free resources and more…

Business English Conversation Lessons: Phrasal Verbs

In this conversation lesson, students are introduced to some phrasal verbs for business. Students then participate in a small group discussion which requires them to use some common phrasal verbs. Introduce phrasal verbs to your students and then have students do the conversation questions.


Phrasal Verbs

Introduce phrasal verbs by writing some sentences on the board with some phrasal verbs your students will know.

I wake up at 6:00 AM on weekdays.

I’m going to go out with some coworkers after work today.

If you don’t know a word in English, you should look it up in the dictionary.

Explain that the words in bold are phrasal verbs. Explain that a phrasal verb is a verb followed by a preposition or adverb (sometimes more than one) which creates a meaning different from the original verb. Also explain the difference between separable and inseparable verbs. This link from English Page clearly illustrates the difference.


Conversation Questions

Review the meaning of the phrasal verbs in the conversation questions below. Definitions and examples can be found here.

1. Tell the people in your group about a time your company tried something out that didn’t work. What happened?  Why didn’t it work?

2. What things do you shop around for? Do you usually shop around for the things you buy?

3. Who do you count on most at work? How would you describe this person? How does he/she help you at work?

4. Is there anything your company is trying to cut back on right now? What is it? Is there anything you are trying to cut back on right now?

5. Have you ever had to do something over because you did it incorrectly the first time? What was it?

6. Tell your group about a time you had to give in to someone’s demands or requests. Why did you give in?

7. What things do you normally go over with your boss? How often do you go over these things?

8. When is your next vacation? Where are you going to go? What are you going to do? Are you looking forward to it? Is there anything else that you are looking forward to right now?

9. Do you procrastinate a lot? What type of things do you put off doing? What do you put these things off?

10. Have you ever ordered something online that you had to send back? What was wrong with the product?

11. Have you ever turned down a job offer or a promotion? What was it? Why did you turn it down?

12. Have you ever used up your vacation days very early in the year? Why? Do you usually use up your vacation days right away, or do you save them? Why?

13. Who do you look up to at work? How would you describe this person/these people? Do people look up to you at work?  Why or why not?

14. What is something you have to look out for at work? Tell your group about it.

15. Tell your group about a time someone let you down (either professionally or personally). What happened? Tell your group about a time you let someone down. What happened?

16. Have you ever found out something surprising about a coworker? What was it? What are people surprised to find out about you?

Also see these business English conversation lessons.