Phrasal verbs

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Phrasal Verbs and other multi-word verbs
Phrasal verbs are part of a large group of verbs called "multi-word verbs". Phrasal verbs and other multi-word verbs are an important part of the English language. Multi-word verbs, including phrasal verbs, are very common, especially in spoken English. A multi-word verb is a verb like "pick up", "turn on" or "get on with". For convenience, many peoplerefer to all multi-word verbs as phrasal verbs. These verbs consist of a basic verb + another word or words. The other word(s) can be prepositions and/or adverbs. The two or three words that make up multi-word verbs form a short "phrase" - which is why these verbs are often all called "phrasal verbs".
The important thing to remember is that a multi-word verb is still a verb. "Get" is a verb. "Getup", is also a verb, a different verb. "Get" and "get up" are two different verbs. They do not have the same meaning. So you should treat each multi-word verb as a separate verb, and learn it like any other verb. Look at these examples. You can see that there are three types of multi-word verb:
single-word verb | look | direct your eyes in a certain direction | You must look before you leap. |multi-word verbs | prepositional verbs | look after | take care of | Who is looking after the baby? |
| phrasal verbs | look up | search for and find information in a reference book | You can look up my number in the telephone directory. |
| phrasal-prepositional verbs | look forward to | anticipate with pleasure | I look forward to meeting you. |
In this lesson we look at the three typesof multi-word verbs, including phrasal verbs, followed by a quiz to check your understanding:
* Phrasal Verbs
* Prepositional Verbs
* Phrasal-prepositional Verbs
* Phrasal Verbs Quiz
Like many grammar books, we divide multi-word verbs into:
* prepositional verbs
* phrasal verbs
* phrasal-prepositional verbs
Other grammars, however, call all multi-word verbs"phrasal verbs".

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 object)
* transitive (direct object)
Here are some examples of phrasal verbs:
| phrasal verbs | meaning | examples |
| | |   | direct object |
intransitive phrasal verbs | get up | rise from bed | I don't like to get up. |   |
| break down | cease to function | He was late because his car broke down. |   |transitive phrasal verbs | put off | postpone | We will have to put off | the meeting. |
| turn down | refuse | They turned down | my offer. |
Separable Phrasal Verbs
When phrasal verbs are transitive (that is, they have a direct object), we can usually separate the two parts. For example, "turn down" is a separable phrasal verb. We can say: "turn down my offer" or "turn my offer down". Look atthis table:
transitive phrasal verbs are
separable | | They | turned |   | down | my offer. |
| | They | turned | my offer | down. |   |
However, if the direct object is a pronoun, we have no choice. We must separate the phrasal verb and insert the pronoun between the two parts. Look at this example with the separable phrasal verb "switch on":
direct object pronouns must go between thetwo parts of transitive phrasal verbs | | John | switched |   | on | the radio. | These are all possible. |
| | John | switched | the radio | on. |   | |
| | John | switched | it | on. |   | |
| | John | switched | | on | it. | This is not possible. |
 
Separable or inseparable phrasal verbs? Some dictionaries tell you when phrasal verbs are separable. If a dictionary writes...
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