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Multi Word Verbs

Multi Word Verbs

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Published by DavidAyliffe

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Published by: DavidAyliffe on Mar 24, 2010
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07/05/2013

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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 arean important part of the English language. Multi-word verbs, including phrasal verbs, are very common, especially inspoken English. A multi-word verb is a verb like "pick up", "turn on" or "get on with". For convenience, many people referto 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" - whichis 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. "Get up", 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-wordverb 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 certaindirectionYou must 
look 
before you leap.multi-wordverbs(1) prepositionalverbs
look after
take care of Who is
looking after
the baby?(2) phrasal verbs
look up
search for and find informationin a reference book You can
look up
my number inthe telephone directory.(3) phrasal-prepositional verbs
look forward to
 anticipate with pleasureI
look forward to
meeting you.
 
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PREPOSITIONAL VERBSPrepositional verbs are a group of multi-word verbs made from a verb plus another word or words. Many people refer toall 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 
prepositional verbs
.Prepositional verbs are made of: verb + prepositionBecause a preposition always has an object, all prepositional verbs have direct objects. Here are some examples of prepositional verbs:
prepositional verbs meaningexamplesdirect object 
believe in have faith in the existence of I believe in God.look after take care of He is looking after the dog.talk about discuss Did you talk about me?wait for await John is waiting for Mary.Prepositional verbs cannot be separated. That means that we cannot put the direct object between the two parts. Forexample, we must say "look after the baby". We cannot say "look the baby after":prepositional verbs are inseparableWho is
looking after
the baby? This is possible.Who is
looking
the baby
after
? This is
not 
possible.
 
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PHRASAL VERBSPhrasal verbs are a group of multi-word verbs made from a verb plus another word or words. Many people refer to allmulti-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 + adverbPhrasal verbs can be:
 
intransitive
(no direct object)
 
transitive
(direct object)Here are some examples of phrasal verbs:
phrasal verbs
 
meaning
 
examples
 
direct object 
 intransitivephrasalverbs
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
.transitivephrasalverbs
put off 
postpone We will have to
put off 
the meeting.
turn down
refuse They
turned down
my offer.SEPARABLE PHRASAL VERBSWhen 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 at this table:transitive phrasal verbs areseparableThey
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 pronounbetween the two parts. Look at this example with the separable phrasal verb "switch on":direct object pronouns
must 
gobetweenthe twoparts of transitivephrasalverbsJohn
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.

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