Updated: Feb 25
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. They can also be one of the most complicated things for a language learner to truly understand and learn, as each one is unique, and there are no rules about how to use them.
That being said, they can be a lot of fun, 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 food 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.
Boil Down – to simplify something complicated
This is a great phrasal verb to talk about making something complicated, more simple. When we ‘boil things down’ we reduce them to their most important elements. We can use this to talk about removing all the extra information that isn’t needed.
“Let’s boil it down, what really happened in the end?”
“Boil it down for me, who should take the blame?”
Chop Up – to reduce to smaller pieces
We chop things with knives, and this phrasal verb can be used in the kitchen, but also in many other contexts too. It talks about taking something large, and chopping it into smaller pieces, so you can manage them more easily.
“We need to chop up the tasks and make it easier to achieve”
“Don’t chop that team up, they work really well together”
Eat Out – to go to a restaurant
Whether we eat out, or eat in, the preposition tells you whether it’s time to go to a restaurant or get cooking in the kitchen.
“Do you feel like eating out tonight, I can’t be bothered to cook?”
“I don’t want to eat out tonight, I’ve spent too much money already”
Eat you Up – to intimidate or use a lot of something
This phrasal verb looks like a kitchen based one, but really, it’s all about someone being intimidating or scary. We use this to talk about someone who we think is too dominant or too confident for us to feel comfortable or happy around. It can also be used about using a lot of power of information.
“He would eat me up if we argued about that budget, I don’t think I want to start that conversation today”
“That laptop is eating up all the system space, no wonder it’s so slow”
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