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HomeIELTS SpeakingVocabularyTop 15 phrasal verbs for IELTS Speaking

Top 15 phrasal verbs for IELTS Speaking

Phrasal verbs are fun, exciting and a wonderful opportunity to show your natural spoken English to the IELTS Speaking examiner.

In this article I am going to show you what phrasal verbs are, how exciting they are, why they are important in IELTS Speaking and 15 of my ‘favourite’ ones that will impress your IELTS examiner!

Phrasal Verbs in IELTS Speaking Part 1

Topic: Work and Study

1.Knuckle down = to start focussing on your work/study. (Inseparable)

I work as a teacher and we’ve got exams coming soon, so we all need to knuckle down.

I study law, and I have exams soon, so I need to knuckle down.

Part 1 question: Can you ____?

2.To get (a) round to = to do something you have intended to do, but not had time. (Inseparable)

Can you cook?

I would love learn how to cook, but I just have’t got round to it. I’ve been too busy.

Can you paint?

I like painting, but I cannot do it very well. I’ve just never got round to taking classes.

Hobbies while away = to spend time in a relaxed way. (Separable.)

I love to while away the afternoon watching movies

I love to while the evening away reading a good book

4.To brush up on = to improve a skill you haven’t practice for some time. (Inseparable)

I love playing the guitar, but I need to brush up on it because I haven’t played for several months.

IELTS Speaking Part 2

Describe a thing

5.To stumble upon = to find something by chance. (Inseparable)

I’d like to tell you about a great book that I stumbled upon recently

I’d like to tell you about a great _____ (film, restaurant, photo, painting…)  that I stumbled upon recently

Describe a time when

6.To bump into = to meet someone by chance / accident. (Inseparable)

Recently I bumped into an old friend and ______

7.To turn out = to happen in a certain way. (Inseparable)

It was a difficult time, but in the end everything turned out just fine.

In the end, it all turned out well.

IELTS Speaking Part 3

How will ____ change in the future ?

8. To bank on = to expect and hope something will happen. (Inseparable) 

am banking on the COVID situation getting better next year.

Many governments are banking on the economy improving in the future

9. To be in for = to be about to have or experience. (Inseparable)

We are in for a few surprises next year. 

Many real shops are in for a hard time next year, as more people choose to shop online.

10. To pan out = to result or develop in a certain way. (Inseparable)

I think things will get better, but we will have to see how things pan out

I think our goal of getting everyone vaccinated this year, isn’t going to pan out

11. To run up against = to face problems or difficult situations. (Inseparable) 

I think we are going to run up against a lot of problems 

We are going to run up against more crime in the future

What do you think of…?

12.To mull over = to think about something carefully . (Separable)

I’ve been mulling over this a lot recently and I think…

I was mulling this over recently and I think…

13. Figure out = to find the solution. (Separable)

It’s complicated and I don’t think it’s easy to figure out a solution

This is a tricky problem and it will take time to figure a good solution out

Do you agree that the government should_____?

14. Get on with = to start, or continue, doing something. (Inseparable)

The government talks about reducing the crime rate, but they just need to get on with it.

15.To buckle down = to start working hard. (Inseparable)

It’s time the government buckled down and found a solution


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