Listen up! Phrasal verbs can be complete sentences! These ten short commands are so easy to learn, you’ll start using them immediately. A great shortcut to improve your English vocabulary easily and quickly. Download a free list of 100 phrasal verbs to use as commands (with meanings), in our Resources section:
and don’t forget to test yourself with the quiz:
Hi. I’m Rebecca from engVid. Do you wish you could learn English really quickly? Well, you can. Why? Because in this lesson, I’m going to teach you 10 common expressions in English, which are really short and easy to learn. Now, technically, these are phrasal verbs, but that doesn’t matter. What matters is that they’re actually used as complete sentences or commands in English. Okay? So even though they are all only two words each, they’re actually a complete sentence, a complete thought, and a command. Okay? Let’s have a look and get started.
Okay, so the first one is: “Cheer up!” What does it mean to cheer up? “To cheer up” means to be happy. So if you see someone and they’re a little bit sad, and they’re feeling depressed, and you say to them: “Hey. Cheer up! Be happy.” Okay? To be cheerful means to be happy. So, just say: “Cheer up!”
Next one: “Wait up!” When do we use that? Now, you probably know the word “wait”, but why do we say: “Wait up”? Well, again, it’s an expression, and you say it when… Let’s say somebody’s walking ahead of you and you recognize a friend of yours, and she’s walking a little bit ahead of you, and you’re trying to get her attention. You say: “Hey! Wait up!” Okay? That means: wait for me. So, “cheer up” means be happy; “wait up” means wait for me, I’m coming.
Next: “Hurry up!” Okay? So, when do we say: “Hurry up”? We say: “Hurry up”, when we trying to tell someone to do whatever they’re doing a little bit faster. It could be something mental, like a test, like: “Hey, hurry up. You only have 10 minutes to finish the test.” Or it could be something physical, like: “Hurry up. We’re going to be late for the bus or for the movie. Get dressed fast. Move quickly.” This is when we say: “Hurry up!” Move quickly. Or do whatever you’re doing quickly.
Next one: “Listen up!” Now, you know the word “listen”, so why do we say: “Listen up”? Again, it’s an expression, and we use it when we’re usually talking maybe to a group of people and we’re trying to get their attention, and we’re trying to tell them to listen carefully. Okay? So, we say: “Okay, everyone. Listen up! This is what we’re going to do.” Okay? So: “listen up” means listen carefully. There we go.
Next: “Calm down!” Okay? Or: “Calm down.” So, what does “calm down” mean? To be calm means to be peaceful. So, “calm down” we say when someone is upset, angry, or really not in a good mood; really kind of upset about something, not happy about something. Say: “Relax. Take it easy. Calm down.” Okay? Now, usually when we say that, the person is not going to find it very easy to calm down, but nevertheless, we tell them: “Take it easy. Calm down.” Okay?
Next one: “Slow down!” Okay? So, when do we say “slow down”? We say “slow down” when we want someone to do something more slowly. For example, maybe something happened and somebody’s very excited, and they’re speaking really, really fast and you want to tell them: “No, stop it. I can’t understand what you’re saying.” So: “Hey. Slow down. Tell me, quietly, what you mean.” Okay? “Take it easy.” But really, we’re not just saying “take it easy”, we’re saying: “Speak more slowly.” Or usually speaking, but sometimes maybe walking, also. Okay? Like if somebody’s walking with you and you can’t even keep up with them, and they’re going so fast, and they say: “Hey. Slow down. I can’t catch my breath.” Okay? So it could be also for something like that. So do whatever you’re doing a little more slowly. Okay.
Next one: “Go on! Go on!” So, this is like it means continue. So, if someone’s talking and they got you all excited, and then they stop, and like: “Hey. What happened then? Go on. I want to know. Tell me.” So, “go on”, just means continue.
Next one is “Hold on!” Okay? Now, you might hear this when you call customer service or something like that, and they might use a slightly different, more polite version, hopefully. And they might say: “Please hold on.” Okay? But in regular life, “hold on” just means wait. Okay? Please wait. So: “Hold on. I’ll be with you in a minute.” Or: “Hold on. I’m tying my shoelaces.” Okay? Something like that. So “hold on” just means wait.