Sergey Sulimov


Sergey Sulimov


What are phrasal verbs

школа английского языка

The concept of a phrasal verb refers to a combination of 2-3 words, which are different parts of speech, combining a verb with an adverb and/or a preposition. Most are formed by combining several common verbs (come, let, take, put, etc.) with a number of prepositions (on, by, down, into, etc.).

Sometimes it is easy to understand what a phrasal verb means (e.g. call back перезвонить, grow up вырасти). Nevertheless, often these combinations do not mean the same thing as the main verb. For example, the verb “give up” means “сдаться, уступить”, whereas simply “give” is translated as “дать”.

Usually phrasal verbs are used just like all other words. But when learning English, you may encounter some difficulties with their use, mainly in terms of grammar.

Teachers at the EnglishPapa have five main types of phrasal verbs:

◾Non-transitive verbs used without a direct complement. This can include “go back”, “to come back”.

◾Transitive phrasal verbs with complements, which can come immediately after the verb or after the particle. However, if the complement is a pronoun, it always separates the phrasal verb.

◾Transitive verbs whose complements always separate the conjugation, irrespective of the part of speech.

◾Transitive verbs, which are not divided by complements. In this case, they are always placed after the particle.

◾Verbs that have two complements one after the verb, and one after the particle.

It is important to know that phrasal verbs are considered less formal than regular verbs. They are mostly used in informal texts and in ordinary speech.

They should not be used in a formal setting (for example in a business conversation), then they are likely to be seen as inappropriate and not very correct.

Students do not usually like to learn phrasal verbs. As a rule, they find this topic extremely difficult to understand and memorise. Perhaps this can be explained by the fact that it has always been a difficult task for the teacher to teach this section of English. Consequently, it will cause difficulties for the students as well. However, it all depends on the professionalism of the teacher, and in an adult English course at the EnglishPapa, this problem does not exist.

Try not to use the following phrasal verb learning techniques:

◾using long lists (it is fair to say that any lists do not encourage imaginative play and therefore have little effect in any learning);

◾concentrating only on the main verb (e.g. trying to learn all phrasal verbs formed from “make”). This method usually boils down to combining a number of verbs which do not fit into any group and only interfere with memorisation.

The theme of phrasal verbs is developed in the emergence of phrasal nouns. In this case, too, a combination of a verb and a particle is used, but it denotes not an action, but a subject or a concept, e.g., “feedback” – обратная связь.

Phrasal nouns can be written either in one syllable or with a hyphen. The first spelling is always used when the particle comes first. If it is the other way round, a hyphen may be used.

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