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Phrasal Verbs Separable/ Inseperable. b y Imad. What are Phrasal Verbs?! . 1 . A phrasal verb is a verb plus a particle I ran into my teacher at the movies last night. >> run + into (= meet) Verb + particle = phrasal verb. Particles Vs. Prepositions.

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Phrasal verbs separable inseperable

Phrasal VerbsSeparable/ Inseperable

by Imad

What are phrasal verbs
What are Phrasal Verbs?!

  • 1. A phrasal verb is a verb plus a particle

    I ran into my teacher at the movies last night.

    >> run + into (= meet)

    Verb + particle = phrasal verb

Particles vs prepositions
Particles Vs. Prepositions

  • Particles are identical to prepositions in appearance but act differently

  • Particles effect the meaning of the phrasal verb. Prepositions do not change the meanings of their proceeding verbs and are independent of them.

    • E.g.

      • Particle: Max ran up the bill. (run up = to make larger)

      • Preposition: Max ran up the hill. (run keeps its normal meaning in this case)

      • Particle: I looked up your number online. (=searched)

      • Preposition: I looked up to see the helicopter in the sky. (=actually looked up towards the sky)

  • So, particles change the meaning of a verb, but prepositions DO NOT

Transitive or intransitive
Transitive or Intransitive?

  • A: Transitive Phrasal verbs

    • 1) TAKE AN OBJECT:

      • Call off something (=cancel)

      • Pick out something (=choose)

      • take away something (=remove)

    • 2) usually SEPERABLE (The particle may precede or follow the direct object):

      E.g. "They turned onthe lights" or "They turnedthe lights on"

Transitive Phrasal Verb



Transitive Phrasal Verb


  • BE CAREFUL! when the object is a pronoun, the particle cannot precede it:

  • "They turnedthemon" is correct. (them = the lights)

  • "They turned on them” (INCORRECT).

  • I wroteitdown. (Correct).

  • I wrote down it (INCORRECT).

    So if the direct object is a pronoun, it MUST go between the verb and the particle

Some transitive phrasal verbs must be separated and some are inseparable
Some Transitive phrasal verbs MUST be separated and some are inseparable

  • Even though they are usually separated, a small group of transitive verbs must be separated:


    Keep your jacket on. Not: Keep on your jacket.

    Ask Sara out. Not: Ask out Sara

    Ask John over. Not: Ask over John


Note that
Note that…

In transitive phrasal verbs:

-When the noun object is part of a long phrase, we do not separate the verb and the particle:


I filled out the form from the Sterling Property Management.

NOT:I filled the form from the Sterling Property Management out

Intransitive p hrasal verbs
Intransitive Phrasal Verbs

  • Intransitive phrasal verbs

    • 1) DO NOT take an object.

    • 2) Always inseparable:

      Catch on = become popular

      Get a head = make progress

      Show up = appear

      Sit down = take a seat


  • Learn to rely on your intuition when deciding whether a phrasal verb is separable or inseparable

    Try this:

    Bring change about

    (=make happen)

    Bringabout change

    Which one do you think makes more sense when you pronounce it?