Posted by: Idioma Extra | May 8, 2014

Grammar Guru


Phrasal Verbs! Part 2


keep-calm-and-study-phrasal-verbs-12


phrasal verb is a verb that has two parts: a verb and a participle. A participle looks like a preposition but acts differently. Particles change the meaning of the verb.

For example: look = to see. Look into = research

Phrasal verbs are more informal than the one-word verbs with the same meaning. We use phrasal verbs in everyday, common speech but avoid them in more formal situations.

For example: “I have to figure out a solution” is less formal than “I must solve this issue.”

Watch out! Some phrasal verbs have more than one meaning. Pay attention to the context.

For example: Please turn down the volume. (lower) She turned down my invitation to the dance. (reject)

Also, make sure yous subject and verb agree in amount and tense.

For example: Yesterday, I checked out a book. He always turns down invitations to the movies.


Last week, we looked at intransitive phrasal verbs. Today, we’re going to focus on transitive phrasal verbs. Transitive means that the phrasal verb takes a direct object. There are two kinds of transitive phrasal verbs: separable and non-separable. Today, we’ll look at separable phrasal verbs and have a lot of fun with nonseparable phrasal verbs next week!


Most transitive verbs are separable. This means that the direct object can go:

1. after the particle (I called up Steven.)

2. between the verb and particle. (I called Steven up.) These two have the exact same meaning.

Watch out! If the direct object is a pronoun, it must go between the verb and particle. (I called him up. called up him.)

*Also, if the object is a longer phrase, we do not separate the verb and particle: I called up the man who called me last week.


Here are 10 common separable transitive phrasal verbs:

1. bring (something) up = bring attention to

I need to bring up our budget at the meeting.

2. give (something) out = distribute

I often give food out to homeless people.

3. look (something) over = examine

Can you look my resume over?

4. turn (something) on = start (a machine/light)

Please turn on the light! It’s too dark in here.

5. hand (something) in = submit, give work (to a teacher or boss)

As soon as I handed in my research paper to my professor, I took a nap.

6. call (someone) back = return a phone call *This verb is ALWAYS separated

I missed Amy’s call. I’ll call her back tonight.

7. cheer (someone) up = make happy

Steve’s girlfriend dumped him, but his friend’s took him out to cheer him up.

8. drop (someone/something) off = take someplace

Thanks for the ride! You can drop me off at the corner.

9. fix (something) up = redecorate

Mary should fix up her bedroom. It’s cold and dark in there.

10. put (something) off = delay

My boss put off the meeting until next week because she was not ready to meet yesterday.


Great! Now take a phrasal verb quiz and test your skills!


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