English Grammar Step by Step
For the sake of simplicity, the distinction between phrasal and prepositional verbs is not taken into account by some grammarians. However, this distinction is crucial, since it helps us to know where to put the object of the verb.
A phrasal verb can be defined as a verb followed by an adverb; a prepositional verb, by a preposition. Notice that a preposition takes a noun, pronoun or gerund, but an adverb does not. The following examples will help you to illustrate this:
She took her coat off.
She took off her coat.
She took it off.
He gets up early in the morning.
I'm looking for my hat.
I'm looking for it.
The combination "a verb + an adverb + a preposition" is a phrasal-prepositional verb:
I will have to work very hard to catch up with the rest of the class.
She ran off with the money.
He got away from prison last night.
Say whether the combinations in the sentences below (which are given in bold type) are phrasal verbs, prepositional verbs or phrasal-prepositional verbs.
She went out of
the light on/Switch on
They are look
the matter carefully.
She can't put up with
his bad manners.
The policeman ran after
the juvenile delinquent, but he couldn't catch him.
f Pick it up
The thieves ran away with
She was head
ing away from
her home town when she realised that she had forgotten something there.
She was head
the beach when I saw her.
that cigarette out
, please/Put out
that cigarette, please/Put
Can we put off
the meeting till tomorrow?/Can we put
the meeting off
till tomorrow?/Can we put
Ice turns into
water when it is heated.
How are you get
ting along with
your wife now?
o Sit down
Their car broke down
When you are exhausted, it is very difficult to get down to
We must draw up
a plan/We must draw
a plan up
/We must draw
those toys away
those toys immediately/Put
Now, turn over
the page over
We'd better send for
the doctor, as he's very ill.
Her parents are always telling her to look for
a boy and settle down
ing forward to
my summer holidays.
She couldn't get through to
you last night, as the line was engaged all the time.
her all afternoon, but she didn't turn up
Notice that She took off it
is not correct.
Observe that get up
does not take an object.
Author: Miquel Molina i Diez
Pages: 1 and the key
1 Negative and interrogative sentences (Page 2 and the key)
2 Short answers (Page 2 and the key)
3 Question tags (Page 2 and the key)
4 Questions and exclamations (Page 2 and the key)
5 So, neither, nor, either (the key)
6 Be, used to, would, be/get/become used to, dare, have, get, become, grow, go, turn, fall and feel (Page 2 and the key)
7 Verb tenses: forms (Page 2 and the key)
8 Irregular verbs
9 Verb tenses: uses (Page 2, Page 3, Page 4, Page 5 and the key)
10 Personal pronouns, possessives and reflexive pronouns (Page 2 and the key)
11 The genitive case (the key)
12 Singular and plural nouns (Page 2 and the key)
13 Gender (the key)
14 A, an, some, any, no, not, none, each, every and the; compounds of some, any, no and every (Page 2, Page 3 and the key)
15 Neither, not...either, none, not...any, both and all (the key)
16 A few, few, a lot, lots, a little, little, many, much, no and plenty (the key)
17 Enough, too, so and such (the key)
18 Comparative and superlative sentences (Page 2 and the key)
19 Adjective order (the key)
20 Relative clauses (Page 2 and the key)
21 Do and make (the key)
22 Modal verbs (Page 2, Page 3 and the key)
23 Infinitives, gerunds and present participles (Page 2 and the key)
24 Conditional sentences (Page 2 and the key)
25 Passive sentences (the key)
26 Reported speech (Page 2 and the key)
27 Purpose (the key)
28 Word order (the key)
29 Inversion (the key)
30 Connectors (Page 2 and the key)
31 Prepositions (Page 2, Page 3 and the key)
32 Phrasal verbs (the key)