It’s Phrasal Verb February! To “celebrate,” we are taking a look at three-word phrasal verbs that are commonly used in English.

What is a three-word phrasal verb? To understand, we must first look at “regular” (two-word) phrasal verbs. Phrasal verbs most often follow this construction:

verb + particle


  • I decided to take up surfing while I studied in San Diego.
  • I followed up our meeting with a phone call.

However, phrasal verbs can also have THREE words. These phrasal verbs use the construction:

verb + particle + particle


  • He is taking care of his mother.

Today we are looking at some examples of common three-word phrasal verbs.

Common Three-word Phrasal Verbs

Phrasal Verb 1: LOOK FORWARD TO

Definition: to be excited about something that is going to happen.

Example: I am really looking forward to meeting my host family when I study at CISL.

Host Family

Phrasal Verb 2: PUT UP WITH 

Definition: tolerate; endure.

Example: I can’t put up with cold weather, so I’m studying English in CA during the winter. I know I’ll be warm!

Sunny skies in winter? I can put up with that. 🙂

Phrasal Verb 3: KEEP UP WITH 

Definition: move or progress at the same rate as something or someone else.

Example: In order to keep up with our CAE schedule, I study an hour each day.

Students Study Reading
Keeping up with your studies is easy if you dedicate a piece of time to studying daily.


Phrasal Verb 4: CUT DOWN ON 

Definition: to use less of something.

Example: I cut down on study time after school by studying during my break.

Girls Students Coffee Shop
I caught up with my old roommate over some tasty treats!

Phrasal Verb 5: CATCH UP WITH

Definition: to speak with a person after not speaking for a long time; to get the details of their life.

Example:  I caught up  with my old CISL roommate last night over Skype. It was so great to talk to her!


Things to look forward to in CA

What are some things to look forward to while you are studying in California? We have a list of some of the best things California has to offer.

Road Trip Ocean
Road trip, anyone?

#1: Weekend getaways!

San Francisco and San Diego are beautiful cities, but California has so much more to offer. Soak up some sun in Palm Springs, visit crazy Las Vegas, go wine tasting in Napa, see the stunning Grand Canyon, explore gorgeous Yosemite, or see some celebrities in LA.  There’s always something to do!

Girl Skateboard California Beach
The classic California skate culture is known worldwide and a big influence on lifestyle and fashion.

#2: Surfing, Skating, and Sun

Walk along the boardwalk and see everything typically Californian: the clothing styles, the surfers, the skaters, the laid-back people. What’s not to love? Join in on the fun with some surfing classes: click here to learn more.


#3: The Slang

Californians have a distinct way of talking, and you’ll soon start using some of the local slang. Click here to learn a little more about California slang.

In N Out double double
What’s the first thing a Californian does when he or she arrives home after a long trip? Go to In N Out.

#4: The Burgers

All burgers are not created equal. This is something every Californian knows! The West Coast is home to In N Out Burger, which has the best, most fresh burgers. The fresh ingredients (never frozen!) make the most delicious burgers. Click here to learn all about this burger joint.