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What are Phrasal verbs? How do you form a phrasal verb?
Derek Cowan
Derek Cowan
May 24, 2021
1 min
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What are Phrasal verbs? How do you form a phrasal verb?

What are phrasal verbs?

Short answer - [Verb + preposition or adverb]

Most of my new students at intermediate or advanced levels, find Phrasal verbs difficult to understand. I think because of the idiomatic nature of the phrases it can confuse them. You might feel the same, but once you start using them in your daily conversations you will soon find out how simple they can be.

When to use phrasal verbs

You can use them in everyday conversations, they will help you clearly express yourself in most situations. They are essential to learning English, and if you dream of becoming fluent in English then learning phrasal verbs is a must!

How to form a phrasal verb

Phrasal verbs have a verb plus one or more particles (prepositions or adverbs).

[Verb + adverb] work out

[verb + preposition] dress up

[verb + adverb + prepostion] look up to

Examples of Phrasal Verbs

I work out at the gym.

work out atthegym

I will check out the new TV show tonight.

I will check out the new TVshow

My cat sometimes runs around for hours.

cat runsaround

They don’t eat out very often.

He doesn’t go out when it rains.

She chills out at the weekend.

Questions are formed the usual way.

Do you always turn up late?

Phrasal verbs can be used in different tenses.

Present simple - I work out every week.

Past simple - I worked out yesterday.

Present continuous - I am working out right now.

Future with “will” - I will work out tomorrow.

More examples

I met up with my friends yesterday.

You should go over your answers again.

I cleaned up the kitchen this morning.

I’m still getting over the flu.

Separable Phrasal Verbs

A separable phrasal verb can be split up. This means a direct object can go between the verb and particle.

I turned on the light. ---> I turned the light on.

Inseparable Phrasal Verbs

Some phrasal verbs cannot be separated. The object must always come after the particle.

It’s great to hear from you! ✔️

It’s great to hear you from!


I hope you found this article on phrasal verbs useful. If you have any questions or topics you would like me to cover. Please comment below.

Thanks for reading and never stop learning! Derek


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Derek Cowan

Derek Cowan

English Teacher

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