I merely need to say the words "phrasal verbs" in class for a sudden respectful hush to descend on the room. Let's be honest, phrasal verbs are difficult for non native speakers to 'get to grips with' (GET TO GRIPS WITH: TO DEAL WITH SOMETHING OR SOMEONE DIFFICULT OR CHALLENGING).
For every phrasal verb there is always a more formal equivalent: TURN UP THE RADIO PLEASE (INCREASE THE VOLUME), JO & ALI BROKE UP YESTERDAY (THEY SEPARATED OR ENDED THEIR RELATIONSHIP), HE SHOWED UP AFTER DINNER HAD STARTED (HE ARRIVED).
So what's the best way to try to incorporate phrasal verbs into your English? Firstly don't try to simply learn a long list, try learning two a week, writing them down as part of a sentence. Secondly, in the beginning focus on simply understanding and recognising phrasal verbs, when you speak you can always use an alternative. Later when you're really familiar with some phrasal verbs you can begin, slowly, to add one or two to your spoken English. Over time, your English will begin to sound more 'native' with the addition of some phrasal verbs.
English teacher resident in Italy for 10 years, looking to help people understand this crazy language