A lot of students think English is easy to learn – that is until they encounter phrasal verbs! We are sure you have heard lots of these verbs by now, because they are everywhere. But what are they exactly?
Phrasal verbs are multi-word verb phrases that, when used together, make new meanings. For example: the verb ‘come’ means to “go in the direction of a person” and the preposition ‘across’ means “from one side to another.” But when they are put together to form a phrasal verb, they mean to “find or discover” something, often by accident.
This is what it looks like in action: “I came across these old photos when I was in Grandma’s house.”
It gets quite complicated because many of these phrasal verbs have more than one meaning. We decided to put together a list of some of the most well used phrasal verbs with two of the most common meanings to help you become a phrasal verb expert.
Phrasal verbs made up of at least two parts: the Verb (the first part) and the particle (which is made of a preposition).
There are two kinds of phrasal verb:
These verbs intransitive phrasal verbs, which means they exist without an object. The verbs can never be separated from the particles.
Take off (leave the ground) is an intransitive phrasal verb because the action is not being done to anything. For example: “The plane is taking off now!”
These phrasal verbs do take an object. Sometimes you can separate the verbs from the particles and sometimes you cannot.
Take off (remove) is a transitive phrasal verb because we always need to know what is being removed. For example: “Take your shoes off!” In this example the verb can be separated from the particle.
Phrasal verbs that can be separated by putting the object before the particle. You can use a noun or a pronoun for this, but you can never put the pronoun after a separable phrasal verb.
See the example:
Give back my shoes!
Give my shoes back!
Give them back!
Give back them!
Have you come across any new phrasal verbs recently? Let us know in the comments and make sure to share the definition with us!
If you liked this article, you might enjoy our post 10 Phrasal verbs you should learn today.