INTRODUCTION TO PHRASAL VERBS

This is an English Language lesson which provides an introduction to Phrasal Verbs.

To understand phrasal verbs, it is important to be able to recognize words which are nouns, verbs, adverbs and prepositions.

A phrasal verb is an expression combining a verb with an adverb and/or a preposition.

It is also referred to as a Preposition Verb.

Think of a phrasal verb as an expression where the preposition or adverb are capable of being separated.

Phrasal verbs are flexible in that the position of the object noun can go either between the verb and the adverb or after the adverb

The taxi driver picked up the passenger

The taxi driver picked the passenger up

When the object is a pronoun, it can only go between the verb and the adverb or preposiiton in a phrasal verb expression.

The taxi driver picked him up

The taxi driver picked up him (this is incorrect)

In the case of a preposition verb, the verb-preposition combination cannot be separated and the object must come after the preposition.

The babysitter looked after the children

The babysitter looked the children after (this is incorrect0

It is therefore important for the student to fully understand the following

Subject and Object

Noun and Pronoun

Transitive and Intransitive

Separable and Inseparable

The subject and the object will always be either a noun or a pronoun.

Ball, Man, Game, Accident, School, Masterplan,  are all nouns.

A noun can be more than one word (e.g. United States of America)

Not all sentences require a subject and an object but they will require one or the other.

(e.g. Close the door – no subject.    He cried – no object)

An object can be direct or indirect

The boy gave a present to his friend

In that sentence, ‘boy’ is the subject, ‘present’ is the direct object and ‘friend’ indirect object.

A noun can be replaced by a pronoun.

(He, She, It, Him, Us, Something, Everybody, Mine, Ours are all examples of pronouns)

A Transitive Verb requires an object.  In other words, it requires a qualifying noun to make sense of the sentence.

The man gave up smoking (smoking is the object)

She cut the cake (cake is the object)

The cake is cut (cake is the object.  there is no subject)

An Intransitive Verb does not require an object but can be appended by a preposition phrase, noun phrase and/or adverb.

He died (of cancer)

It rained (yesterday)

Nobody knows (the truth)

I laughed (at the joke)

Continue, move, start, change, close, open, run, wash and write are examples of verbs which can be both Transitive and Intransitive.

We will continue the lesson after lunch (continue is a transitive verb, lesson – object)

The meeting continued after lunch (continue is intransitive appended by after lunch)

Many phrasal verbs and prepositional verbs become nouns when they are either compounded (e.g. countdown) or hyphenated (e.g. count-down) and have a different meaning.

In conclusion, let us take a look at the expression ‘check out’ and ‘check out of’

The couple checked out of the hotel

They have already checked out

The couple checked the hotel out before making a booking

The couple checked it out before making a booking

The couple made the payment at the check-out

Sentence 1 – ‘check out of’ is a preposition verb because the words cannot be separated from each other.

Sentence 2 – ‘check out’ is a phrasal verb and is capable of being separated

Sentence 3 – ‘check out’ is a phrasal verb which is separated by a noun phrase (the hotel)

Sentence 4 – ‘check out’ is a phrasal verb which is separated by a pronoun (it)

Sentence 5 –  ‘check-out’ is a noun and not a phrasal verb or preposition verb

 

This lesson is no more than an outline of the key points about using phrasal verbs.in the English language.

There is a lot more to be learnt by interaction through reading and listening to English in a variety of different ways.

Good luck to all students in their application to learn English and continue to visit the blogsite of http://www.thenativeenglishteacher.wordpress.com.

 

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