Phrasal and prepositional verbs – English Grammar in Use

A》

A phrasal verb is a verb + adverb.

 ● Come in and sit down.
 ●I took off my shoes.

A prepositional verb is a verb + preposition.

● I was looking at the photo.

● We didn’t go into all the details.

The preposition has an object (the photo,
the details).

B》

Some phrasal verbs have no object.

● Suddenly the lights went out.
● Others have an object.
●Someone turned out the lights.

When a phrasal verb has an object, both these orders are usually possible.

● We woke up the neighbours.

● We woke the neighbours up.

The adverb (up) can go before or after the
object (the neighbours).

When the object is a pronoun, the adverb goes after it.

● The neighbours were annoyed because we
woke them up.

When the object is a long phrase, the adverb usually goes before it.

● We woke up just about everybody in the
whole street.

C》

The adverb can sometimes go in front position for extra emphasis.

● The door opened, and out ran the boys.

There is usually inversion of subject and
verb, unless the subject is a pronoun.

● The door opened, and out they ran.

D》

A prepositional verb always has an object
after the preposition.

● Lisa paid for the meal.

● Lisa paid for it.

Compare these examples.

● She looked at it. (prepositional verb, stress on looked)

● She put it away. (phrasal verb, stress
on away)

E》

An adverbial usually goes after the phrasal
verb but between a verb and preposition.

● The plane took off on time.

● I looked carefully at the photo.

F》

Many phrasal and prepositional verbs can be passive.

● The alarm has been switched off.

● The matter will be dealt with.

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