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Phrasal verbs in action: emotions

Here are 5 great phrasal verbs that you can use to describe your feelings!


EXPLANATION: A good joke or a funny story is an easy way to CHEER someone UP. Sometimes we just tell someone who looks sad to CHEER UP and we say ‘it can’t be that bad’. Often, just by encouraging the person to talk about their feelings or their problems is a good way to make them feel better. A common English saying is “a problem shared is a problem halved”.

EXAMPLE: If I’m feeling miserable, I usually call my best friend and we go for a coffee and a chat. That always cheers me up.

QUESTION: How do you CHEER your friends UP when they are feeling low?

EXPLANATION: Some people are shy or introverted and so they keep their emotions and feelings to themselves, without sharing them with others. In other words, they BOTTLE UP their feelings and emotions inside. This can be a problem when you BOTTLE UP very strong emotions such as anger or fear because one day something might happen to trigger those emotions and it might cause a more extreme reaction which could be aggressive or even violent.

EXAMPLE: It is sometimes hard for teenagers to express their feelings so they often bottle things up inside rather than talk about them.

QUESTION: Is it healthy to BOTTLE things UP?

EXPLANATION: When you are extremely happy or excited about something, sometimes you forget to behave in the usual way and you do something a bit crazy or a bit ‘out of character’. In other words you forget yourself for a moment and get CARRIED AWAY by the moment.

EXAMPLE: I was so overjoyed when I got my exam results, I got completely carried away and started hugging and kissing everyone!

QUESTION: Have you ever GOT CARRIED AWAY by an exciting moment?

EXPLANATION: When something happens that is completely unexpected, we can say that we are TAKEN ABACK by it. It could be a nice surprise or an unpleasant shock but the feeling is one of being completely unprepared for something.

EXAMPLE: When my son told me he was getting married, I was completely taken aback. I didn’t even know he had a serious girlfriend!

QUESTION: When was the last time you were really taken aback by something?

EXPLANATION: When you start to feel better after having a bad experience where maybe you suffered physical pain or emotional stress, we say that you are GETTING OVER it. It could be recovering from a serious illness or just recovering from a mild disappointment such as a bad exam result.

EXAMPLE: I was devastated when I didn’t get the job, but I soon got over it and started applying for other ones.

QUESTION: Do you find it easy or difficult to GET OVER disappointments?

Practice using these phrasal verbs next time you are telling a story in English where you need to describe your feelings.

To practice further, enter our IELTS SPEAKING competition and WIN a FREE skype interview with an iPass tutor.

Simply write 5 example sentences using the phrasal verbs above to describe your personal feelings about 5 different situations.

Send your sentences to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) with the subject heading: PHRASAL VERB COMPETITION

We’ll announce the winner on 18th June!!


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Rose - The Philippines

Rose - The Philippines

​The iPass courses are great, very helpful, easy to follow and Jenny is very friendly and approachable.

This course helped me boost my confidence and yup I got higher scores, specially in writing, after taking IELTS 7 . Thanks team!

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