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

Comments

Hi pumbi,

The phrase 'came to know of something'  does not tell us how you learned it - it could be by design or by accident. It tells us that there was a process involved. When we use this phrase we are telling the listener that the knowledge did not come in an instant but through a period of study or contemplation. Therefore it would not be suitable for your situation, in which you learn the information in an instant.

The phrase 'happen to know' does not describe whether or not there was a process, or tell us anything about how you know something. It tells us that you did not learn this specifically for the purpose, but learned it generally and now it is, by lucky chance, useful to you. For example, imagine I take an exam. I might say this:

Questions 1 and 2 were easy because I studied those topics. Question 3 was really hard but question 4 I just happened to know.

This tells us that you studied the topics for questions 1 and 2 but not the topic for question 4 - you knew it, but not because you had specially prepared it for the exam.

 

As far as the best way to express what you want goes, I would say that the best option would be as follows:

I happened to hear that...

The fact you heard it is the accident or happenstance here, so I think that is the most natural way to phrase it.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello,
I have some queries on phrasal verbs.
Phrasal verb has three constructions, such as verb+adv,prep,adv+prep and could mean particular meanings for example: look up has three meanings, which I found on macmillandictionary, but it could also mean ''look over your head/above''. When it has that meaning, is it still considered as a prasal verb or just verb and adverb that modifies the verb?
In other words, I just want to know whether phrasal verb always means particular meaning(s) and cannot be understood straight.
Thank you.

Hello MCWSL,

Multi-word verbs often have both literal and idiomatic meanings but these are not related to the nature of the particle.

 

Adverb particle (separable)

I picked up the pen / I picked the pen up [literal]

I picked up the language / I picked the language up [idiomatic]

 

Preposition particle (non-separable)

I ran into my opponent. Ouch! [literal]

I ran into an old friend last week. [idiomatic]

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

 

Hello,

I have some queries on phrasal verbs.

Phrasal verb has three constructions, such as verb+adv,prep,adv+prep and could mean particular meanings for example: look up has three meanings, which I found on macmillandictionary, but it could also mean ''look over your head/above''. When it has that meaning, is it still considered as a prasal verb or just verb and adverb that modifies the verb?

In other words, I just want to know whether phrasal verb always means particular meaning(s) and cannot be understood straight.

Thank you.

Hello The LearnEnglish Team!
Could you tell me whether this sentence is grammatically correct:
'I don't want her shut away in some institution.' (the 8th section in the test above)
I would say it in two different ways:
'I don't want her to be shut away in some institution.' (Complex Object)
'I don't want her shutting away in some institution.' (Gerund, I suppose)
Thank you in advance!
All the best,
Dima

Hello Dima,

Both of these sentences are correct:

I don't want her shut away in some institution.

I don't want her to be shut away in some institution.

However, you cannot use the -ing form here (a present participle, not a gerund). This is because the participle has a passive meaning in this sentence and so we use the third form (past participle). The present participle would be used if there was an active meaning.

You can read more about these forms on this page.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Is true that the phrasal verbs are not use in formal conversation? or that are most use in informal conversation?

Hello jerviver21,

Phrasal verbs can be used in nearly any context, but in general, they are used less often in formal situations and more often in informal ones. There are many exceptions to this, however - it's just a general rule.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

helo like you said verb+adverb can be said as phrasal verb.. how about the sentence like 'he types quickly' ?. its never been become an example on any sites of phrasal verb that ive seen. pls explain

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