15.04.2016 |

Episode #5 of the course “Common English phrasal verbs: Part 1” by Angela Boothroyd

join in

To join in something is to become involved in an activity with other people.

Examples of use:

a) Your brother is playing football. Why don’t you go and join in?

b) We’re playing cards tomorrow night. Come and join in. Everyone is welcome.

c) Amelia is very shy. She never joins in with the other children’s games.

5.1 Phrasal verbs 1

break down

1. If a vehicle or machine breaks down it stops working.

Examples of use:

a) Our car broke down on the way to the airport and we missed our flight.

b) My washing machine has broken down.

c) Sorry I’m late. The train broke down.


2. If you break down you are unable to control your feelings and you start to cry.

Examples of use:

a) She broke down when she heard the sad news.

b) He misses his mother very much, and he often breaks down when he talks about her.


3. To break down is also to become mentally or physically ill because of difficult or traumatic experiences.

breakdown (noun) – a physical or mental collapse.

Examples of use:

a) Not long after her husband died she broke down and had to take some time off work.

b) She had a nervous breakdown after her son was kidnapped.

c) He had a breakdown last year but he’s much better now.


4. If a meeting, discussion or an agreement (including a relationship or marriage) breaks down it fails or stops working properly.

Examples of use:

a) The talks between the political parties have broken down.

b) Our marriage has broken down and we are getting a divorce.

5.2 Phrasal verbs 1

phone up (and ring up)

To phone up somebody (or phone somebody up) is to telephone them.

Examples of use:

a) Phone up Mr Hargreaves and arrange a meeting, please.

b) Max is late. Can you phone him up and ask him where he is?

To ring up somebody (or ring somebody up) means the same as phone up.

5.3 Phrasal verbs 1


Recommended book

“Easy Phrasal Verbs: Learn English verbs through conversations” by Mr Daniel S Shepherd MSc


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