Introduction:

In the first part of the exercise on 'Use of Phrasal Verbs' in English, we looked at how phrasal verbs are made of a verb and either one or two particles (an adverb or preposition). We also saw how the meaning of a phrasal verb can be very different from the verb or particles it is constructed from and how one phrasal verb can have a number of different meanings in different contexts.

In this second part of four online exercises, we will begin to look at how phrasal verbs are used grammatically. You will be introduced to two of the four different types of phrasal verbs and how they are used in English, those that need an object (transitive phrasal verbs) and those that don't have an object (intransitive phrasal verbs).

In addition, we will briefly look at the difference between a subject and object in a sentence. Understanding how phrasal verbs are constructed is fundamental to using them correctly in English.

It is recommended that you do all 4 exercises on the use of phrasal verbs in order. Click here to go to the first exercise on 'How to use English phrasal verbs'.

Click here to do the next part of this exercise on 'How to use English phrasal verbs'.


What is a subject and an object?

Every verb needs to have a subject (unless it's an imperative (an order)). It's the part of the sentence that says what does the verb and always goes in front of the verb, for example,

He eats crisps.

In the above example, He is the subject. The thing that does the action of eating. It's impossible (with the exception of verbs used as orders) to have a verb without a subject. The subject can either be a noun (Sally, the car, cats etc...) or a subject pronoun (I, you, he, she, it, we, they).

The object is the noun or object that receives the action of the verb and always goes after the verb, for example,

He eats crisps.

In the above example, crisps is the object. In English, objects always go after the verb. The object can either be a noun (Sally, the car, cats etc...) or an object pronoun (me, you, him, her, it, us, them).

Not all verbs need an object

But unlike subjects, which every verb and phrasal verb need in English, not all verbs need an object to be correct. In fact, there are many verbs where the use of an object after the verb is incorrect, for example,

The plane takes off.

The phrasal verb 'to take off' in this context means when a plane leaves an airport. It has a subject 'the plane', but doesn't have an object. In English, we call this type of verb/phrasal verb an intransitive verb. In dictionaries, these verbs are indicated by the following symbol vi.

Now lets look at the same phrasal verb, but this time it has a different meaning:

I took off my jacket.

In this case the meaning is to remove clothing. The phrasal verb 'to take off' has both a subject 'I' and an object 'my jacket'. In English, we call this type of verb/phrasal verb a transitive verb. In dictionaries, these verbs are indicated by the following symbol vt.


The 4 Types of Phrasal Verbs

Although most learners of English think that phrasal verbs are completely illogical and disorganised, there are rules for using them correctly. In fact, there are 4 different grammatical structures for using phrasal verbs. In this exercise we will look at the first two:

Type 1 Phrasal Verbs: Intransitive with one particle

As we saw above, there are phrasal verbs that never have an object after them. For example:

  1. 'Last night, I didn't stay at home. I went out.'

  2. 'He checked out of the hotel before 10am.'

In the above examples, neither of the phrasal verbs have an object directly after them. In the second example, there is a separate preposition 'of' that connects the phrasal verb 'to check out' to the object 'the hotel'. It is not possible to have the object directly after this phrasal verb with the meaning of 'to leave a hotel'. For example, 'He checked out the hotel before 10am' is incorrect.

Remember, with this type of phrasal verb, if you want to connect it to an object, you need to use a separate preposition that is not part of the phrasal verb, e.g.

The plane took off from Heathrow.

In this example the preposition 'from' is not part of the intransitive phrasal verb 'to take off' and is used to connect it to the noun 'Heathrow'.

So, Type 1 phrasal verbs are intransitive and the verb only has one particle.


Type 2 Phrasal Verbs: Transitive and inseparable with one particle

This is a phrasal verb that always has an object that directly follows it. The object is always a noun or an object pronoun (me, you, him, her, it, us, them). This is formed by a verb and one particle. For example:

  1. 'You do know that I care about you a lot!'

  2. 'My grandparents looked after my cousin after her parents died.'

In both of the above examples, the object comes directly after the phrasal verbs. It is not possible to use these types of phrasal verbs without an object. Also, you can not separate the verb and the particle with the object. For example 'You do know that I care you about a lot', is incorrect.

So, Type 2 phrasal verbs are transitive, with a verb and only have one particle, and are inseparable.


So now do the below quiz to make sure you are using phrasal verbs correctly when you write or speak in English.


 Link to Dictionary


Quiz: How to use English phrasal verbs part 2

This quiz is divided into 2 parts.
For the first six questions, decide if the phrasal verb in bold in the sentence is a type 1 (Intransitive with one particle) or type 2 (Transitive and Inseparable with one particle) phrasal verb. Choose 'Type 1' from the question's selection box for type 1 phrasal verbs and 'Type 2' for type 2 phrasal verbs. Click on the "Check Answers" button at the bottom of the quiz to check your answers.

When the answer is correct, two icons will appear next to the question. The first is an Additional Information Icon "". Click on this for extra information on the word/phrase and for a translation. The second is a Pronunciation Icon "". Click on this to listen to the pronunciation of the word/phrase and to do a pronunciation speaking test.

1. I'm looking for my keys. Have you seen them?
         

Looking for:
The infinitive is 'to look for something/somebody'. With this context it means to search for something/somebody, e.g. 'he looked for his dog all night, but didn't find her'. In Spanish: "buscar".

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Looking for:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
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2. I grew up in a small village in England.
         

Grew up:
The infinitive is 'to grow up'. With this context it is used to talk about the place where you spent your childhood (the noun for being a child). It is normally followed by 'in' and the place or country where you lived, e.g. 'she grew up in London'. 'to grow up' does have some other meanings. In Spanish: "crecer".

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Grew up:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
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3. I woke up several times during the night.
         

Woke up:
The infinitive is 'to wake up'. With this context it means to stop sleeping, e.g. 'they always wake up at 7am'. 'to wake up' does have some other meanings. In Spanish: "despertarse".

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Woke up:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
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4. He's so lazy. He takes after his father.
         

Takes after:
The infinitive is 'to take after somebody'. With this context it means that somebody has inherited personality characteristics from a parent or grandparent, e.g. 'how she acts, you can see that she takes after her grandmother'. It can also be used to mean that they 'look like' a parent or grandparent, but it is more common to use 'to look like'. 'to take after' does have some other meanings. In Spanish: "parecerse a alguien".

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Takes after:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
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5. The price of petrol has gone up again this year.
         

Gone up:
The infinitive is 'to go up'. With this context it means to increase, e.g. 'your cholesterol level has gone up since last year'. 'to go up' does have other meanings. In Spanish: "subir".

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Gone up:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
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6. Although it was difficult getting divorced, I did get over it in time.
         

Get over:
The infinitive is 'to get over something/somebody'. With this context it means to recover from a bad experience or shock like a death, a relationship ending or losing a job etc..., e.g. 'he still hasn't got over losing his job'. 'to get over' does have other meanings. In Spanish: "recuperarse de".

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Get over:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
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In the second part, you will find a phrasal verb in bold in each sentence with one gap after it. At the end of each sentence is an object in brackets ( ). Either fill the gap of each sentence with the object as it is written if you think it's a type 2 (Transitive and Inseparable with one particle) phrasal verb or leave it blank/empty if you think it's a type 1 (Intransitive with one particle) phrasal verb.


7. I'm not staying in tonight, I'm going out . (the pub)            

Going out:
This is a Type 1 Phrasal Verb (intransitive with one particle). The infinitive is 'to go out'. With this context it means to leave the house for a short period of time (it can be from minutes to over 12 hours), e.g. 'They went out this morning, but they should be back before 8pm'. 'to go out' also as a slightly different meaning where it refers to going to bars, pubs, restaurants or discos at night. For both, a separate preposition is needed when connecting the phrasal verb to places, 'to', or people, 'with', e,g, 'he's gone out with Peter and Sally'. In Spanish: "salir".

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Going out:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
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8. Are we going to get off at this stop or at the next? (the bus)            

Get off:
This is a Type 2 Phrasal Verb (transitive and inseparable with one particle). The infinitive is 'to get off something'. With this context it means to leave some type of large or public transport (e.g. plane, train, bus etc...) and motorbikes and bicycles, e.g. 'she got off her motorbike'. 'to get off' is a lot more used than 'to leave' in this context. It can also be used as a type 1 intransitive phrasal verb, e.g. 'I'm going to get off now'. For cars and taxis 'to get out of' is used with the same meaning. 'to get off' does have other meanings. In Spanish: "bajar".

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Get off:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
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9. I don't know what to do with the dog while we're on holiday. Can you look after ? (him)            

Look after:
This is a Type 2 Phrasal Verb (transitive and inseparable with one particle). The infinitive is 'to look after somebody/something'. With this context it means to care for/be responsible for people, animals or plants, e.g. 'he always looks after his daughter when his wife is working'. 'to look after' does have other meanings. In Spanish: "cuidar de".

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Look after:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
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10. Do you work out every day (the gym)            

Work out:
This is a Type 1 Phrasal Verb (intransitive with one particle). The infinitive is 'to work out'. With this context it means to do physical exercises for fitness and building muscles, activities which are normally done in a gym (e.g. aerobics, weighting lifting etc...), e.g. 'I've just worked out at the gym'. To use this phrasal verb with a noun/object an additional preposition must be used. In the last example, the preposition is 'at'. In Spanish: "hacer ejercicio".

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Work out:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
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11. I've read your report once, but I'll go over again, if you want me to? (it)            

Go over:
This is a Type 2 Phrasal Verb (transitive and inseparable with one particle). The infinitive is 'to go over something'. With this context it means to check or examine a report, plan, proposal, essay etc... to make sure that there are no mistakes, e.g. 'She went over my presentation and advised me to change some things'. 'to go over' does have other meanings. In Spanish: "revisar/examinar".

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Go over:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
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12. I'm sorry, it just slipped out . I didn't intend to tell her it. (the secret)            

Slipped out:
This is a Type 1 Phrasal Verb (intransitive with one particle). The infinitive is 'to slip out'. With this context it means to say something without wanting or planning to do. It is used when you say something that you want to hide from somebody, like a secret birthday party or bad news. 'to slip out' does have other meanings. In Spanish: "se me escapar".

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Slipped out:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
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Click here to do the next part of this exercise on 'How to use English phrasal verbs'.





Practice

Now that you understand the use of these types of phrasal verbs, practice them by creating your own sentences in English.

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