Some verbs are two part verbs (see Clauses, Sentences and Phrases). They consist of a verb and a particle:

  • grow + up
    >> The children are growing up.

Often this gives the verb a new meaning:

  • take + after
    >> She takes after her mother
    = She looks like her mother, or She behaves like her mother.
  • count + on
    >> I know I can count on you
    = I know I can trust you, or I know I can believe you.

Some transitive two part verbs (see Clauses, Sentences and Phrases) have only one pattern:

N (subject) + V + p + N (object)

[Note: N = noun; V = verb; p = particle]

N (Subject)  Verb Particle  N (Object)
My father
can count
her mother

Some transitive two part verbs (see Clauses, Sentences and Phrases) are phrasal verbs. Phrasal verbs have two different patterns:

• The usual pattern is: N + V + N + p


N (Subject) Verb (N) Object Particle
will be leaving
the money
the glass
our friends and neighbours

• But sometimes these verbs have the pattern: N (subject) + V + p + N (object)


N (Subject) Verb Particle N (Object)
will be leaving
the money
the glass
our friends and neighbours

When the object is a personal pronoun,these verbs always have the pattern:

N + V +N + p:

  • She gave back it
    >> She gave it back
  • He knocked over it
     >> knocked it over
  • We will be leaving behind them
    >> We will be leaving them behind

• Phrasal verbs are nearly always made up of a transitive verb and a particle. Common verbs with their most frequent particles are:

bring: about, along, back, forward, in, off, out, round, up
buy: out, up
call: off, up
carry: off, out
cut: back, down, off, out, up
give: away, back, off
hand: back, down, in, on out, over, round
knock: down, out, over
leave: behind, out
let: down, in, off, out
pass: down, over, round
point: out
push: about, around, over
put: across, away, down, forward, off, on, out, through, together, up
read: out
set: apart, aside, back, down
shut: away, in, off, out
take: apart, away, back, down, in, on, up, over
think: over, through, up






Good morning!

I came across the following sentence which sounds odd to me because of the combination of "tell about":

He does not know whom to tell about the accident.

However, I think that the sentence is grammatically correct (whom = object). What do you think of this sentence?

Thank you for this wonderful website!

Hello magnus,

You're right – this sentence is grammatically correct. At the same time, I can see how it sounds odd to you. The reason for this is probably that the object of 'tell' has been moved into the relative clause.

In other words, normally, 'tell' has a person as an object (e.g. 'he told his sister about the accident'). In this case, the object of 'tell' is 'whom'. Since 'whom' comes before 'tell', it can sound a bit strange, but it is correct!

I hope this helps you understand it.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you very much sir for always helping me with my English grammar questions.

Hi, sir. I'd like to know which one of these two sentences is correct?

1. We are eating dinner at the table. OR

2. We are eating dinnner on the table.

Thanks in advance.

Hi html,

They are both grammatically correct but there is a difference in meaning. When you sit in a chair and your food is on a plate on the table, you are eating at the table. If you eat on the table, it suggests that you are sitting on top of the table. Most of the time, we talk about eating at the table!

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello. I hope you all are doing well. Just yesterday while reading toefl material I came across this "You need them replaced" which seemed to me incorrect. Then I googled and found a number of such usage. I thought it would be correct to say "You need them to be replaced" instead. Can some of you explain the usage of "need them replaced"

Hello Bekhzad,

The construction [need + object + past participle] is quite common. It has a similar meaning to [need to have + object + past participle]:

You need the house painted.

You need to have the house painted.


The implication is that someone else (a professional) will do the task.



The LearnEnglish Team

oh now i found it . Thank you a lot Mr. Peter May .

I also assumed so, but is there any rule written ? Neither Oxford nor Cambridge online dictionaries and other dictionaries have provided such use of "need" as "have". I am quite aware of using have/get+object+V(III) but need .

I was wondering can we use "Shut up" as a Phrasal verb?
Thank you