What are phrasal verbs?
It is a verb and a preposition / adverb used together that usually changes the meaning of the verb
There are two and three word phrasal verbs (some are separable and some are not)
One phrasal verb could have multiple meaning which makes it hard to follow native conversations, songs or movies
Some phrasal verbs can be transitive or intransitive:
Transitive phrasal verbs:
subject + verb + preposition / adverb + direct object
The professor called on me.
She heated the pasta / it up.
- Only transitive phrasal verbs can be separable
- The object could be replaced with the pronoun ‘it’
- If the direct object is long, the verb should stay with the preposition
Intransitive phrasal verbs:
subject + verb + preposition / adverb + no direct object
We headed out.
- Inseparable phrasal verbs must stay next to each other. They never get separated.
Some phrasal verbs are always separated:
- run it by her
- make it up to him
- pass it off as something else
- ask someone back
- have something on
Phrasal verbs: Food
What is the difference between phrasal verbs and idioms?
Why do do language learners make so many mistakes when it comes to phrasal verbs and idioms?
- They translate directly from their first language to English
- They get confused with the multiple meanings or use the incorrect form or sentence structure
How can you improve?
- Read more, listen to English music and watch English movies / series
- Memorize the meanings of the phrasal verbs you are not familiar with and use it in conversation
- Try to use the right form and correct yourself if you are uncertain
Test your knowledge!
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