are the main way new verbs enter the English language.
Phrasal verbs are not
stative, but dynamic: they usually
begin in casual speech where they become part of our everyday vocabulary and
eventually become recognized as standard usage.
is a verb plus a preposition or adverb which produces a meaning indipendent of
the separate elements, different from
the original verb,
canít be derived from the dictionary meaning of their parts.
phrasal verbs have more than one idiomatic meaning.
two-fold, the unpredictability of their idiomatic meaning and the rules
describing how they may be entered into the rest of the
Phrasal verbs can be
distinguished between "Intransitive" (these don't take an object), "Inseparable"
(the verb and the preposition(s) are always connected), and "Separable" (the verb and the preposition(s) are not always connected and can be
The Oxford English Grammar distinguishes seven
types of prepositional or phrasal verbs:
|intransitive phrasal verbs
(e.g. give in);
|transitive phrasal verbs
(e.g. find out [discover]);
prepositional verbs (e.g. look after [care for]);
prepositional verbs (e.g. blame [something] on [someone]);
verbs. (e.g. serve as);
phrasal-prepositional verbs (e.g. look up to [respect]);
phrasal-prepositional verbs (e.g. put [something] down to [someone] [attribute
the meanings of
are idiomatic and there is no logical pattern for learning them.
The distinctions are directly
embodied in the examples,
understood by anyone who understands
Most Important Phrasal Verbs
BE and HAVE
DO and MAKE
BRING and TAKE
SET and PUT
COME and GO
LOOK and SEE
TALK and TELL
Other Phrasal Verbs
B C |
D E F
G H I J K
L M N O
P Q R S
T U V W Y Z