VERB + ADVERB and/or PREPOSITION
The adverb or preposition is called a particle.
Before we go any further let’s make sure we are all clear on what a verb, a preposition and an adverb are.
A verb is a word that describes an action (i.e. to swim, to read), or a state of being (i.e. to live, to understand). Every sentence has to have a verb.
A preposition is a small word that describes the relationship between two words. For example, the cat is ON the chair or IN the drawer or UNDER the table or INSIDE the bag. Prepositions usually deal with time (i.e. SINCE, BY a certain time), location/place, (IN, BELOW, OPPOSITE) or direction/movement (i.e. ACROSS, DOWN).
An adverb is a word that describes a verb, an adjective or other adverbs.
Now that you know what verbs, adverbs, prepositions and particles are, you’re ready to start putting them together into phrasal verbs.
Transitive Phrasal Verbs
A sentence with a transitive phrasal verb has an object.
An object is a word or part of a sentence that is affected by the verb.
Alex GAVE UP smoking two years ago.
Give up= to finish, to stop something
‘gave up’= transitive phrasal verbs; ‘smoking’=object
You need to FILL OUT the online registration form before your course
Fill out =to complete
‘fill out’=transitive phrasal verb; ‘form’=object
Klaus agreed to LOOK AFTER my dog while I was away.
Look after= to take care of
‘look after’=transitive phrasal verb; ‘dog’=object
Could you please SWITCH the lights OFF when you leave the office?
Switch off= to turn off
‘switch off’= transitive phrasal verb; ‘lights’=object
Intransitive Phrasal Verbs
A sentence with an intransitive phrasal verb does not have an object.
John and I BROKE UP two years ago
Break up=to end a relationship
Pat swore he would never GO BACK to that restaurant.
Go back= to return
It was so warm in the department shop, I thought I was going to PASS OUT.
Pass out=to faint, to lose consciousness
We CALLED AROUND but we could not find the car part we needed.
Call around=to phone up many places/people
We RAN OUT of ink cartridges so I couldn’t print the report.
Run out=to have none left
Intransitive Phrasal verbs
The word parts that make up an intransitive phrasal verb cannot be separated.
Look at this example using the intransitive phrasal verb BREAK UP:
Break up= to end a relationship
We BROKE UP two years ago. CORRECT
We broke two years ago up. INCORRECT
She might TURN UP any time.CORRECT
She might turn any time up.INCORRECT
The negotiations BROKE DOWN quickly. CORRECT
The negotiations broke quickly down INCORRECT
Transitive Phrasal Verb
The word parts of transitive phrasal verbs either can be separated, that is the particle can be separated from the verb by the direct object, or cannot be separated.
Example sentences using the transitive phrasal verb TURN DOWN:
Turn down=to refuse
They TURNED DOWN my offer
They TURNED my offer DOWN.
Turned down=transitive verb. Offer = object
If the object is a PRONOUN (such as you, him, her, it, us and them), then the object ALWAYS comes between the verb and the particle.
They TURNED it DOWN. CORRECT
They TURNED DOWN it. INCORRECT