A phrasal verb is a type of verb that is created when a main verb is combined with either:
Phrasal verbs - Easy Learning Grammar
- an adverb,
|take off||give in|
|blow up||break in|
- a preposition,
|get at (someone)||pick on (weaker children)|
- or an adverb + preposition,
|put up with (insults)||get out of (doing something)|
Type A. Verb plus adverbSome Type A phrasal verbs have no object, i.e. they are intransitive. The sentence makes sense without any further addition to the verb.
- Mary went away.
- Helen sat down.
- The students came back.
- We could make out a figure in the distance.
- He tried to blow up the Houses of Parliament.
- Could you put your clothes away, please?
- before the object,
- I picked up Jim on my way home.
- He blew out the candle.
- She tidied away her things.
- or after the object.
- I picked Jim up on my way home.
- He blew the candle out.
- She tidied her things away.
- I picked him up.
- He blew it out.
- She tidied them away.
- to sit down = sit + down
- to go away = go + away
|to make up (an answer)||= invent|
|to turn down (an invitation)||= decline|
|to work out (a problem)||= solve|
|to put up (a visitor)||= accommodate|
Type B. Verb plus prepositionType B phrasal verbs always have an object. This is because prepositions always have an object.
- He asked for his bill.
- He asked for it.
- She listened to the doctor.
- She listened to her.
- They referred to our conversation.
- They referred to it.
- He asked the waiter for the bill.
Type C. Verb plus adverb and prepositionType C phrasal verbs are a combination of the two previous kinds of verb. All the parts of a Type C phrasal verb come before the object.
- We are looking forward to our holiday/it.
- Don’t put up with bad behaviour/it.
- You must look out for the warning signs/them.
- It is sometimes hard to tell adverbs and prepositions apart, because often the same word can be both a preposition and an adverb, depending on how it is used. For further information about prepositions see Prepositions.
Type APhrasal verbs made from a verb plus an adverb may be intransitive (do not take an object) or transitive (take an object).
|some phrasal verbs that|
do not take an object
|some phrasal verbs that|
do take an object
|to break down||to blow something up|
|to carry on||to break something off|
|to fall down||to bring a child up|
|to get about||to bring a subject up|
|to get up||to catch somebody up|
|to give up||to clear something up|
|to go away||to close something down|
|to go off||to give something up|
|to go on||to leave something out|
|to grow up||to make something up|
|to hold on||to pick someone up|
Type BPhrasal verbs made from a verb plus a preposition are all transitive.
|to add to something||to hope for something|
|to agree with someone||to insist on something|
|to apply for a job||to laugh at something|
|to approve of something||to listen to something|
|to arrive at a place||to look after someone|
|to ask for something||to look for something|
|to believe in something||to look into something|
|to belong to someone||to pay for something|
|to call on someone||to refer to something|
|to care for someone||to rely on someone|
|to come across something||to run into someone|
|to deal with something||to run over something|
to ask a grown-up for help
to check your answers with the teacher
to pay the assistant for your shopping
to refer a customer to the manager
Type CPhrasal verbs with an adverb plus a preposition all take a prepositional object.
|to be fed up with something||to keep away from something|
|to carry on with something||to look back on something|
|to catch up with something||to look forward to something|
|to check up on something||to look out for something|
|to come up with something||to look up to someone|
|to cut down on something||to make up for something|
|to do away with something||to put in for something|
|to face up to something||to run away with something|
|to fall back on something||to run out of something|
|to get on with someone||to run up against something|
|to get out of something||to stand up for something|
|to go back on something||to walk out on someone|
|to go in for something||to watch out for something|
|to break in on someone||to lead up to something|