Phrasal verbs are a common feature of the English language, especially in informal contexts. They are made up of a verb and a particle or, sometimes, two particles. The particle often changes the meaning of the verb. There are two main types of phrasal verbs: separable and inseparable.
With separable phrasal verbs, the verb and particle can be apart or together. However, separable phrasal verbs must be separated when you use a personal pronoun. For example, “I didn’t want to bring the situation up at the meeting” 1. Here are some common separable phrasal verbs:
- Bring up = start talking about a particular subject
- Fill in = write information in a form or document
- Pick up = collect someone in a car or other vehicle to take them somewhere
- Turn down = to not accept an offer
With non-separable phrasal verbs, the verb and particle cannot be separated. For example, “Who looks after the baby when you’re at work?” 1. Here are some common non-separable phrasal verbs:
- Come across = to find something by chance
- Turn into = become
- Get over = recover from something
- Look into = investigate
To learn more about phrasal verbs, you can visit this link which provides interactive exercises and explanations for intermediate ESL students.