Love, Marriage, and Phrasal Verbs

couple on a dateToday, we’re going to talk about some phrasal verbs that are useful for discussing romantic relationships. Who knows? Maybe if you go to an English-speaking country and meet someone special, you’ll get some first-hand experience with some of these verbs!

Go Out With/ – to date someone

  • Mark had been going out with Steve for a while before they started living together.

Note: This phrasal verb takes on a romantic meaning only in the contexts of romantic relationships. In other contexts it can simply mean, “to leave one’s residence to be in someone else’s company,” as in the example below.

  • I’m going out with some friends from college. We’ll be out pretty late, so don’t wait up.

Make out/ – To kiss with intensity/passion for an extended time

  • It was really uncomfortable for me to be around Katy and Tom last weekend. Every time I turned around they were making out!

Note: This phrasal verb can be intransitive, as in the example above, or transitive with the addition of “with” (see below).

  • I’m a little worried that I might get fired from my job. I made out with the boss’s daughter at the office Christmas party.

Break up/ – to end a romantic relationship

  • Sharon hasn’t been the same since she and Lisa broke up. When you’re with someone for as long as they were, it can be difficult to adjust to being single again.

Note: Although a breakup always involves two people, the version above is intransitive and does not imply that one person or the other ended the relationship. In order to emphasize that one person ended the relationship, we can add “with,” like the example below.

  • Steve broke up with Mandy after he caught her with another man.

Cheat on/ – to deceive a significant other and have romantic relations/adventures/affairs with another person

  • Tatiana’s whole family was telling her that her fiancé had been cheating on her for months with every girl in town. She married him anyway, and he left her for another woman as soon as she got pregnant.

Remember that there is more practice material waiting for you at our phrasal verbs home page!


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