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A phrasal verb is a verb + particle combination.

It could be the same verb with a number of different particles and each
implying a different meaning...

...or the same verb and the same particle also, implying a different

The meaning of the phrasal verb is often idiomatic. (which means the
meaning has nothing to do with the meaning of the verb and particle)

There are four types of phrasal verbs:

#1 Inseparable phrasal verbs: verb + adverb (no object)

Intransitive phrasal verbs "don't" have objects.

• Sit down!

• Lady Gaga’s music has caught on very fast.

• If you come over after school, we can do the homework together.

• We all dressed up for the Christmas party.

• Sarah dropped by to return the book I had lent her.

• I’m tired and I don’t feel like cooking – let’s eat out tonight.

• We were going to spend the holiday at the beach, but our plans fell through because we
couldn’t find a place to stay.

• My job doesn’t have a high salary, but it’s enough to get by.

• My alarm clock goes off at 6:00, but I don’t get up until 6:30.

• I really enjoyed my visit to Germany; I’m planning to go back next spring.

• My son wants to be an astronaut when he grows up.

• The football player passed out after training for 5 hours in the hot sun.

• I agreed to meet Peter at the basketball game, but he never showed up.
#2 Separable phrasal verbs: verb + adverb + object or verb + object +
Many phrasal verbs are transitive and need an object. Transitive verbs can be separable or
inseparable. With separable phrasal verbs, the object can come before or after the particle.

• Can you turn down the volume?

• Can you turn the volume down?

If the object is a pronoun, it must go between the verb and the particle, never after.

• Can you turn it down?

*Note: If the object is a long noun phrase, the particle comes immediately after the verb.

• She gave up going to the gym. (NOT: She gave going to the gym up)

#3 Inseparable phrasal verbs: verb + preposition + object

With inseparable phrasal verbs, the object must go after the particle.

• I ran into my ex-boyfriend at the supermarket – that was an unpleasant surprise.

• I can’t go out tonight because I’m looking after my sister’s children.

• I was debating what type of fitness class to take, and I finally settled on yoga.

#4 Three-part phrasal verbs: verb + adverb + preposition + object(s)

Some phrasal verbs may have three components: a verb + two particles.

The object must come after the particles.

• One of my colleagues is not very nice, but we put up with him because he does excellent work.

• I’m really looking forward to our family vacation in Florida – it’s going to be awesome!

• We have rats in the house – we need to call the exterminator to get rid of them.

Most three-part verbs require one object.

• The president of the company is traveling, so the vice-president is filling in for him at the
• The client backed out of the deal at the last minute.

A few three-part phrasal verbs have an object after the verb and a second object after the two

• I'll take you up on your offer to make dinner tonight.

• The officer stood them up for their rights.