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Friendship and relationship phrasal verbs in English

Phrasal verbs, those expressions that take a verb and a preposition and create something completely new, are a fundamental part of a native English speakers’ vocabulary. We use them to give quite detailed ideas in a very quick way. When you’re speaking with a native English speaker, you’ll definitely hear them, so you need to know as many as possible, and how to use them.

While they can be heard to learn, they allow us to communicate very specific ideas in efficient ways, and there’s so, so many of them to choose from!

Today, we’ll take a look at some interesting relationship based phrasal verbs and find out what they mean, how to use them and some examples as well.

At RKA Valencia, we love to introduce our students to real English expressions and language use, not just exam English! If you want more info, find out about our methods here, and more about us here too.

Stick up for

When we ‘stick up for’ someone or something, we are defending the idea or the person. We use this to talk about supporting a person who someone might be saying negative things about, or defending an idea that people think won’t work!

“I need to stick up for William, I don’t think he did a bad job at all, and in the past he has been really helpful to the business. I think you guys are getting this all wrong”

“I think we should stick up for our business proposal. I know it’s had some criticism, but let’s take it constructively and develop our idea and keep pushing forward”

Hear from

When we ‘hear from’ someone, it means they have contacted us, sent us an email, called, texted or whatever method they have used. It’s a good way to talk about communication from someone who you probably haven’t ‘heard from’ in quite a long time. It’s combined with an idea of time as well as communication.

“I heard from Ben last week, we hadn’t met up for about a year, but we decided to go for a coffee in a few days”

“Has anyone heard from Amber? She’s been away for a week, and I don’t know what the situation with her project is”

Run into

We can ‘run into’ someone when we meet them in a place or time that we didn’t expect. The accidental meeting normally happens in places that aren’t typical for that relationship, so we use this phrasal verb to describe the surprise nature of the meeting.

“Oh, I didn’t tell you, I ran into Lucas yesterday, at the climbing centre strangely. I didn’t know he trained there”

“I hope I don’t run into Liam at the gym, I’ll be all sweaty and tired, and we normally interact in a more professional setting”

Let down

We can feel ‘let down’ when people do things or say things that disappoint us. It’s often used when people don’t do things that they promised they would, or do things they promised they wouldn’t.

“Robert has let me down again, he said he’d have the presentation ready for today, but now he says he needs more time, it’s getting very frustrating”

“Don’t let me down this week, I know it’s a difficult task, but I believe in you, and you need to have the confidence to get these things done”


Try adding some of these phrasal verbs into your English when you're talking about relationships and interactions with people.

If you want to improve your English, learn how to communicate with native speakers or boost your international employment chances, get in touch with RKA Valencia at, or contact us here.

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