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Phrasal Verbs - Func. Grammar
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Phrasal Verbs (Multi-word verbs)
by michelle

Form. Phrasal verbs are what can also be called multi-word verbs. They are verbs accompanied by a particle which changes the meaning of the one-word verb in different ways or to some degree, as in "look" and "look after" or "look up".

Meaning. Sometimes the meaning created by the addition of the particle is transparent (clear, as in "walk away", you notice the person is moving away on foot) and sometimes we need to learn them consciously because we cannot infer their meaning... ("put up with").

Syntax. Phrasal verbs are either separable (I'll look it up!) or non-separable (Can you look after my cat while I'm away?). Separable verbs place the object between the verb and its particle when the object is "short", say, a pronoun (I'll look it up), and place it after the particle when the object is "long", say a phrase with more than 3 words (I'll look up all those references you gave me).

Use. Phrasal verbs are used frequently in English, mostly in informal language but increasingly also in formal situations. Some people say they are not used in formal situations but this is not true anymore. Obviously, in academic writing we will not use the most colloquial of the phrasal verbs but we can use many phrasals.

Tip: A great deal of phrasal verbs have an equivalent formal word which could replace them and which often comes from Latin or French (i.e. put out a fire - extinguish a fire) and in conventional academic writing this Latinate is preferred. I'll be writing a webpage on this at some point! If you're interested, tell me!
Useful links to work on your phrasals
while listening to English! (and other stuff!)

bullet Free On-Line Listening Activities external link to help you learn phrasal verbs (organized by levels! CEF levels external link) Their dictionary external link. This site follows a Non-Traditional or Comprehensive Approach.

bullet Funky Phrasals external link listen to conversation and print the worksheets! (BBC)

bullet Phrasals with "give" external link

bullet Phrasal Verbs and Multi-Word Verbs external link (The first page is how I usually explain this issue)

In the following Worksheet you'll find an example of gathering useful sentences which include phrasal verbs, for you to use in a Listen & Repeat exercise, so you can improve your fluency, and a 5 page list of useful phrasal verbs for Y5 EOI students, designed by Juan-Pedro Garrido Mendoza external link, who adapted Vince's workd in Advanced Language Practice(Heinemann). I am copying them here in case the webpage disappears some day! (websites are always changing!) Worksheet on Phrasals worddoc (6 pages): Example of Studying Phrasals and List of Verbs with Examples.

Another worksheet on Phrasals: Phrasal Verbs: ask, be, come, do, get & go (plus exercise) Text doc (1 page) Fixed link, thanks Ana!