English Phrasal Verbs
This unit introduces verbs that combine with certain prepositions and adverbs to create a new or more nuanced meaning from the original root verb. These are known as phrasal verbs.
Phrasal verbs are verbs that include one or two particles, which change the meaning of the original verb by itself. There are many phrasal verbs used frequently in English. Here are a few examples.
She came across an interesting article in the newspaper.
We dropped the kids off at school.
They didn’t look up directions to the festival.
The main verbs “come,” “drop” and “look” have different meanings from the phrasal verbs above:
come across – to find someone or something by chance; to appear a certain way or give a particular impression
drop off – to transport someone or something to a specific destination
look up – to search for information or someone
Phrasal verbs can be separable or inseparable, meaning that the particle(s) can either occur immediately after the verb or later in the sentence (separable), or they must follow the verb (inseparable). Here are some examples:
Separable – drop off, pick up, take out
Inseparable – come across, get up, sleep in
Some phrasal verbs have two particles. There are not as many of these multi-particle phrasal verbs as those with only one particle. Some common ones include: look forward to, keep in touch, get rid of, come up with.
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