Phrasal Verbs for Talking About Childhood

In the IELTS Speaking Exam, there are many chances for you to talk about your childhood. In the Speaking Part 2, you may even be asked about someone else’s childhood. It is important to be able to use tenses correctly, but it’s also important to know some useful phrasal verbs for talking about childhood.

Useful Phrasal Verbs for Childhood

bring up

  • Who brought you up?
  • I was brought up by my grandparents.

grow up

  • Where did you grow up?
  • I grew up in Canada, but moved to the U.S. when I was a teenager.

grow out of

  • Did you go through any phases when you were young that you’ve grown out of?
  • Thankfully, I grew out of a really embarrassing phase when I loved rap music.

look up to

  • As a child, who did you look up to?
  • I looked up to my older brother, who was in the army.

look after

  • Who looked after you when you were young?
  • My aunt looked after me when my parents were working.

get on with

  • Did you get on well with your siblings?
  • Yes, I did. I got on well with all of them, although we fought with each other sometimes!

stand up for

  • Did you stand up for yourself when others tried to bully you?
  • No, I was never very good at standing up for myself.

care for

  • Who cared for you when you were sick?
  • My mum cared for me when I was sick, but if she wasn’t around then my sister would do it.


tuck in

  • Did your parents both tuck you in at night?
  • I was very scared of the dark, so my parents would carefully tuck me in and wait for me to fall asleep.

tell off

  • Who told you off when you misbehaved?
  • My parents were both quite strict and would tell me off if I did anything wrong.

tidy up

  • Did your parents give you money if you helped tidy up the house?
  • No, but they still made me tidy my room up sometimes.

Author: David S. Wills

David S. Wills is the author of Scientologist! William S. Burroughs and the 'Weird Cult' and the founder/editor of Beatdom literary journal. He lives and works in rural China, and loves to travel. He has worked as an IELTS tutor since 2010, has completed both TEFL and CELTA courses, and has a certificate from Cambridge for Teaching Writing. In 2018, he wrote the popular IELTS handbook, Grammar for IELTS Writing. His other IELTS website is called IELTS Teaching.

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