A phrasal verb is a combination of a verb and an adverb (Particle verb, verb + adverb), a verb and a preposition (prepositional verb, verb + preposition), or a verb with both an adverb and a preposition (phrasal-prepositional verb, verb + adverb + preposition) that modifies or changes the meaning from the original verb.

 (1) Particle Verb (Verb + Particle: Adverb)

Intransitive (verb that does not have an object) + Adverb

 

Transitive (verb that has a nominal object) + Adverb

Transitive particle verbs are either separable or inseparable. 

 

Inseparable verbs - the object must come after the particle. 

For example:

It is best to give up smoking.  (O)

It is best to give it up.  (O)

It is best to give smoking up. (X)

 

Some separable verbs, the object must come between the verb and the particle. 

For example:

Some separable verbs, the object can be before or after the particle. 

For example:

 

With a transitive particle verb, the adverb goes either before the verb or after the object or particle, whichever is last

 

 

(2) Prepositional Verb (Verb + Preposition)

Prepositional verbs are different from transitive particle verbs, because they allow adverbs to appear between the verb and the preposition:

 

For example:

I came across John the other day. (O)

I came across him the other day. (O)
I
came John across the other day. (X)

I came him across the other day. (X)

 

John takes after his father. (O)

John takes his father after. (X)

 

I hastily look up the number in the phone book.

I hastily look the number up in the phone book.

I hastily look it up in the phone book.

I look up the number hastily in the phone book.

I look up the number in the phone book hastily.

I look hastily up the number in the phone book.

 

(3) Phrasal-prepositional Verbs (Verb + Adverb + Preposition)

I can no longer put up with you.

Remember to drop in on me from time to time.

You should cut down on smoking.

 

 

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