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Phrasal Verbs Part 2

I posted a few weeks ago about phrasal verbs and I asked you how many phrasal verbs I used in my blog post. The answer is 10. I have highlighted them in the text below.

I’ve been away from the language talk blog for a little while and I’ll  explain where I’ve been soon, but this week I’ve decided it’s time we brushed up on some phrasal verbs. Phrasal verbs are made up of a verb and one or sometimes two particles. The particles are adverbs or prepositions. These particles can add to or change the meaning of the verb. Sometimes the meaning of the phrasal verb can be worked out from the particle and sometimes it’s impossible to guess the meaning of the phrasal verb from the particle because they have an idiomatic meaning.

When you come across a phrasal verb it’s important to look it up in a good dictionary which will tell you the meaning or in many cases meanings of the phrasal verb. It’s helpful to write down the meaning of the phrasal verb and the context it is used in or write an example sentence. Sometimes, phrasal verbs have a different meaning in different contexts so it is important to find out which context it is used in and how it is used.

In addition, it’s important to know whether the phrasal verb takes an object because sometimes the phrasal verb can be split up, the object can be used between the verb and the particles. If you use a pronoun instead of a noun sometimes you have to split up the phrasal verb.

This may sound a little confusing but don’t let it put you off. Phrasal verbs are an important part of everyday English and being able to use them will help you to get by in English.

I will explain these phrasal verbs in the glossary so if there are any you are not sure of, have a look to check their meanings.

I thought I just give you a bit more information about phrasal verbs. Basically, there are four types of phrasal verbs.

Type 1 phrasal verbs need a direct object (they are transitive). In other words, you can’t use Type A phrasal verbs them without an object after them unless you are asking a question. Type A phrasal verbs cannot be separated.

I came across some nice restaurants in London.

I didn’t come across anything interesting.

What did you come across in London?

Type 2 phrasal verbs also need a direct object but unlike Type A phrasal verbs they can be separated. With Type B phrasal verbs if you use a pronoun in place of an object you must separate the verb and particle.

Please write down your name in the top left corner of the page.

Please write your name down in the top left corner of the page.

Please write it down in the top left corner of the page.

Type 3 phrasal verbs do never use a direct object and the two parts of the verb are never separated.

I find it difficult to get by in London.

I don’t know how unemployed people get by in London.

Type 4 phrasal verbs have three words, a verb and two particles. They have a direct object and are never separated.

I look forward to seeing you soon.

I can’t put up with this noise any more.

Just to finish here are some tips:

  • Don’t be afraid of using phrasal verbs, they are a normal part of everyday English.
  • Make sure you learn the phrasal verb and the context it is used in.
  • A lot of phrasal verbs have a normal verb equivalent so try to learn this as well.
  • Remember phrasal verbs can have different meanings in different contexts.
  • Some phrasal verbs which can be used in different contexts with different meanings change type.
  • Because most particles begin with vowels remember to link the verb and particle in your pronunciation.
  • Please let me know if you have any other advice.

By Ben

Improve your confidence in spoken English with our General English course or Individual English training in our centre in London or online.


to brush something up - (phr.v.) to practise and improve your knowledge of something that you have already learned.

to made something up - (phr.v.) to join together to form something.

to work something out - (phr.v.) to think about something and then be able to understand it.

to come across something - (phr.v.) to find or discover something by chance.

to look something up - (phr.v.) to try to find information in a book or on the internet.

to find something out - (phr.v.) to get information after searching for it.

to split something up - (phr.v.) to separate something into parts.

to put someone off - (phr.v.) to make someone dislike or not want to do something.

to get by - (phr.v.) to be able to survive

to look forward to something - (phr.v.) to be excited and pleased about a future event.

to put up with something - (phr.v.) to accept an unpleasant or difficult situation without complaining.

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