Flashcard practice for common phrasal verbs with 'on' and 'off'

1. Learn the meaning

Phrasal verbs with off and on often include a meaning of starting, continuing and stopping, and leaving. The examples below are some of the most common phrasal verbs with off and on*. Look at the examples - what do you think they mean? Click on the flashcard to show the meaning. If it was easy, you can remove it. If you need more practice, you can keep it and view the next question.

Note: sth = something, sb = somebody


Example / definition:





2. Remember the phrasal verbs

How many phrasal verbs can you remember from the examples? Click on the question to see the answer. If it was easy, you can remove it from the set of cards, otherwise click needs more practice to save it and see the next question. Keep going until there are no questions left.






You'll probably remember these better in the long term if you have a break now or study something different. Come back tomorrow and repeat these, or try the next set of flashcard questions for these words below.

3. Test yourself - same verbs, different examples

Now try these flashcards - they use the same phrasal verbs, but different example sentences.






Here is a summary of the phrasal verbs with on and off presented in this lesson:

Meaning related to 'stop'

My boss cut me off in the middle of my sentence.

cut (sb/sth) off = interrupt or stop sth (e.g. someone speaking, or electricity or water)

He broke off suddenly in the middle of his sentence.

break off = stop speaking

The president broke off the nuclear talks with North Korea.

break (sth) off = make something stop (e.g. a relationship, a negotiation)

Please turn off the TV and listen to me.

turn (sth) off = stop a piece of equipment

Meaning related to 'continue' or 'start'

She carried on / kept on / went on running, even though she'd broken her leg.

keep / carry / go on doing sth = continue doing sth

I need to get on with my life again after the divorce. 

get on with sth = continue doing sth after stopping 

We've talked about this enough. It's time to move on.

move on = start doing (or discussing) sth new

 He turned on the oven and started to prepare dinner.

turn (sth) on = start a piece of equipment (e.g. tap, hairdryer)

Meaning related to 'leave'

The robbers jumped into the car and took off.

take off = leave suddenly or in a hurry

The plane took off 3 hours late.

take off = leave the ground (start to fly) 

He went off to find Sarah about an hour ago.

go off = go somewhere (often in order to do something)

We set off for Paris at 8am.

set off = leave to start a journey

Meaning related to 'delay'

Hang on / hold on a moment - I've nearly finished.

hang / hold on = wait 

We should put off the picnic until the weather is better.

put (sth) off = delay or postpone doing something



*These phrasal verbs and questions are adapted from the PHaVE list, from research by Garnier, M. & Schmitt, N. (2014). The PHaVE List: A pedagogical list of phrasal verbs and their most frequent meaning senses. Language Teaching Research, 19(6), 645–666. DOI: 10.1177/1362168814559798