20 Phrasal Verbs that Express Emotions

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Emotions often dictate how we interact with the world, and expressing them clearly can enhance communication. This blog post introduces 20 phrasal verbs that help articulate a wide range of emotions effectively, providing a concise definition and an example sentence for each.

1. Cheer up

Meaning: Become happier
Example: She cheered up after hearing the good news.

2. Break down

Meaning: Start to cry
Example: He broke down during the farewell speech.

3. Calm down

Meaning: Relax after being angry
Example: You need to calm down before we talk.

4. Freak out

Meaning: React with strong emotion
Example: She freaked out when she won the lottery.

5. Warm up to

Meaning: Gradually like someone/something
Example: I’m warming up to my new colleagues.

6. Bottle up

Meaning: Suppress emotions
Example: He bottles up his feelings too much.

7. Lash out

Meaning: React angrily
Example: He lashed out at his critics.

8. Let down

Meaning: Disappoint someone
Example: I felt let down by my results.

9. Lighten up

Meaning: Become less serious
Example: You should lighten up and enjoy the party!

10. Crack up

Meaning: Laugh suddenly or loudly
Example: That joke made me crack up.

11. Hang on

Meaning: Wait or stop briefly
Example: Hang on, I need to catch my breath.

12. Wind up

Meaning: End up in a state
Example: I wound up feeling quite confused.

13. Blow up

Meaning: Lose temper explosively
Example: She blew up when she saw the mess.

14. Clam up

Meaning: Stop talking or refuse to talk
Example: He clammed up when questioned about the incident.

15. Act out

Meaning: Misbehave for attention
Example: The child acted out in class today.

16. Get over

Meaning: Recover from
Example: She got over her disappointment quickly.

17. Cool off

Meaning: Calm down or relax
Example: He went for a walk to cool off.

18. Break out

Meaning: Start suddenly
Example: Laughter broke out during the meeting.

19. Work up

Meaning: Develop gradually
Example: He worked himself up into a frenzy.

20. Keep up

Meaning: Continue at the same rate
Example: She keeps up her cheerful attitude.

Phrasal Verbs that Express Emotions


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