Phrasal Verbs introduction

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Welcome to your Phrasal Verbs Introduction lesson! In this topic we talk about:
• What is a phrasal verb?
Phrasal verbs with prepositions
• Phrasal verbs with objects
Take the quizzes when you’re ready! If you’re having problems, use the comment box to contact our English Teachers.

What is a phrasal verb?

Sometimes a verb can be used together with one of these words:

about along away back by
down forward in off on
out over round through up

When we use these words together like this (“take out”, “come round”, “go through”) then we made a phrasal verb.

Sometimes we use these words with a verb of movement, for example:

Would you like to come round tonight?

If the shirt is too small you should take it back to the shop.

We should go out tonight.

Sometimes when we use these words, the meaning of the word changes completely:

The plane takes off at three.” (take off = leave the ground)

My friend’s car broke down on the motorway.” (break down = stop working)

Do you get on with your colleagues?” (get on = be ‘friends’ with)

Phrasal verbs with prepositions

Sometimes a phrasal verb is followed by a preposition:

She tried to run away from the dog.” (run away + from)

We looked up at the mountain.” (look up + at)

I look forward to seeing you on Tuesday.” (look forward + to)

Phrasal verbs with objects

Sometimes a phrasal verb can be used with an object. Usually in these cases, there are two possible forms:

“He switched the light off.” ↔ “He switched off the light.”

If the object is a pronoun, then you only have one possibility. Here are some examples:

Don’t wake up the baby!” or “Don’t wake the baby up!
Don’t wake her up!” (not “Don’t wake up her.“)

Please fill this form in.” or “Please fill in this form.”
Please fill it in.” (not “Please fill in it.“)

We have to take off our shoes.” or “We have to take our shoes off.
We have to take them off.” (not “We have to take off them.“)