Updated: Aug 8, 2022
Phrasal verbs are verbs which consist of usually two or three words.
For example: find out, get up, come up with
These verbs work as a unit, and we should avoid translating them word by word. They have a complex meaning. Be careful about not only their meaning but also their form.
1) separable = we can separate the verb from the particle(s) and insert an object
for instance: pick up
using a pronoun: I will pick you up at 6 p.m. I will pick up you at 6 p.m.
using a noun: I will pick my son up at 6 p.m. I will pick up my son at 6 p.m.
using a name: I will pick Tom up at 6 p.m. I will pick up Tom at 6 p.m.
2) inseparable = we CANNOT separate the verb from the particle(s)
for instance: look forward to
I am looking forward to this summer and free travelling.
Daniel cannot keep up with the rest of the team.
3) transitive = these verbs need an object
Let’s call the meeting off. (It would not make sense to say just Let’s call off.)
4) intransitive = these verbs do not need an object; they make sense when they are used on their own.
Watch out! There is a car coming. Hurry up! We are late.
Please, go on.
A LIST OF SOME PHRASAL VERBS:
break up with, deal with, cope with, catch up with, get away with, read up on, brush up on, turn up, turn down, drop out, follow up, put sb through
A more detailed list of phrasal verbs with their meanings can be downloaded here: