Phrasal verbs are formed by combining a verb with a particle. The particle that is used to form a phrasal verb can be either a preposition or an adverb. These combinations create an entirely new meaning which is different than the meaning of either word used by itself.
Phrasal verbs can sometimes be separable. If a phrasal verb is separable and is used with a noun then the noun can either follow or come between the verb and the particle.
Put the book down.
Put down the book
If a separable phrasal verb is used with a pronoun, the pronoun always comes between the verb and the particle.
Correct: Put it down.
Incorrect: Put down it.
If the phrasal verb is nonseparable then the noun and pronoun always come after the particle.
Correct: I ran into John at the supermarket.
Incorrect: I ran John into at the supermarket.
Below is a list of some common phrasal verbs along with an explination of their meaning.
You will also find many phrasal verbs used in English at this link.
There is also a list of some of the most common phrasal verbs at here.
|back up||There are many idiomatic meanings: in transportation, to reverse direction; in computer or legal language, to create a second copy of an electronic file or disk or create a second proof of a story.|
|call back||To call means to contact, usually orally. To call back means to return or repeat a call, usually a telephone call.|
|call off||To call off means to cancel something, such as a party, a or a meeting.|
|drop by||To drop means to let go, but to drop by means to pay an informal visit.|
|get off||To get means to obtain. But to get off usually means to exit a means of transportation-an elevator, a bicycle, a bus, or the like. There are other slang meanings as well.|
|pass away||To pass usually means to go by. But to pass away means to die, and in some areas of the country the simple word pass also means to die.|
|pass out||To pass out means to faint - frequently from exhaustion, drinking too much alcohol, or illness.|