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)
She
I
My father
takes
can count
comes
after
on
from
her mother
you
Madrid


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
She
He
We
gave
knocked
will be leaving
the money
the glass
our friends and neighbours
back
over
behind

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

 

N (Subject) Verb Particle N (Object)
She
He
We
gave
knocked
will be leaving
back
over
behind
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
   





 

 

 

Exercise

Section: 

Comments

Dear Sir/Madam,

I was wondering what the structure name for: 'come up with' would be? Is it a phrasal verb? In some comments you've noted transitive verb with a prepositon only. 'Up' is a preposition but not sure what you would call 'with'. Or is this a completely different structure? Really appreciate your assistance in advance.

Hi ,teachers. I'd like to know if can rewrite the follwing sentence: My sister was sick and couldn't care for the child, so i took over for her until she was well again.
My sister was sick and couldn't care for the child, so i took over for her until she was well back. I put the particle back instead of again. May it work?

thanks in advance.

Hello rosario,

No, I'm afraid 'back' doesn't work here. You could say 'until she was back to work' or 'back to normal', but not 'well back'.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello, everyone,
I have the phrase 'A person gets out of here' i.e. a person wants to run out of a place. So I'm interested in the names of verb structures where there 'Get out of here' is a phrasal verb, but 'Run out of somewhere (e.g. a place)' is not a phrasal verb it is literal, nevertheless if use this phrase "We've run out of sugar, matches" as a result "run out of something (e.g. sugar, matches, and etc.)" Please answer my question. Is that right?

Sorry I need to complete as a result "run out of something (e.g. sugar, matches, and etc.) is a phrasal verb.

Thanks for such a informative article...it will definitely help us in learning process...

Hi,

I have problems with this word "invest".

Take a sentence:
This program has been heavily invested in by the government.

Is the word "invest in" a phrasal verb? a verb + preposition?

Thanks,
Leo

Hello Leoz,

The definition of phrasal verb is actually quite hazy. 'Invest' is a verb which requires a preposition when it is used as a transitive verb but which does not have a preposition when it is an intransitive verb.

Thus we say:

I don't want to invest at this time.

I don't want to invest in that project at this time.

 

'Invest' does not have any non-literal/idiomatic meaning, which is one of the characteristics of phrasal verbs. Therefore I would simply call it a verb with a dependent preposition, rather like 'listen (to)' and 'dream (of)'.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi Peter,

Thank you for the detailed explanation. I have a follow up question if this is fine.

Since invest is a verb, in the example sentence quoted earlier on
"This program has been heavily invested in by the government.", it means that the structure is "invested in by" (verb + preposition + preposition). Can two prepositions be used together in this sentence?

Thanks,
Leo

Hi Leo,

This sentence is a passive form and the 'by' construction shows the doer of the action.

It is fine to have two prepositions. You can do it with prepositional phrases of time or place as well:

 

This program has been heavily invested in for many years / in the United States.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

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