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Wednesday, 24 October 2012

PHRASAL VERBS: TRYING TO MAKE THEM EASY


Phrasal verbs are one of the most difficult things for students learning English.     
Phrasal verbs may have many meanings or uses and often seem very confusing. The term phrasal verb is commonly applied to 2 or 3 different but related constructions in English: a verb and a particle and/or a preposition forming a single semantic unit. This semantic unit cannot be understood based upon the meanings of the individual parts alone, but it must be taken as a group. The same verbs with different prepositions or adverbs have very different meanings.
Phrasal verbs are mainly used in spoken English and informal texts. (The more formal a conversation or text, the less phrasal verbs are found.)
Remember there's a separate page in this blog where you can find phrasal verbs listed alphabetically.

Phrasal Verbs can be followed by Prepositions or Adverbs particles.

look up (preposition)
run up

run away (adverb)
get away

1) You will have to look up the word.
2) He ran up a big bill at the hotel.
3) He ran away from the dog.
4) He got away by jumping a fence.


The meaning is often not clear from the verb alone. You must use a dictionary.

Phrasal verbs appear in 3 types, these types define where the object of the verb, if there is any,  goes.

intransitive don't have objects:

He ran away because he was scared.
He got up and went out.


Transitive (Non Separable)
These verbs only have objects at the end:

I have looked for my keys everywhere.

Transitive (Separable)
These verbs have objects in the middle or end:

I broke up the fight.
I broke the fight up.
The fight was getting rough so I broke it up.

Look up the word in the dictionary.
Look the word up in the dictionary.
Look it up in the dictionary. ( it - only in middle)

Video explanations on phrasal verbs (1):
Video (2):
Video (3):

Links to: DICTIONARY OF PHRASAL VERBS.
              LIST OF THE 200 MOST COMMON VERBS.
              ANOTHER POST IN THIS BLOG.

Link to: EXERCISES ON PHRASAL VERBS.
             PHRASALVERBEXERCISES.COM.
             PHRASAL VERB VIDEOS


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