If you think phrasal verbs in English grammar are hard, then you need to watch this video. The truth is phrasal verbs are not hard. Don’t let anyone ever tell you that phrasal verbs are hard. The only reason why you think phrasal verbs are hard is because you don’t understand them.
Today’s English lesson is going to have three parts. First we are going to talk about what a phrasal verb is. Then we are going to talk about how to use phrasal verbs and finally you will learn 10 common phrasal verbs that you can use in your daily life. So if you’re ready to understand phrasal verbs and start thinking phrasal verbs are easy, then let’s get started!
What is a phrasal verb?
A phrasal verb is a group of two or three words which always has a verb. A phrasal verb also has a preposition or an adverb. Sometimes a phrasal verb has a verb, a preposition and an adverb. A preposition is a word that we use to connect two words together to show their relationship. An example of a common preposition is the word ‘to’. An adverb is a word that we normally use to change or modify a verb or an adjective. A common adverb in English is ‘up’. Easy, right? Now you know what a phrasal verb is.
How to use phrasal verbs
When you think about phrasal verbs, I want you to think of phrasal verbs just like normal verbs. When you use a normal verb, you have to think about the tense, right? Is it past? Is it present? Is it future? This is exactly the same when you use phrasal verbs. When you’re using phrasal verbs, the form of the verb in the phrasal verb sometimes has to change. For example, sometimes you might have to change it to a verb ING. Sometimes you might have to change the verb to a past participle.
Some phrasal verbs need an object, just like normal verbs. Some phrasal verbs don’t need an object, just like normal verbs.
Some phrasal verbs are separable. That means they don’t have to stay together. For example, the verb can be here and the preposition can be over here. They are not together. For example, the phrasal verb ‘turn on’ normally means to make something work by clicking a button or pushing a button. An example sentence could be ‘Turn the TV on.’ In this sentence, you can see that the ‘turn’ and the ‘on’ are separated. They are not together. You can also say ‘Turn on the TV.’ And you can see in this sentence that the ‘turn’ and the ‘on’ they have stayed together. They are next to each other. So you can see with these two examples, the object can go between the ‘turn’ and the ‘on’ or it can go after the ‘turn on’. Both are correct.
But if the object is a pronoun, the preposition or the adverb of the phrasal verb must be placed after the pronoun. Some common pronouns in English are ‘he’, ‘she’ and ‘it’. For example, the phrasal verb ‘make up’ can mean to create something. So we can say ‘John makes it up.’ This is correct because the word ‘up’ is after the pronoun. But we cannot say ‘John makes up it.’ This is incorrect because the word ‘up’ from the phrasal verb is before the pronoun.
Some phrasal verbs are inseparable. This means they must stay together. For example, with inseparable phrasal verbs, we can’t put the verb here and the preposition over here. The two words must stay together. A verb common inseparable phrasal verb is ‘come across’. This phrasal verb must always stay together. ‘Come across’ means to find something normally by chance or normally accidentally.
So how can you know which phrasal verbs are separable and which phrasal verbs are inseparable? Well the best way is to do a lot of reading. This way you will see how native speakers use phrasal verbs correctly.
Now most phrasal verbs have a very different meaning than the actual verb in the phrasal verb. For example, the phrasal verb ‘see to’ has nothing to do with seeing, looking or watching. The phrasal verb ‘see to’ means to do something or to take responsibility for something. So just remember. If you see a verb with another word, and it doesn’t really make sense, those two words might be a phrasal verb. Now you know what phrasal verbs are and how to use them.
10 common phrasal verbs
So now let’s look at 10 common examples of phrasal verbs that you can use in your daily life. Number one is ‘wake up’. ‘Wake up’ means to stop sleeping. For example, ‘What time do you wake up in the morning?’
Number two. Calm down. ‘Calm down’ means to relax normally after being angry or very excited. An example sentence could be ‘I know you’re angry but you need to calm down.’
Number three. Eat out. ‘Eat out’ means to eat at a restaurant. For example, ‘We like to eat out once a week.’
Number four. Give up. ‘Give up’ means to stop trying or to quit. For example, ‘Don’t give up learning English. You’re doing really well.’
Number five. Hang out. ‘Hang out’ means to spend time relaxing. For example, ‘Do you want to hang out this weekend?’
Number six. Look for. ‘Look for’ means to search for or to try to find something. For example, ‘I am looking for my keys.’
Number seven. Put on. ‘Put on’ means to wear clothes or accessories. For example, ‘Put your shoes on.’
Number eight. Throw away. ‘Throw away’ means to put something in the bin. For example, ‘Throw away that t-shirt. It’s old and dirty.’ Okay the last two phrasal verbs have three words. They have a verb. They have a preposition and they have an adverb.
Number nine. Look up to. ‘Look up to’ means to respect or to admire someone. For example, ‘He really looks up to his boss.’
Number ten. Look forward to. ‘Look forward to’ means to feel excited about something that will happen in the future. For example, ‘Do you look forward to the weekend?’
You have learned a lot of information today about phrasal verbs and I hope now that you can see that phrasal verbs are not difficult. You just have to understand them.