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







The bird nest is made(of- from) leaves.
I think it is of .Am I right?

Hello Hamdy Ali,

Yes, I think 'of' is best here, since you are speaking about the materials that were used to make the nest. You can see an explanation of the different options on this Cambridge Dictionary page.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello every one , hello sir,
let me ask my email question here again to be seen by every one as you advise , the question was about phrasal verbs , that in English there are loads of them ,thousands I think , so Is that a must to know every one of them , or there are some common ones I have to learn , and how can I find them ?
And are the natives really knowing all of them ?
Best regards .

Hello eng.Ayman,

Yes, not only are there many phrasal verbs, they each often have several different meanings. Everybody learns differently, but I'd suggest you take them slowly. As you read or listen to English, pay attention for them. When you hear one, write it down -- you might even want to get a small notebook just for phrasal verbs, or just for vocabulary. You should at least look for its definition in English (and/or your native language) and I'd also recommend copying down the sentence you heard or read it in. Then continue reading or listening and repeat this process every time you find a phrasal verb. In this way, you learn the phrasal verbs in context, which should help you understand their meaning better.

There are also many phrasal verb dictionaries or books designed to help you learn them. These are often very good -- I'm afraid we don't recommend specific titles, though -- but there is so much to learn in them that many of my students have become discouraged by them. This is partly why I recommend the method above. But if you think a book might be useful, it's certainly something to consider.

I hope this helps you. Let us know how you get on! (There's your first phrasal verb, if you want: 'get on'. Which of the six meanings do you think I've used in my question? Answer: the second one, 'manage'.)

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

I have some confusion about the word 'fall'. I should say "The boy falls off his bike" or "The boy falls down his bike'. Is there any differences between 'fall off' and 'fall down' in this case?
Thank you for your help.

Hi clover315,

Fall off is used when a person drops through the air without contact with a surface. We can fall off a ladder, fall off a branch and fall off a bike, for example.

Fall down is used when a person slips, bumps or rolls down a surface. We can fall down stairs or fall down a hill, for example, but not fall down a bike.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

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.

Hello amongerio,

Yes, that's correct -- 'come up with' is a phrasal verb. There are two-part and three-part verbs and 'come up with' is a three-part verb. The words that come after the verb in phrasal verbs are technically not prepositions or adverbs but rather particles, as they don't behave like prepositions or adverbs (though sometimes they do).

This Cambridge Dictionary grammar page on multi-word verbs also goes into some detail on the difference between phrasal verbs and prepositional verbs and might also be a useful resource for you.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Really appreciate the quick help Kirk and the great advice and extra material. Very helpful.

Best wishes

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.