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Unit 10.2

Phrasal Verbs


A phrasal verb is a two-part verb formed by a verb and a particle.

This particle usually gives verbs a whole new meaning. It is usually very difficult to understand the meaning of a phrasal verb from the words it is formed by.

A phrasal verb has two parts: First part is called base in which verb takes place. Second part consist of an adverb or a preposition that follows the base:

  • Verb + preposition;
  • Verb + adverb.

A sentence containing phrasal verbs usually has the following structure:
Subject + verb + object + particle (preposition/adverb).

There are some rules of phrasal verbs:

  • Some phrasal verbs are transitive which means they can be followed by object;
  • Some phrasal verbs are not transitive and they cannot be followed;
  • While some of the phrasal verbs are separable and you can put the object middle of the phrasal verbs, some of them are not so you cannot put the object.
  1. I just hung up the phone to have lunch with my partner.
  2. My father always brings up high telephone bills.
  3. After arranging the products she cleaned up the kitchen.
  4. If they keep up with this attitude, they will lose the clients.

Phrasal verbs usually have completely different meaning from the original verb. It is usually very difficult to understand the meaning of a phrasal verb from the words it is formed by.

Meanings of some phrasal verbs are as follows:

  1. Hung up: To end a call on the phone, especially when the other person doesn’t expect;
  2. Bring up: To mention a specific subject;
  3. Clean up: To clean a place, make it tidy;
  4. Keep up: To persist or persevere.

Phrasal verbs are small phrases formed by the combinations of either verb and preposition or verb and adverb. Their meanings are completely different from the original verb and we cannot understand a phrasal verb by looking at its components.

While some phrasal verbs are transitive, some are not. You can also separate some of them by putting the object between the components.

The structure of the sentence containing a phrasal verb is as follows:
Subject + verb + object + particle (preposition/adverb).

For example:
— “They brought up publicity campaigns in the Chamber of Commerce.” = “Bring up” means mentioning a topic.

NOTE: There is no rule regarding this topic therefore you need to learn them by heart.

Let’s revise this content within the [Form] section. Take a look at the [Example] section that shows its use within a context.


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