Languages › English as a Second Language Focus on Phrasal Verbs about Speaking Share Flipboard Email Print Hoxton/Tom Merton/Getty Images English as a Second Language Vocabulary Basic Conversations for English Language Learners Pronunciation & Conversation Writing Skills Reading Comprehension Grammar Business English Resources for Teachers By Kenneth Beare English as a Second Language (ESL) Expert TESOL Diploma, Trinity College London M.A., Music Performance, Cologne University of Music B.A., Vocal Performance, Eastman School of Music Kenneth Beare is an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher and course developer with over three decades of teaching experience. our editorial process Kenneth Beare Updated March 06, 2017 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). Phrasal Verbs About Speaking Negative Speaking 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 subjectramble on: to talk for a long time about something which is not very interesting to the other people in the conversationrabbit on (British): as aboverun on (American): as above Speaking Quickly rattle off: to say a list or impressive number of facts very quicklyreel off inf.: as abovewhip off inf. (American): as above Interrupting butt in: to rudely enter another conversationchip in: to add a specific point to a conversation Speaking suddenly blurt out: to say something suddenly, usually without thinkingcome out with: to say something suddenly Contributing come up with: to add a new idea to a conversationto go along with: to agree with someone else Not Speaking shut up: to stop talking, often used as an imperative (very rude)break off: suddenly stop speakingclam up: to refuse to speak or become silent during a conversationdry 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 saytalk down to: to verbally treat someone in an inferior mannergo off: to speak angrily about somethingput down: to criticize someone or something Sample Paragraph With Phrasal Verbs 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.As you can see by using these phrasal verbs the reader gets a much better idea of the dynamics of the conversation. If the above story was reported by saying "she told him", "he said" etc., it would be pretty boring indeed. In this way, the reader gets a real sense of the personalities of the speakers.