something.

You can, like, hold on: "Just hold on.

Just wait."


"Could you hold on a minute?"

And "move in".

So, if you move in...

The opposite of "move in" is "move out".

When, you know, you get a new apartment, a new house, a new change where you are living

and you move your furniture, you move all the things you have, your clothes, your bed,

whatever: "Hey.

When did you move in?"

If you have a new neighbour, for example: "Oh, you're new.

When did you move in?"

You could say: "I moved in last week."


And if you say: "move into", then you can have an object.

You can say: "I moved into my apartment."

But here, "move in", intransitive.

All right?


It's making sense?

Not too bad so far?


10 more?

Let's do 10 more.

10 more.

All right, next we have: "set off".

So: "to set off" is used in a very specific context, this means that you start a journey

at a specific time.

So, for example: "We set off at 6 o'clock."

This could be a present sentence or it could be a past sentence, because the past of "set"

is "set", so you could say, you know: "Our boat" or "We got in the car and started our

journey at 6 o'clock.", "We set off at 6 o'clock."

Or, in the future: "Oh, we set off at 6 o'clock.

Be ready."


"We leave at 6 o'clock."

Next: "show up".

So, this means to appear, what time you appeared at a place.

So: "When are you going to show up?"

If you're talking to a friend and they're waiting for you somewhere, like at the mall

or in front of the movie theatre, or at a cafsomewhere and you're late, you can

say: "When are you going to show up?"

So, you know: "I'm going to show up late.", "I'm going to show up early.", "I'll show

up when I want to show up."


Next: "slow down".

To slow down is just...

You can use it like a command, to go slower.

"You need to slow down."


So you can ask your partner who's sitting in the car next to you in the driver seat,

they're driving too fast: "Okay, you need to slow down.

Please slow down."

Next: "speak out".

So if you are vocal about a topic that most people are quiet about, you speak out.

You can speak out against something.

For example, speak out against injustice, against keeping prisoners in prison for a

long time unlawfully.

So, what's the example here?

"If you're not happy, speak out."

So if you're at a job and you want to give, you know, your friend some advice because

they are not satisfied with the job: "If you're not happy, speak out.

Say something."

Next: "take off".

So: "The plane takes off in 30 minutes."

So this refers to the time a plane leaves.

You can use it to talk about people, like the time you have to leave work, for example.

"I'm taking off in five minutes.", "I need to take off early.", "I'm going to take off

soon.", "I'm going to leave."

The most common context, though, is with airplanes, when they take off from the airport and then

land at another airport.

So, to take off, to leave, or for a plane to leave the airport, leave the runway, go

into the sky.

"Turn out".

"The movie turned out okay."

So, you can use "turn out" to talk about the final result of something, the final quality

of something.

So you can use it to talk about how a movie turned out, you know, how the final result

looked like.

If you enjoyed it: "The movie turned out okay.", "The movie turned out really bad.", or "The

movie turned out excellent."


Next: "pass out".

Now, there is a way to use "pass out" in a transitive sentence, if you can, for example,

pass out advertisements, pass out papers, this means to distribute something.

But in this context it is used intransitively.

For example: "They drank until they passed out."

So, "to pass out" means to lose consciousness, so they drank too much, too much alcohol,

and they passed out.

You can also use "pass out", like, in an informal, slang way to mean that you fell asleep because

you're so tired.

You can say: "Oh, I went home and I passed out in two minutes."


So you lost consciousness, you, you know...

You went to sleep very, very quickly as if someone punched you and you passed out.

Next: "watch out".

You can use this like a command.

You can watch out for something.

So: "Watch out for cars", this means be alert, be careful.

Next: "turn around".

Very literal, turn around.

Every time I see you, I get a little bit...


It's a Bonnie Tyler song.

So: "Turn around and look at me."

So, "turn around".

I like to sing, so I'm going to sing.

"Turn around.

Every time I get a little bit closer", that song.

"Turn around bright eyes", that's how it goes.

Let's stop talking about Bonnie Tyler.

Did you know there was a solar eclipse, and she sang: "Total Eclipse of the Heart" on

the day of the eclipse in 2017?

I thought that was pretty cool.

"Turn around and look at me."

All right.

"Catch up".

So, if you are behind something and you need to, you know, get to the same point as someone

else, you need to catch up with them.

So: "You're too far.

I will never catch up."

I will never catch you, get to the same point as you because you're too far.

So, if your friend and you, you're driving somewhere, you're going camping and your friend,

you know, drove and they left, like, five hours ago and you think: "Okay, maybe, you

know, I'll meet them somewhere on the road."

And they say: -"Oh, I left five hours ago."

-"Okay, you're too far.

I will never catch up with you."


All right, so just listen and repeat with me on this set of words, here.

Repeat: "set off", "show up", "slow down", "speak out", "take off", "turn out", "pass

out", "watch out", "turn around", "catch up".


So, this is a tricky topic.

I recommend you guys, you know, watch this video again.

Do some research on your own as well, you can do that.

Google is a wonderful tool.

And if you really want to test your understanding of the material, you can always check out

the quiz on www.engvid.com.

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I'm Alex and I do a lot of this stuff.

So, you might like other stuff that I do if you like this.




I guess that's it.

So, til next time, you know what to say, it's: Thanks for clicking.


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