Phrasal verbs

Phrasal VerbsWhat are phrasal verbs?

Phrasal verbs are mainly used in spoken English and informal texts. (The more formal a conversation or text, the less phrasal verbs are found.)
Phrasal verbs consist of a verb and a particle (preposition, adverb). The particle can change the meaning of the verb completely. For example::

  • look up – consult a reference book (look a word up in a dictionary)
  • look for – seek (look for her ring)
  • look forward – anticipate with pleasure (look forward to meeting someone)

There are no rules that might explain the meaning of phrasal verbs. All you can do is look them up in a good dictionary and study their meanings.

Position of the Particle:

In some cases the particle is placed either after the verb or after the object.


  • Write down the word
  • Write the word down

If the object is a pronoun, however, the particle has to be placed after the pronoun (object).


  • Write it down.
  • Your photo album. Put it down
  • Your jacket. Take it off

Frequently used phrasal verbs:

This is a list of phrasal verbs and their meaning arranged in alphabetical order:

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