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what is phrasal verbs? What is the difference between separable and inseparable phrasal verbs?


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By : misterhadi An introduction to PHRASAL VERBS

Definition : :

Definition : Phrasal verbs is a combination of a verb and preposition or adverb or both. verb preposition look down get up put on

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The preposition or adverb of a phrasal verb is called a particle . The most common particles are : up in off on out down for away into

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A phrasal verb has a meaning which is different from the original verb. Compare : get (original verb) = receive get up get on get over get off phrasal verbs = rise from the bed = step onto a vehicle = recover from illness = leave a vehicle

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Verb + preposition has two meaning but verb + particle has single meaning. Compare : Please put the dictionary on the desk. Please put your jacket on before you leave. (put = place, on = surface position) (put on = wear a cloth) real meaning idiomatic meaning

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Some phrasal verbs are intransitive (can’t be followed by an object). Examples : It was raining heavily when the plane took off . He suddenly showed up . (take off = leave the ground) no objects (show up = arrive) no objects

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Some phrasal verbs are transitive (can be followed by an object). I think she made up the story. Examples : I reminded him to pick up the children quickly. (make up = invent; create) with an object ( pick up = collect; lift) with an object

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Some transitive phrasal verbs are separable (the object placed between verb and preposition). Examples : She looked up the words in the dictionary. or She looked the words up in the dictionary. I have to pick up my boss in the airport. or I have to pick my boss up in the airport.

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In separable, if the object is a pronoun (me, him, us, it, them, etc,..), we can not put it after the preposition. Examples : I think she made up the story. I think she made the story up . I think she made it up . I think she made up it.

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Some transitive phrasal verbs are inseparable (the object placed only after the preposition). Examples : I ran into an old friend yesterday. (run into = meet by chance) I ran an old friend into yesterday. They are looking into the problem. (look into = investigate) They are looking the problem into .

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Avoid using phrasal verbs in formal documents such as email, news reports, etc… Instead of writing : Write… : They tore down the old building. They demolished the old building. Instead of writing : The CEO decided to put off the meeting. Write… : The CEO decided to postpone the meeting.

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