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Phrasal Verb Focus - Speaking

Phrasal Verb Focus - Speaking

Date: Oct 02 2007

Topic: Vocabulary

Author: rhyme_reason


This phrasal verb feature focuses on phrasal verbs we use when talking about speaking and conversation. Obviously, using "tell" or "say" or "speak", etc. is absolutely correct when relating conversations.However, if you want to stress HOW the person said something, phrasal verbs come in handy (idiom=be useful). 

go on to continue to talk about a subject after the interest of the listener has been exhausted.

harp on inf. to repeatedly talk about a certain subject

ramble on to talk for a long time about something which is not very interesting to the other people in the conversation

rabbit on (British) as above

run on (American) as above

Speaking Quickly 

rattle off to say a list or impressive number of facts very quickly

reel off inf. as above

whip off inf. (American) as above


butt in to rudely enter another conversation

chip in to add a specific point to a conversation

Speaking suddenly 

blurt out to say something suddenly, usually without thinking

come out with to say something suddenly


come up with to add a new idea to a conversation

Not Speaking 

shut up to stop talking, often used as an imperative (very rude)

break off suddenly stop speaking

clam up to refuse to speak or become silent during a conversation

dry up run out of ideas of interesting comments, finish speaking because you don't know what to say next or have forgotten what you would like to say

Speaking Rudely 

talk at to talk to someone without listening to what they have to say

talk down to to verbally treat someone in an inferior manner

go off to speak angrily about something

put down to criticize someone or something


Last week I went to visit my friend Fred. Fred is a great guy but at times he can really go on about things. We were speaking about some of our friends and he came out with this incredible story about Jane. It seems she had butted in while he was harping on his favorite complaint: Service in restaurants. Apparently, he had been running on for quite a while putting down almost every restaurant he had been to by rattling off a list of his visits to different restaurants in town. I guess Jane felt that he was talking at her and was fed up with it. She went off about what a rude person he was which shut him up pretty quickly! I thought about blurting out that maybe she was right, but decided to clam up in order to not upset him.


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Saudi Arabia

I believe this part of grammar is very important to improve the level of English language..

09:14 PM Oct 19 2012 |



Iran, Islamic Republic Of

hey man

thanks again


07:53 AM Aug 01 2008 |

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