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Phrasal verbs (II) that will help you succeed

Phrasal verbs are extremely important to memorise and use when trying to learn English. Using phrasal verbs often shows a sense of fluidity and good comprehension of the English language. The important thing is to memorise them and try to use them in speech as often as possible in order to use them in the correct context.

Today we are continuing with phrasal verbs. Let’s quickly revise what we have already learned so far!

In unit 142 we learned that a phrasal verb is a combination of a verb and a preposition, or an adverb. You can have more than one preposition, or an adverb and preposition. If you are unclear go check out unit 142 to refresh your memory!

Remember that although we may use a verb which means one thing in English, when used with an adverb or preposition to form a phrasal verb the meaning is completely different. It is important to not try to understand phrasal verbs, rather just learn them.

For example:

To look-to direct a person’s vision in one direction and to observe something.

To look after-to take care of someone or something.

Also remember that there are phrasal verbs which can be separated and ones that cannot be separated. If the phrasal verb is followed by a noun it can be separated.

For example:

To take your clothes off

To make a story up

To tidy your mess up

To finish your work off

Let’s look at some more phrasal verbs which can be separated.

Give back

-She will give the book back to you tomorrow morning.

-She will give back the book to you tomorrow morning.

-Mike gave my jumper back after the party.

-Mike gave back my jumper after the party.

*Notice that when the object is a noun it is not obligatory to separate the phrasal verb.

Make up

-He made up a lie so we didn’t know it was him.

-He made a lie up so that we didn’t know it was him.

-Sandy makes up a joke about my old car.

-Sandy makes jokes up about my old car.

*If the object is a pronoun we must always separate the phrasal verb.

-Is that story true, or did you make it up?

Now let’s check out two more phrasal verbs!

Pick up

-Kevin picked up Mike from school.

-Kevin picked Mike up from school.

Put off

-We will put off the wedding until next summer.

-We will put the wedding off until next summer.

And finally,

Put on

-Please put on your jacket.

-Please put your jacket on.

Turn off

-I can’t turn off the TV because I can’t find the remote.

-I can’t turn the TV off because I can’t find the remote.

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About Brandon

Brandon
Brandon has been teaching ESL students for over 12 years and has taught in India, Cambodia, Brazil and Spain. In his free time, he enjoys writing music, playing his guitar and travelling.

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