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TABLE OF CONTENTS A. INTRODUCTION B. THEORY I. Phrasal Verbs II. Prepositional Verbs III. Phrasal-prepositional Verbs IV. The difference between Phrasal V and Prepositional V C. PRACTICE D. CONCLUSION
PHRASAL VERBS AND PREPOSITIONAL VERBS A. INTRODUCTION In foreign languages, especially in English, we have to deal with many multi-word verbs. They are phrasal verbs and prepositional verbs. Students usually find it difficult to understand and use these verbs correctly. To finalize this assignment, our group members have tried our best to research and summarize the main ideas about phrasal verbs and prepositional verbs. We hope that it can provide more useful information to help students solve their problems of using multi-word verbs.
The classification of Verbs 2
B. THEORY I. Phrasal Verbs 1.1. Definition When a verb is used with an adverb particle the combination is called a phrasal verb. There are a very large number of these in English. The meaning of a phrasal verb is often very different from the meanings of the two words taken separately. Phrasal verbs can be intransitive (not followed by a direct object) or transitive (followed by a direct object). Examples:
- He can’t live down his part. - Our neighbor recently passed away
1.2. Types of Phrasal Verbs 1.2.1. Intransitive Phrasal Verbs Intransitive Phrasal Verbs are defined as phrasal verbs that cannot or do not take objects. The preposition functioning as a particle must directly follow the verb. Structure: Verb + Particle Examples: The rain finally let up. (Lessen) The puppy woke up at the crack of dawn. (wake up = awake) Features: Normally, the particle cannot be separated from its verb. -
Drink up quickly. (Right)
Drink quickly up. (Wrong)
Phrasal verbs vary in the extent to which the combination preservers the individual meanings of the verb and particle. The meaning of the combination cannot be predicted from the meanings of the verb and particle in isolation.
1.2.2. Transitive Phrasal Verbs Transitive Phrasal Verbs are phrasal verbs which can take a direct object. Structure: Verb + Particle Examples: -
We will set up a new unit.
Find out whether they are coming.
They turn on the light.
Feature: With most transitive phrasal verbs, the particle can either precede or follow the direct object. The particle tends to precede the object if the object is long or if the mention is that the object should receive end-focus. -
Bring a child up. ~ Bring up a child.
Turn on the light. ~ Turn the light on.
However, the particle cannot precede personal pronouns. -
The student looked up the word in the dictionary. (Right)
The student looked the word up in the dictionary. (Right)
The student looked it up in the dictionary.
The student looked up it in the dictionary. (Wrong)
The transitive phrasal verbs vary in the extent to which they form idiomatic combinations. Types of Transitive Phrasal Verbs Separable transitive phrasal verbs: -
Phrasal verbs that require direct objects and may also take indirect object. The particle of it can follow either the verb or the direct object.
E.g.1: We will have to put off the party. We will have to put the party off. (Put off = postpone)
E.g.2: The chairman will call the meeting off due to the weather. 4
The chairman will call off the meeting due to the weather. (Call off = Cancel) Inseparable transitive phrasal verbs: -
Phrasal verbs which also require objects, but the preposition functioning as a particle
E.g.1: My mom dropped by my house this afternoon. (Drop by = Visit)
II. Prepositional Verbs 1. Definition of Prepositional verbs Prepositional verb is an idiomatic expression that combines a verb and a preposition to make a new verb with a distinct meaning. 2. Structure of Prepositional verbs Verb + Preposition 3. Features of Prepositional Verbs All the prepositional verbs are transitive verbs (require object) The preposition in a prepositional verb must be followed by a noun or pronoun, and so all prepositional verbs are transitive. The object must come after the preposition. -
Look after the baby. (Right)
Look the baby after. (Wrong)
The Prepositional verb allows an inserted adverb after the verb and a relative pronoun after the preposition. -
They called early on the man. (Call on = Visit)
In certain kinds of sentence, it can come at the end of the clause. -
What are you talking about?
What did they look at?
Prepositional verbs are those which accept the passive and/or the pronominal question, but not the adverbial question form. -
They called on the man. ~ The man was called on.
They looked at the picture. ~ The picture was looked at.
They called at the hotel. ~ When did they call? Not What did they call at?
III. Phrasal-prepositional Verbs 1. Definition There are a few verbs which consist of three parts: a base verb, an adverb particle and a preposition. They look complicated, but in fact, they are used in the same way as any other prepositional verb. Examples: -
To get on with, to put up with, to check up on…
The cat puts up with the dog. (Put up with = tolerate)
2. Structure Verb + Adverb particle + Preposition 3. Features of Phrasal-prepositional Verbs These verbs are transitive verbs. They allow pronominal questions and under certain conditions can occur in the passive. We cannot insert an adverb immediately before the object. -
He puts up with willingly that secretary.
He puts up with that secretary willingly.
He put up willingly with that secretary.
IV. The differences between Phrasal and Prepositional Verbs Prepositional Verbs Form
V + Preposition
Is always transitive
Transitive or Intransitive
Not completely different from the meaning of the base verb.
The meaning of the combination cannot be predicted from the meanings of the verb and particle in isolation.
The preposition is normally Phonological unstressed. criteria I'll 'LOOK after the children.
The particle is normally stressed. I'll put 'ON my trousers.
The preposition must precede the object. Right: I’ll look after the children. Wrong: I’ll look the children after.
The particle may precede or follow the direct object. Right: I'll put my trousers on. Right: I’ll put on my trousers.
Can put an adverb between Verb and preposition. Right: I'll look carefully after the children.
Cannot put adverb between the verb and the particle. Wrong: I'll put carefully on my trousers.
The particle can be placed before a relative pronoun.
The particle cannot be placed before the relative pronoun. The pronoun (object) must be placed between the verb and the particle. Right: These are the children after Right: I'll put them on. whom I looked. Wrong: The trouser on which I put. If the object (substantive) is substituted by a pronoun, it must be placed after the particle. Right: I’ll look after the children. Right: I'll look after them.
If the complement is a pronoun, it cannot be placed after the particle. Right: I’ll put on my trousers. Wrong: I'll put on them.
C. PRACTICE 1. For each of the following sentences, indicate whether it contains a phrasal verb or a prepositional verb: 1. My aunt is looking after my brothers. 2. The students handed in their papers. 3. We talked about the plan. 4. Julian Barnes has brought out a new book called Arthur and George. 5. She referred to our previous meeting. 6. When is her new novel coming out? 7. She's been promoted! This calls for a celebration. 8. We broke off our relationship. 9. The doctors think the sick patient will pull through. 10. Carry on with your work while I'm away.
2. Put “to, about, at, from, for, in, into, of, on, with” in the correct position of the sentence: 1. I want to talk _____ the group _____ their exams. 2. All last winter he suffered ______ coughs and colds. 3. When will you write _____ Bill _____ your plans? 4. If you don’t understand any of these words, you could refer _____ a dictionary. 5. The accident sadly resulted _____ the death of a man. 6. The police are appealing _____ witnesses to come forward. 7. It wasn’t his car, in fact I don’t know who it belongs _____. 8. Nurses are very badly paid, I think they should insist _____ higher rates of pay.
9. The poor driver – I really sympathize _____ him, it wasn’t his fault. 10. The buses are often late, so you can’t depend _____ them. 11. Do you qualify _____ a state pension when you are 55? 12. Keep enough money to pay _____ your ticket. 13. Have you heard _____ what had happened _____ him? Oh, I don’t care _____ him. 14. I said _____ you I was thinking _____ going to America. I actually dreamt _____ it. 15. She listened _____ me and then told me _____ her problems. 16. The bus ran _____ the wall of a house. 17. People started to shout _____ the driver. 18. Who was the boy you were all laughing _____? 19. I saw somebody staring _____ me from the other side of the road. 20. He was always arguing _____ his brother
D. CONCLUSION As you can see, there is a large number of phrasal verbs and prepositional verbs. Each of phrasal verb or prepositional verb has a lot of meaning. Using these verbs seems to be very difficult, however, it’s not impossible. The best way to improve your own knowledge in this subject is practice more and more. .