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  • Writer's pictureDaniel Bullock

17 Phrasal Verbs With Down For Speaking Practice

Updated: Nov 29, 2023

What do calm down, write down, and turn down have in common? They are phrasal verbs with down! Today we will practice 17 of them! If we can add more phrasal verbs to our vocabulary, it can make us sound more natural in our speaking. It also has the added benefit of aiding our understanding when listening to other English speakers. Today we are going to look at the phrases and their meanings, and after that practice some sentences with them.


Phrasal verbs with down

Here are today's phrasal verbs with down. Read them all a few times to get comfortable with their pronunciations.


phrasal verbs with down, calm down

  1. Calm down - This means to become less irritated or agitated. It is also used to describe the weather.

  2. Write down - If you write something in a notebook, you are writing it down!

  3. Turn down - This is to say no to an invitation or request.

  4. Take down - This means to dismantle or remove something. It's often used for signs and decorations.

  5. Put down - It means to place something on a surface, like a pen or a book. Also, it can mean to belittle or criticize someone.

  6. Break down - This can mean to top functioning or to separate something into smaller parts. Often because then it is easier to manage.

  7. Slow down - This means to decrease the speed of something. It could be a car, bike, or even describing someone's life!

  8. Track down - If you have found someone or something after a search or investigation, then you have tracked them down!

  9. Hand down - To give something (e.g., a tradition, knowledge, or an item) to the next person in line (successor). Often we hand down possessions to our children.

  10. Shut down - If you have seen a shop or business close permanently, then it has "shut down".

  11. Dress down - This phrase means to wear more casual clothes than you would usually. Also, it means to tell someone off, quite sternly!

  12. Burn down - If a house was destroyed by a fire, then it has unfortunately burned down.

  13. Let down - This is to disappoint someone or fail to reach their expectations.

  14. Settle down - This has two meanings. One is to calm down, as above. Also, it means to establish yourself in a place and live there long term.

  15. Knock down - To hit and cause someone or something to fall to the ground.

  16. Chase down - This means to follow or pursue, and capture them. The police chase people down. Also, we can use it casually - someone chases down bargains in the winter sales, for example.

  17. Tone down - This phrasal verb is used to explain when we make something less intense or severe. Often used in reference to people's language. For example: "You need to tone down your comments a bit, they are making people angry!"



Phrasal verbs with down: sentence examples

Here are example sentences for all of today's phrasal verbs with down. To help remember them, it is always a good idea to say them out loud. Writing them down would not be a waste of time, either!

  1. Although it was very windy earlier, it has really calmed down now.

  2. Students, please write down what is on the board!

  3. Mike turned down the offer of a promotion, because of the hours.

  4. It’s January now so we should take down the Christmas decorations!

  5. Please put your pens down and stop writing.

  6. Can you break the problem down for me please, because I’m a little confused.

  7. The economy has slowed down this year.

  8. Can you track Thomas down, please? I need him to call a client.

  9. This jacket was handed down to me from my brother.

  10. The clothes shop around the corner has just shut down.

  11. The student was dressed down by his teacher for continually forgetting his homework.

  12. A lot of the forest burned down in the wildfire.

  13. Please don’t let me down. Keep your promise!

  14. After a few years of traveling, Tony finally settled down in a small town.

  15. The old house was finally knocked down to make way for a new one.

  16. The police chased down the suspect of the robbery.

  17. The article you wrote was very interesting, but I feel you need to tone down the headline. It’s a bit strong.



Question practice

Here are a few questions using today's phrasal verbs. Try to answer them using full sentences where possible!

  1. How would you turn down an invitation to a work party that you didn't want to attend?

  2. If you put up Christmas decorations, when do you usually take them down?

  3. What type of place is the ideal location to settle down in?

  4. Has anyone ever let you down?

  5. Would you say your boss or supervisor has ever needed to tone it down?


Phrasal verbs with down

I hope that you have had fun with these phrasal verbs with down! Phrasal verbs are very useful to use in our daily speech, as they help us to sound more natural and fluent when we use them, and they are a handy tool for getting our point across effectively. It is sometimes quicker to use a phrasal verb than to explain the situation with individual words alone. For example: You would like to suggest tidying up after Christmas. You could say "We should dismantle the tree and then remove all of the decorations" That's fine. But you could also say" We should take down the Christmas decorations" This is just a little shorter and to the point. Not a massive change, but slightly more natural and effective!

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