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WILLIAM L. MILNES Enseignement de langlais 2010




GRAMMAR: Phrasal Verbs (1)
Although phrasal verbs are more common in informal speech than in formal
speech and writing, they are an integral part of ordinary English. Indeed, there
are thousands of them, and native speakers use them constantly. The following
pages provide an introduction to the grammar and the use of phrasal verbs in
ordinary English.
PHRASAL VERBS: DEFINITION

Phrasal verbs are two-word or three-word verbs formed by combining root
verbs with particles (prepositions and adverbs). The meanings of phrasal
verbs are usually very different from the individual meanings of their root verbs
and particles. As a result, their meanngs are often opaque to non-native
speakers.


Examples of Common Two-Word Phrasal Verbs
(a) get up (wake up and leave bed)
Frank usually gets up around seven oclock in the morning.

(b) live off (survive or live by using the resources of someone or something)
The native people in that region still live off the land.

(c) look into (investigate)
The police are looking into the murder.

(d) put forward (submit for consideration)
At the meeting, Susan put forward a great idea for reducing costs.

(e) turn down (reduce the volume / refuse, not accept)
Would you please turn the radio down? Its too loud.
They turned our offer down.

Examples of Common Three-Word Phrasal Verbs
(a) check up on (verify that someone is doing what he or she should be doing)
We should check up on the children. Theyre supposed to be doing their
homework, but I can hear the television blaring downstairs.

(b) get away with (do something wrong without being caught or blamed)
The thief tried to steal the laptop, but he didnt get away with it. The
security guard caught him.

(c) put up with (endure, tolerate)
The mayor warned that the City wouldnt put up with any more graffiti in
public parks.

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WILLIAM L. MILNES Enseignement de langlais 2010


GRAMMAR: Phrasal Verbs (2)
SEPARABLE AND NON-SEPARABLE PHRASAL VERBS

Separable Phrasal Verbs
Separable phrasal verbs are transitive two-word verbs that allow for the
separation of their root verbs from their particles when they are used with direct
objects. This means that nouns and noun phrases that are the direct objects of
these phrasal verbs can be placed between the root verbs and the particles.

Example Sentences with Separable Phrasal Verbs
(a) give away (give something to someone for free / reveal something secret)
The store gave a television away (OR: gave away a television) in order to
promote its new sales strategy.
She gave his identity away (OR: gave away his identity) when she called
him by his real name.

(b) take off (remove, especially pieces of clothing)
When he entered the church, he took his hat off (OR: took off his hat).

(c) write down (write something on a piece of paper)
He wrote her phone number down (OR: wrote down her phone number) so
that he wouldnt forget it.

Non-separable Phrasal Verbs
Non-separable phrasal verbs are two-word and three-word verbs that do not
allow for the separation of their root verbs from their particles. The words that
make up these phrasal verbs can never be separated from one another by
placing other words between them.

Example Sentences with Non-Separable Phrasal Verbs
(a) check in / into (register ones arrival at the reception desk of a hotel or motel)
Tony and his wife checked into the hotel (INCORRECT: checked the hotel
into) at 7:00 p.m.

(b) look for (search for or try to find something)
I am looking for my keys (INCORRECT: looking my keys for). Have you
seen them?

(c) stand up for (support or defend someone or something)
Friends and colleagues stood up for Ms. Smith (INCORRECT: stood up Ms.
Smith for / stood Ms. Smith up for) when she was attacked in the media.

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WILLIAM L. MILNES Enseignement de langlais 2010


GRAMMAR: Phrasal Verbs (3)
All of the verbs in the sentences below are separable phrasal verbs. Rewrite each
of these sentences repositioning the noun and the noun-phrase direct objects. All
of the phrasal verbs in this exercise are in the lists on pages 12, 13, 14, and 15.
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(a) He looked up the definition in the dictionary.
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(b) Harry called Frank back and apologized.
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(c) She cheered her boyfriend up by telling him a joke.
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(d) Each participant must hand the four writing assignments in.
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(e) The teacher pointed the pronunciation error out.
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(f) Dont put going to the dentist off for too long. That tooth looks bad.
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(g) At the boutique, she picked out the dress for the dinner party.
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(h) I cant figure the answer out.
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(i) The lawyer drew the contract up, and both parties signed.
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(j) I told my son to clean his room up.
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(k) Check J ims new car out! What a machine!
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(l) We called off the picnic because of the rain.
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(m) The dentist pulled his tooth out.
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(n) J immy asked Sue out because he thought she was really cute.
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For pages 12, 13, 14, and 15, see the grammar document for next weeks class.
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WILLIAM L. MILNES Enseignement de langlais 2010


GRAMMAR: Phrasal Verbs (4)
USING PRONOUNS AS DIRECT OBJECTS OF SEPARABLE PHRASAL VERBS

When the direct object of a separable phrasal verb is a pronoun, it must be
placed between the root verb and the particle. It is incorrect to place the
pronoun direct object of a separable phrasal verb after the particle.


Example Sentences with Pronouns used as the Direct Objects of Separable
Phrasal Verbs
(a) ask out (invite to go on a date)
Peter thought that the girl in the second row in his math class was really
cute, so he asked her out (INCORRECT: asked out her).

(b) look up (try to find information about in a book)
I knew the meaning of those German words because I had looked them up
(INCORRECT: looked up them) in a German-English bilingual dictionary.

(c) put off (postpone)
Todays meeting about budget cuts has been cancelled. We have put it off
(INCORRECT: put off it) until next week.

Rewrite the following sentences replacing the noun and noun-phrase direct
objects of the phrasal verbs by pronouns.
(a) The soldiers fought off the attack with success.
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(b) When he turned forty, he gave up smoking.
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(c) The students filled out the evaluation forms.
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(d) The police pulled over Dave Stanley for speeding.
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(e) Sally looked over the documents while she was waiting.
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(f) After the Rocket laced up his skates, he taped his stick.
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(g) This spray will keep away the mosquitoes.
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(h) Her intelligence and her independence frightened Frank away.
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