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Phrasal Verbs: • Phrasal verbs are usually two-word phrases consisting of verb + adverb, verb + preposition, verb+ adverb + preposition. It can have a literal meaning that is easy to understand because the meaning is clear from the words that are used in the phrasal verb itself. It can also have an idiomatic meaning which cannot easily be understood by looking at the words themselves. . E.g. 'give up' is a phrasal verb that means 'stop doing' something, which is very different from 'give'.
• Examples: run into, gear up, see through, settle down, show up, talk into, tone down, turn up, etc.
ran away, back up, see about, settle for, tag along, talk out of, touch up,
gang up, back off, send off, show through, take on, talk back, top off,
• Phrasal verbs with verb + adverb are called “particle verbs”. • Phrasal verbs with verb + preposition are called “prepositional verbs”. • Prepositional verbs with two prepositions are possible: e.g. We talked to the minister about the crisis.
Types Of Phrasal Verbs:
There are four basic types of phrasal verbs: Verb + particle Verb + particle + object/ verb + object+ particle Verb + particle + object (verb + particle inseparable) Verb + particle + preposition+ object (verb inseparable from particle and preposition)
1. 2. 3. 4.
1. Verb + particle e.g. look out! (= be careful); We set off on our journey (=started)
2. Phrasal verb with an object either after the particle or
between the verb and particle: 2a) Verb + object + particle e.g. I’ll throw the rubbish away. Take your shoes off. 2b) Verb + particle + object e.g. I’ll throw away the rubbish. Take off your shoes. • Note: When object is a pronoun, e.g. them, it can only go before the particle, not after it. e.g. I’ll throw it away (NOT: I’ll throw away it.) Take them off (NOT: Take off them.)
3. Phrasal verb with object, but verb and particle inseparable:
Verb + particle + object
e.g. She takes after her mother. (Not: She takes her mother after.) Looking after a baby is hard work. (NOT: Looking a baby after is hard work.)
4. Phrasal verbs with three parts: verb+ particle+ preposition. In this case, the verb cannot be separated from the other parts. Verb + particle + preposition + object
e.g. I’m looking forward to the weekend. You go now, I’ll catch up with you later. Going back on promises is not a good habit.
Phrasal verbs can be:
• 1. Intransitive (cannot be followed by an object) e.g. He suddenly showed up. “show up” cannot take an object. • 2. Transitive (followed by object) e.g. I made up the story. "story" is the object of "make up"
Phrasal verbs intransitive 1.Get up Phrasal verbs
Rise from bed
I don’t like to get up early. He was late as his car broke down. We will have to put off They turned down the meeting. my offer.
2. Break down Cease to function/ not function
transitive Phrasal verbs
Separable Phrasal Verbs: When 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"
Transitive phrasal verbs are separable
object particle object
They turned my offer
However, if the direct object is a pronoun, we must separate the phrasal verb and insert the pronoun between the two parts:
Direct object pronouns must go between the two parts of transitive phrasal verbs
on. Ali switched the radio Ali switched it Ali switched on. on it.
Phrasal verbs have a literal and an idiomatic meaning:
Verb and Adverb (run + around)
• to run around (something) - to run in a circle around something (literal) e.g. The dog ran around the fire hydrant. • to run around (somewhere) - to go to various places to do something (idiomatic/figurative) e.g. I spent the day running around town.
Verb and a Preposition (run + into)
to run into (someone or something) - to hit or crash into someone or something (literal) • e.g. The car ran into the truck on the busy street. to run into (someone) - to meet someone by chance (idiomatic/figurative) • e.g. I ran into my friend in a restaurant yesterday.
Verb and Adverb and Preposition (run + along/around + with) to run along with (someone or something) - to run beside or at the same pace as someone or something (literal) • e.g. The dog ran along with the bicycle. to run around with (someone) - to be friends and do things with someone or with a group (idiomatic/ figurative) • e.g. The boy is running around with a bad group of people.
An idiom is a group of words in current usage having a meaning that is not deducible from those of the individual words. For example, “to rain cats and dogs” - which means “to rain very heavily” - is an idiom; and “over the moon” – which means “extremely happy”- is another idiom.
• It is an expression, word, or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is comprehended in regard to a common use of that expression that is separate from the literal meaning or definition of the words of which it is made. • A group of words in a fixed order that have a particular meaning that is different from the meanings of each word understood on its own.
An idiom is a combination of words that has a meaning that is different from the meanings of the individual words themselves. It can have a literal meaning in one situation and a different idiomatic meaning in another situation. It is a phrase which does not always follow the normal rules of meaning and grammar.
To sit on the fence can literally mean that
one is sitting on a fence. • I sat on the fence and watched the game. The idiomatic meaning of to sit on the fence is that one is not making a clear choice regarding some issue.
• The politician sat on the fence and would not give his opinion about the tax issue.
• Most idioms are unique and fixed in their grammatical structure.
The expression to sit on the fence cannot become to sit on a fence or to sit on the fences. To be broken (literal = something broken) (figurative/ idiomatic = to have no money)
Difference between idiom and phrasal verb:
A phrasal verb can be adjusted to make a grammatically correct sentence; in idioms, order of words is not changed and often the order of words of idioms will generally be considered grammatically incorrect. NOTE: Adjectives and adverbs can be added to an idiomatic phrase. e.g.The politician has been sitting squarely in the middle of the fence since the election.
• Phrasal Verb Example: Teacher Rachel asked me about the way that the youth and the older people speak here in Brazil. Well, as in Great Britain, youths use slang to communicate with each other. And when they meet up with a stranger, an adult, an elderly person, a teacher or anyone higher up than them, they speak formally. This adds up to two different ways of talking: formal and informal. However, there is an interesting thing going on here: older people are starting to sound younger! In other words, people who are getting on in age are using more and more slang as a way of being „down with the kids‟*. Brazilian TV shows are full of young people, and the way they speak has a knock on effect on the way adult listeners express themselves. Maybe, in the near future, the way adults and young people use formal language won’t divide up the two age groups; everyone will only use formal language in formal situations.
Teacher Rachel asked me about the way that the youth and the older people speak here in Brazil. Well, as in Great Britain, youths use slang to communicate to each other. And when they meet someone unknown, an adult, an elderly, or someone as a teacher or any authority, they speak formally. And this is the way that we can separate the ways of expression of people here: formal or informal. However, there is an interesting phenomena occurring here: the older people are becoming youth. In other words, the adults and elderly people are using more and more slang to become closer to the youths. And, as Brazilian TV has plenty of young people (and TV has to talk the language of its public), it influences the way the adults express their selves. Maybe in a near future the formal language will be used just in formal occasions, and not as a way to separate groups with different ages.
Phrasal Verbs Exercises
1. Identify the placement of verb, particle and object in the following sentences.
1. I talked my mother into letting me borrow the car. 2. I ran into an old friend yesterday. 3. They are looking into the problem. 4. She looked the phone number up. 5. I looked up the number in the phone book. 6. I looked it up in the phone book. 7. Cheer up!
2. Complete the sentences using the correct form of phrasal verbs. Use each phrasal verb only once.
break out, break down, get up, switch on, ring up, turn down 1. I have to speak to Mr. Mason. I’d better________ up. 2. Do you like ______________early in the mornings? 3. Could you _____________________ the light? 4. The lift has _______and isn’t working at the moment. 5. A fire ______in the offices of ABC cinema last night. 6. That music s rather loud. Can you ____________ it?
3. Replace the underlined words with the correct form of phrasal verbs. Come into, run into, come up with, look back on, go into,
1. We’ve examined the problem very carefully. 2. Jane inherited a great deal of money when her grandmother died. 3. I met an old friend by chance in town yesterday afternoon. 4. When you remember the past, it’s easy to see the mistakes you’ve made. 5. We must try to find a solution to the problem.
• • • •
Relevant links/ sources: http://www.englishpage.com/prepositions/phras aldictionary.html http://www.englishclub.com/ref/Phrasal_Verbs/i ndex.htm http://www.idiomsite.com/ http://www.usingenglish.com/reference/ phrasal-verbs/g.html Saadat Ali Shah. Exploring the World of English. Chapters 1-6.
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