Improve your English speaking skills – learn the correct use of the phrasal verbs ‘pop in’, ‘pop out’, and ‘pop round’.

These verbs are phrasal verbs, i.e. they are a verb combined with a preposition. In this context pop means go somewhere for a short period of time.
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Hi guys! Dan here for BBC Learning English here with this week’s Learner Question. Find out what it is after this.

OK! This week’s learner question comes from Marita in Spain, who asks “Could you explain the difference between pop in, pop out and pop round?” Ok Marita, We’ll do our best.

Now these three pieces of language you’ve chosen are phrasal verbs. That means that they are a verb combined with a preposition. In this context the verb pop means go somewhere for a short period of time.

If you pop out, you leave the building that you are in, possibly your house or your office and maybe you’re going to run an errand. So, you might collect some milk, post a letter or go and have some lunch. For example: I’m just popping out to get some milk. I’ll be back in a minute.

Pop in has the opposite meaning. This means you go inside the building for a short period of time. For example: Oh wait a minute. I need to pop in this shop and buy some toothpaste.

And we also use pop in when we visit someone, in a very informal way. So: Oh you’re home on Saturday. I’ll pop in and see you.

It’s in this kind of situation that we also use pop round, although pop round puts more of a focus on the travelling. So, for example: Sarah, why won’t you pop round and have a cup of tea? I haven’t seen you in ages.

Remember that being a phrasal verb we can change the preposition to suit the context. Two slightly different examples would be: I need to pop up on the roof and fix the satellite dish. Or: Are you looking for John? He’s just popped downstairs to speak to Tim.

I hope that answers your question Marita. Thank you very much for writing to us. If anybody else out there has a question about English, you can email us on: Please remember to include Learners’ Questions in the subject box and your name and the country that you are from. For more information, you can also go to our website: I’ll see you next time on Learners’ Questions. Thanks for tuning in. Bye.

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