Unit 3.2

Phrasal Verbs

Introduction

A phrasal verb is a two-part verb formed by a verb and a particle. This particle usually gives verbs a whole new meaning.

Form

Phrasal verb structures consist of a verb followed by a preposition.

Some of the most used are:

  • with break: break up, break out, break dow;
  • with come: come back,come across,come up;
  • with look: look after, look for, look up, look out, look forward;
  • with put: put off, put down, put up with;
  • with take: take off, take after, take back…

Example

  • One prisoner broke out of jail.
  • They came back very late yesterday.
  • came across my friend last week.
  • She always looks up to her father.
  • Look out! You’re going to fall down!
  • We have to put the picnic off, it’s raining.
  • Susie takes after her mother.
  • He has to take his bike back.

Use

According to their meaning, phrasal verbs are used in different contexts.

Below you can see the meanings of some phrasal verbs:

  • Break:
    1. break up: end a relationship;
    2. break out: escape;
    3. break down: stop working.
  • Come:
    1. come back: return;
    2. come across: to meet someone/something by coincidence;
    3. come up: be mentioned.
  • Look:
    1. look after: take care of something or somebody;
    2. look for: search for;
    3. look up: respect;
    4. look out: be careful;
    5. look forward: wait for something with excitement.
  • Put:
    1. put off: postpone;
    2. put down: place something on the table/floor;
    3. put up with: tolerate.
  • Take:
    1. take off: remove a piece of clothing;
    2. take after: to look like someone;
    3. take back: return.

Summary

Phrasal verbs are verbs formed by the combination of a verb and a particle. This particle usually gives verbs a whole new meaning.

The most common used phrasal verbs are:

  • break: break up, break out, break down;
  • come: come back, come across, come up;
  • look: look after, look for, look up, look out, look forward;
  • put: put off, put down, put up with;
  • take: take off, take after, take back…

For example:
— “He told his girlfriend to come back.
— “She should take her book back.

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

Exercises

External link to Phrasal Verbs exercises (560).




Translations

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