Verbs with adverbs and prepositions

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Question English Answer English
Verbs with adverbs (phrasal verbs)
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A phrasal verb is a verb + adverb, e.g. go away.
We went away for two weeks. We only came back yesterday.
these phrasal verbs have no object.
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Sometimes the meaning of a phrasal verb is clear from of the verb and adverb, e.g. go away, come back.
come back = voltar
I'm sure I wrote down the address, but I think I threw away the piece of paper.
These phrasal verbs have an object, e.g. wrote down the address.
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Sometimes the meaning of a phrasal verb is clear from of the verb and adverb, e.g. write down, throw away.
The plan didn't come off. I'm afraid it fell through.
These phrasal verbs have no object
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Sometimes the verb + adverb has a special meaning, e.g. here come off, fall through.
come off = succeded; fall through = not succeded
Mr Gray doesn't want to give up smoking but he's cutting down the number of cigarettes he smokes.
These phrasal verbs have an object
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Sometimes the verb + adverb has a special meaning, e.g. give up, cut down.
give up = stop; cut down = reduce.
Some other examples of phrasal verbs:
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call off, carry on, fall down, find out, get up, go away, make up, pick up, put down, put up, set off, sit down, take off, wash up, work out.
Phrasal verbs with an object
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If the object of a phrasal verb is a noun, the adverb can come before or after it.
The young people picked up the litter. A lorry took away all the bottles.
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If the object of a phrasal verb is a noun, the adverb can come before the object.
The young people picked the litter up. A lorry took all the bottles away.
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If the object of a phrasal verb is a noun, the adverb can come after it.
The young people picked up the litter left by the crowd. A lorry took away all the bottles they found.
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If the object is long, then the adverb comes in front of it.
e.g. the litter left by the crowd.
What about the litter? The young people picked it up. Who took the bottles? A lorry took them away.
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If the object is a pronoun, the adverb always comes after it.
Prepositional verbs
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A prepositional verb is a verb + preposition, e.g. decide on.
We finally decided on a holiday in Morocco.
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decided on
We had to wait for the plane.
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wait for
Can I look at your photos?
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look at
Some other examples of prepositional verbs:
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agree with, arrive at, ask for, believe in, belong to, deal with, depend on, hope for, insist on, laugh at, listen to, look after, look for, pay for, send for, talk about.
We paid back the money. We paid the money back. The money was paid back.
If a phrasal verb has an object, the adverb can come before or after it. We normally stress the adverb.
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Phrasal verb
Some examples of adverbs in phrasal verbs:
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about, away, back, by, down, in, off, on, out, over, past, round, through, to, under, up.
We paid for the flat. The flat was paid for.
A prepositional verb always has an object. The object comes after the preposition. We do not normally stress the preposition.
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prepositional verb
Some examples of prepositions in prepositional verbs:
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about, after, at, for, from, in, into, like, of, off, on, to, with.
Phrasal-prepositional verbs
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A phrasal-prepositional verb is a verb+ adverb + preposition, e.g. do away with.
I say we should do away with this unfair fax.
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do away with
Let's hurry up and get on with the job.
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get on with
I hope you won't go back on your promise now.
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go back on
Don't let Mr Barnes in on our secret!
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let ... in on
I'm really looking forward to our holiday.
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looking forward to
Why do you put up with all this noise?
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put up with
Watch out for cows in the road along here!
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watch out for

Learn more about verbs, adverbs and prepositions

This lesson will teach you what are phrasal adverbs and phrasal verbs. The phrasal adverbs along with the verbs are very important in English but in order to understand what they are, let's start with the definitions. What is a verb? A verb is a word used to describe an occurence or state and forms the predicate of a sentence (e.g. look, become, understand). If you don't know what is an adverb, it is a word or phrase that modifies the meaning of a verb, adverb or adjective, expressing place, degree, time or manner (e.g. there, then, very). Another important thing you should know is what is a preposition. A preposition is a word preceding and governing a pronoun or noun and expressing a relation to an element or word of the clause as in "the girl under the bed".

Prepositional verbs

Words that are sometimes prepositions can act as adverbs. Prepositional verbs don’t change their meaning as much when you add that preposition, and they’re much more rigid when it comes to word order. What is the difference between an adverb and preposition and why this distinction is important? An object can go before or after an adverb – but it can only go after a preposition. So phrasal verbs can be separated while prepositional verbs must not be separated. What do phrasal and prepositional verbs have in common and what are the differences? A phrasal verb is made up of a verb + adverb or verb + adverb + preposition. Here are some examples of phrasal verbs:
  • 1. put off
  • 2. carry on
  • 3. turn down
  • 4. give up
  • 5. break down
Also, when using a phrasal verb, the object (noun) can either be between the verb and adverb or after the adverb. A prepositional verb is made up of a verb + preposition. The verb must sit directly in front of the preposition and the object (noun or pronoun) must sit directly after the preposition.

Phrasal adverbs

So what is a phrasal adverb? It is a group of 2 or more words that acts like an adverb without having the elements that are normally considered adverbs. An example of a phrasal adverb is "sort of". Phrasal adverbs are oftenly used by the natives. Learning the phrasal adverbs and phrasal verbs is very important. The phrasal adverbs and verbs will make your speech more native-like and easy to understand. Using phrasal adverbs and phrasal verbs will also make it easier for others to understand you. Learn the phrasal adverbs and phrasal verbs with our flashcards and continue with the great lessons and courses we offer. The Top 100 Phrasal Verbs course, for example, will introduce you to some of the most common and important phrasal verbs! Continue learning English with VocApp and you will soon conquer this language!

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