Phrasal Verbs


Welcome to class! 

In today’s class, we will be talking about phrasal verbs. Enjoy the class!

Phrasal Verbs

phrasal verbs |

A phrasal verb is a group of two or three words that begins with a verb and is followed by a particle. This particle can either be a preposition or an adverb. Phrasal verbs are also referred to as examples of idiomatic expressions since the meanings are not deductible from the meaning of the items that make it up. Check this out:

He run down his opponents.

The meaning of run down cannot be discovered by adding up the separate meaning of run and down. Thus, the two items have come together to produce a separate meaning different from what each item means individually, which in this sentence means, disparage.

The hint to take away from here is that, for every phrasal verb, it is possible to find a singular verb that means the same thing and could be used to replace the phrasal verb. See the following examples:

call on                                   visit

put on                                   wear

decide on                            choose

give in/up                             surrender

look after                              tend/nurse

ask for                                    demand

come across                       meet

find out                                 discover

look into                                investigate

take off                                 remove


Note that the phrasal verbs above contain a verb and a particle each.

Further examples:

  • The Constance family called on my parents last week.
  • Lolade put on her best gown for the party.

Now, use the remaining verb phrases above in a sentence each.

It is also possible to have phrasal verbs with two particles. Let us consider some examples.

feel up to                              feel capable to do something

get on with                          have a good relationship

come forward with           give ideas or information

watch out for                      to be careful because of a danger

pull out of                             decide not to continue

move on to                          to change to a different subject

catch up with                     get to the same level

add up to                             result in a total of

take out on                          make someone suffer because a person is angry

make up for                         compensate


Look up the meanings of the following phrasal verbs in your dictionary and use them in a sentence each:

Do away with

Feel up to

Get on with

Come forward with

Watch out for

Stand out from

Face up to

Lash out at

Lash out on

Lose out on


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