A sports-related grammar worksheet to practice phrasal verbs, for intermediate to advanced ESL students. (Free download available.)

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A. Activity: Select the correct verb

Choose the best answer for the following questions/statements.

1. My daughter is running a marathon today. I’m going to go watch her and ________________ .

a. cheer her up
b. cheer her out
c. cheer her on
d. cheer her over

2. She runs faster than everyone on the team. Nobody can ________________ her.

a. keep on with
b. keep up with
c. keep in with
d. keep ahead with

3. I missed the winning shot in hockey. I am really upset that I ________________ .

a. let the team down
b. let the team away
c. let the team over
d. let the team across

4. The training today was super intensive. It completely ________________ so hard that I’m going to sleep immediately when I get home.

a. wore me in
b. wore me over
c. wore me out
d. wore me up

5. Our team is much better than theirs. Everyone is ________________ us to win the match.

a. counting up
b. counting in
c. counting over
d. counting on

6. When I was younger I ________________ the basketball team, but I wasn’t so good so I didn’t make the team.

a. tried on for
b. tried out for
c. tried on with
d. tried out to

7. Before a hockey match, you should do some exercises, like sit-ups and push-ups to __________________ to get your body ready for the match.

a. loosen down with
b. loosen in to
c. loosen on
d. loosen up

8. My daughter was really upset after losing the soccer game, so we took her out for a nice lunch to try and ________________ a bit.

a. cheer her on
b. cheer her over
c. cheer her up
d. cheer her down

9. John is a great team captain. Before a match he always ________________ in the locker room and motivated to play well.

a. pumps the team over
b. pumps the team down
c. pumps the team up
d. pumped the team for

10. He didn’t hydrate himself very well before the race and it was very hot during the race, so he ________________ . Luckily the ambulance was there quick to take care of him.

a. passed away
b. passed out
c. passed down
d. passed in

11. Even though I was really tired, I didn’t ________________ . I made it to the end finish line without stopping.

a. give over
b. give up
c. give in
d. give off

12. After the marathon, my body was so hot that I had to go in the shade to __________________ a bit. I’m never running a marathon in the summer again!

a. cool over
b. cool down
c. cool away
d. cool up with

13. I didn’t __________________ many organized sports as a child. I preferred individual, extreme sports.

a. take part off
b. take part to
c. take part of
d. take part in

14. If you want to get your body strong, you should make sure to __________________ at least a few times per week.

a. work out
b. work down
c. work over
d. work off

15. Look how fast he is __________________ her. Do you think he will be able to catch up before she gets to the finish line?

a. running over
b. running after
c. running away from
d. running on to

B. Activity: Define the verbs

For each of the following phrasal verbs, write a short definition and provide an example in context. Use a different context than the examples from the activity above.

1. To let down

Definition: __________________

Example: __________________

2. To try out for

Definition: __________________

Example: __________________

3. To loosen up

Definition: __________________

Example: __________________

4. To cheer (somebody) up

Definition: __________________

Example: __________________

5. To count on (somebody)

Definition: __________________

Example: __________________

6. To pass out

Definition: __________________

Example: __________________

7. To wear out

Definition: __________________

Example: __________________

8. To pump (somebody) up

Definition: __________________

Example: __________________

9. To cool down

Definition: __________________

Example: __________________

10. To keep up with

Definition: __________________

Example: __________________

C. Activity: Fill in the blank spaces

Fill in the blank spaces with phrasal verbs from the list. 5 of the phrasal verbs will not be used. Make sure you change the verb to fit the tense or grammar of the context.

Verb list:

cheer (smb) onrun afterwear out
pass outpump (smb) upwork out
cool downcheer uptake part in
keep up withgive uploosen up
let (smb) downcount ontry out for

Before playing basketball it’s important to (1) __________________ your body, so you don’t pull any muscles when you start playing.

Years and years of running complete (2) __________________ my knees. I think it’s probably time (3) __________________ and find another sport like swimming.

Our goalie allowed a goal in the final seconds. Even though he (4) __________________ us __________________ down, we aren’t mad at him.

He was really upset after he (5) __________________ for the swimming team but wasn’t accepted in the end.

I lost the race that I trained really hard for, but my friends and family were there to help (6) __________________ after the race was over.

Listening to my favorite music always (7) __________________ me __________________ up before a soccer match.

Usain is so fast that no one can ever (8) __________________ him. He’s the fastest on the planet.

If you want to build muscle, it’s important to go to the gym and (9) __________________ consistently.

I have such great friends. They came to the stadium and were there to (10) __________________ me __________________ during the match.

D. Activity: Rewrite the sentences

Rewrite each sentence below using a suitable phrasal verb.

1. Even though we didn’t perform well in the game today, the coach made us feel better and motivated us to do better in our next game.

__________________

2. He is a terrible goalie. You can’t rely on him to save any scoring attempts!

__________________

3. I hate going running with my wife. She runs much faster than me and I have a hard time staying on the same level as her.

__________________

4. I usually exercise three times per week, but my job took all my energy this week so I wasn’t in the mood to exercise.

__________________

5. My favorite football team has lost three matches in a row. They’ve really disappointed me when my expectations were so high!

__________________

6. It’s especially important for older people to stretch before exercising!

__________________

7. He was so exhausted after his race that he lost consciousness immediately after crossing the finish line.

__________________

8. My whole family came to the match to support me during my swimming competition!

__________________

9. Their coach does a great job putting energy into and motivating the team before going out onto the field.

__________________

10. I would like to participate in the competition, but I can’t this year because of my injury.

__________________


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