Definition of phrasal verbs Academic Word List
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PHOENIX TREE IN XIAMEN UNIVERSITY

A phrasal verb is usually a verb followed by an adverb or a preposition. Sometimes, it also follows a form of a verb plus an adverb and a preposition. It creates a meaning different from the original verb. [1]

The prepositions and adverbs used in phrasal verbs are called particles because they do not change their original forms through inflections.


Importance of phrasal verbs
Phrasal verbs play a significant role in both spoken and written contexts.
Students who are very capable of manipulating phrasal verbs will express their ideas more clearly and vividly than those who are actually not.
However, for those who learn English as a second language (ESL), there is a great need for them to clearly distinguish various meanings of certain phrasal verbs.


Essential knowledge leading to a better understanding of Phrasal Verbs
Main verbs
1. Anglo-Saxon origins: go, come, run, walk, hop, skip, etc.
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COLLINS COMBUILD DICTIONARY

2. Words indicate invitation or order: invite, order, summon, let, etc.3. “Empty verbs”get, put, take, make, do, set,etc. 4. Verbs from monosyllabic adjectives : dry, calm, cool, tidy; adjectives + suffix: brighten, freshen, harden, frighten, fasten etc.5. Verbs changed from monosyllabic nouns: book, chalk, brick, etc.6. Latin originated bisyllabic verbs: contract, measure,level, etc.
According to Collins COBUILD Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs, there are 38 most commonly used verbs: 
break, bring, call, cast, come, cut, do, fall, get, give, go, hang, hold, keep, kick, knock, lay, lie, livelook, make, move, pass, play, pull, push, put, run, send, set, sit, stand, stay, stick, take, talk, throw, turn
According to Collins COBUILD Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs, there are 48 prepositions and adverbs:

aback, about, above, across, after, against, ahead, along, among, apart, around, as, aside, at, away, backbefore, behind, below, beneath, between, beyond, by, for, forth, forward, from, in, into of, off, on, ontoout, over, overboard, past, round, through, to, together, towards, under, up, upon, with, without
<note: the six most frequently used particles are up, out, off, in, on, down. >


Structure of phrasal verbs
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COLLINS COBUILD DICTIONARY OF PHRASAL VERBS

  • v.+adv. Example: go out; get across
  • v.+prep. Example: put aside; walk along
  • v.+adv.+prep. Example: take up on; put up with




Useful examples
1. Their attempt to explode the bridge didn’t come off.[vi.+adv.]
2. The comedian didn’t get his jokes across. [vt.+adv.]
3. A special committee is looking into this problem. [vi.+prep.]
4. The Smiths had a hard time putting both of their sons through university. [vt.+prep]
5. This material can stand up to both heat and pressure. [vi.+adv.+prep.]
6. They filled me in on the latest developments. [vt.+adv.+prep.]


Distinct features [2]
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GREENERY

1. Some phrasal verbs are transitive. àThey can be followed by an object.
2. Some phrasal verbs are intransitive. àThey cannot be followed by an object.
3. Some transitive phrasal verbs can be separable. àThe object is strictly placed between the verb and the preposition.
4. Some transitive phrasal verbs can be inseparable. àThe object is strictly placed after the position.
Particular case:
Some transitive phrasal verbs can be placed both before and after the preposition.


Diagrams showing the above-mentioned distinct features
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MAIN TEACHING BUILDINGS ON ZHANG ZHOU CAMPUS

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Exercises for further learning
TYPE A
(1) Would you please help me _ my garden this Saturday?
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SUNFLOWER & LADYBIRD ON ZHANG ZHOU CAMPUS, XIAMEN UNIVERSITY

A. look for B. look after C. look at D. look beyond

(2) The symposium on linguistics is _ next Tuesday.
A. put off B. put on C. put in D. put away

(3) A taxi was _ at the intersection of the road, which caused temporary traffic jam.
A. broken in B. broken off C. broken away D. broken down

(4) Please _ the lights when leaving the classroom. A. turn off B. turn in C. turn down D. turn over
Answers: 1. B 2. A 3. D 4. A

TYPE B 
Fill in the following blanks with the given phrasal verbs and particles properly.
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CAPOK TREE

You may associate the text with the four illustrations corresponding to each separate paragraph.


bend, breathe (×2), go, lift, push, raise, stand
away, back, down, in, out, up (×3)

When you have to spend a lot of time sitting at a desk, it is important to take short breaks and stretch your neck and back. You can use this exercise to help you stretch. [3]
(1) ( Lift ) your chair( away ) to the side and stand up, making sure there is some space in front of you. ( Stand ) straight, with your arms hanging loosely by your side.
(2) Breathe in deeply as you ( raise ) your arms ( up ) over your head. Pause a moment.
(3) Then ( push ) slowly as you swing your arms forward, letting them fall as you ( bend ) your whole body ( down ) until your hands are near your feet. Pause a moment.
(4) Then, ( breathe ) as you ( lift ) your body ( up ) very slowly, beginning with your hips, then your upper body, followed by your head and arms.
(5) Repeat the exercise at least once before you ( go ) to your desk again.
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Learning Resources
Please click on www.youtube.com/watch?v=TLeNRHBnpA and you can watch an online introduction lesson of phrasal verbs.
This online lesson lasts 11 miniutes, and was uploaded by JenniferESL on October 30th, 2009.

References
[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phrasal_verb
[2] http://www.englishpage.com/prepositions/phrasaldictionary.html
[3] http://englishservice.cz/download/Phrasal%20Verbs.pdf

External Links
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PINK FLOWER

http://www2.gsu.edu/~wwwesl/egw/phvbprep.htm
http://www.eflnet.com/pverbs/pvlist.php
http://www.learn-english-today.com/phrasal-verbs/phrasal-verb-list.htm
http://www.usingenglish.com/reference/phrasal-verbs/list.php
http://www.corpuslab.com/PhrasalVerb.pdf
(Note: This website provides useful phrasal verbs.
Every phrasal verb has a link which directs you to the meaning and example of it.)