WHAT ARE PHRASAL VERBS?
Phrasal Verbs are Multi-word Verbs which are made up with verbs (come, put, get) and one or more particles. “Particles” are the adverbs and prepositions which complete it (up, with, off, on).
Verbs can combine with a number of particles to make up various phrasal verbs (get on, get on with, get back, get away)
The tricky thing about phrasal verbs is – yes, I know you are thinking it – the meaning of a Multi-word Verb is not the same as the independent meanings of the individual words.
Eg: Get on does not mean to get on top of something!
THERE ARE FOUR MAIN KINDS OF PHRASAL VERBS
1 – Intransitive – These do not take a direct object
The plane took off / We woke up late
2 – Transitive Inseparable – need a direct object which cannot go between the verb and particle.
She was heading towards 18th Street when it happened. (in the direction of)
3 – Transitive Separable – need a direct object which can go between the verb and particle.
The cashier rang all the groceries up.
4 – Transitive with 2 particles – need an object and these may not be separated.
The students look up to the teacher. (respect and admire)
Try this quick quiz to test your understanding.
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The story isn’t true. The writer _____CorrectIncorrect
Will you _____, I want to hear the football score.CorrectIncorrect
I can’t wait to _____ these running shoes when I get home.CorrectIncorrect
I fancy _____ yoga.CorrectIncorrect
She has been sick for ages. She can’t _____.CorrectIncorrect
I don’t like keeping secrets, but sometimes I _____ with it.CorrectIncorrect
We’ll see each other later unless something _____.CorrectIncorrect
The milk was left out so it’s probably _____.CorrectIncorrect
The jeans are too big but I can _____ a little.CorrectIncorrect
- Don’t make long lists of phrasal verbs. Learning them in isolation is really not helpful.
- Learn two or three every week and make an effort to recycle them in as many contexts as you can. When you feel comfortable move on to the next two or three. Here is a list of the 50 most commonly used English Phrasal Verbs: PHRASAL VERBS LIST
- Watch films in English, they are FULL of phrasal verbs! Start by watching this short entertaining video with extracts from a few films, with subtitles and an explanation for each phrasal verb used: WATCH VIDEO (2:37 mins).
- Make use of FREE digital lessons: WATCH VIDEO (29:27 mins).