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Phrasal Verbs

Phrasal verbs are a group of multi-word verbs made from a verb plus
another word or words. Many people refer to all multi-word verbs as phrasal
verbs. On these pages we make a distinction between three types of multi-
word verbs: prepositional verbs, phrasal verbs and phrasal-prepositional
verbs. On this page we look at phrasal verbs proper.
Phrasal verbs are made of:
verb + adverb
Phrasal verbs can be:
intransitive no direct ob!ect"
transitive direct ob!ect"
Here are some examples of phrasal verbs:
phrasal
verbs
meaning examples
direct
object
intransitive
phrasal
verbs
get up rise from
bed
# don$t like to get up.
break
down
cease to
function
%e was late because his
car broke down.

transitive
phrasal
verbs
put off postpone &e will have to put off the
meeting.
turn
down
refuse 'hey turned down my offer.
Separable Phrasal Verbs
&hen phrasal verbs are transitive that is, they have a direct ob!ect", we
can usually separate the two parts. (or e)ample, *turn down* is
aseparable phrasal verb. &e can say: *turn down my offer* or *turn my
offer down*. +ook at this table:
transitive phrasal verbs are
separable
'hey turned down my offer.
'hey turned my offer down.
%owever, if the direct ob!ect is a pronoun, we have no choice.
&e mustseparate the phrasal verb and insert the pronoun between the two
parts. +ook at this e)ample with the separable phrasal verb *switch on*:
direct ob!ect
pronouns must go
between the two
parts of transitive
phrasal verbs
,ohn switched on the
radio.
'hese are all
possible.
,ohn switched the
radio
on.
,ohn switched it on.
,ohn switched on it. 'his
is notpossible.
-eparable or inseparable phrasal verbs. -ome dictionaries tell you when
phrasal verbs are separable. #f a dictionary writes *look something" up*,
you know that the phrasal verb *look up* is separable, and you can say
*look something up* and *look up something*. #t$s a good idea to write
*something/somebody* as appropriate in your vocabulary book when you
learn a new phrasal verb, like this:
get up
break down
put something/somebody off
turn sthg/sby down
'his tells you whether the verb needs a direct ob!ect and where to put it".
Prepositional Verbs
Prepositional verbs are a group of multi-word verbs made from a verb plus
another word or words. Many people refer to all multi-word verbs as phrasal
verbs. On these pages we make a distinction between three types of multi-
word verbs: prepositional verbs, phrasal verbs and phrasal-prepositional
verbs. On this page we look at prepositional verbs.
Prepositional verbs are made of:
verb + preposition
0ecause a preposition always has an ob!ect, all prepositional verbs have
direct ob!ects. %ere are some e)amples of prepositional verbs:
prepositional
verbs
meaning examples
direct
object
believe in have faith in the
e)istence of
# believe in 1od.
look after take care of %e is looking
after
the dog.
talk about discuss 2id you talk
about
me.
wait for await ,ohn is waiting
for
Mary.
Prepositional verbs cannot be separated. 'hat means that we cannot put
the direct ob!ect between the two parts. (or e)ample, we must say *look
after the baby*. &e cannot say *look the baby after*:
prepositional verbs
areinseparable
&ho is looking
afterthe baby.
'his is possible.
&ho is looking the
baby after.
'his
is notpossible.
#t is a good idea to write *something/somebody* in your vocabulary book
when you learn a new prepositional verb, like this:
believe in something/somebody
look after sth/sb
'his reminds you that this verb needs a direct ob!ect and where to put it".
Phrasal-prepositional Verbs
Phrasal-prepositional verbs are a small group of multi-word verbs made
from a verb plus another word or words. Many people refer to all multi-word
verbs as phrasal verbs. On these pages we make a distinction between
three types of multi-word verbs: prepositional verbs, phrasal verbs and
phrasal-prepositional verbs. On this page we look at phrasal-
prepositional verbs.
Phrasal-prepositional verbs are made of:
verb + adverb + preposition
+ook at these e)amples of phrasal-prepositional verbs:
phrasal-
prepositional verbs
meaning examples
direct
object
get on with have a friendly
relationship with
%e doesn$t get
on with
his wife.
put up with tolerate # won$t put up
with
your
attitude.
look forward to anticipate with
pleasure
# look forward
to
seeing
you.
run out of use up, e)haust &e have run
out of
eggs.
0ecause phrasal-prepositional verbs end with a preposition, there is always
a direct ob!ect. 3nd, like prepositional verbs, phrasal-prepositional verbs
cannot be separated. +ook at these e)amples:
phrasal-prepositional verbs are
inseparable
&e ran out of fuel.
&e ran out of it.
#t is a good idea to write *something/somebody* in your vocabulary book
when you learn a new phrasal-prepositional verb, like this:
get on with somebody
put up with sthg/sby
run out of something
'his reminds you that this verb needs a direct ob!ect and where to put it".