Learning about phrasal verbs was mind blowing to me. If you are still in the dark and are wondering “what is a phrasal verb?” I’m going to share my new-found knowledge with you.
What are phrasal verbs?
Phrasal verbs are a verb construction where a verb is combined with a preposition to make an entirely new expression. For example, the phrasal verb “break up” is the verb to break plus the preposition up and the verb “break up” takes on a totally new meaning that is unlike both of its components. Breaking up is defined as to the end of a relationship between two people while the verb to break is when an object shatters and the preposition up refers to something going vertically higher.
Phrasal verbs are difficult to learn
As a speech-language pathologist I never got training on these types of verbs. However, considering how prevalent phrasal verbs are in English, I think we need to know this information. Native English speakers seem to absorb these kinds of verb constructions, but students with communication disorders might need direct instruction on what phrasal verbs mean. The students who are very literal in their thinking will need support in learning phrasal verbs. As speech-language pathologists, we already know that students with communication disorders struggle with verbs, prepositions, and non-literal language. Well, phrasal verbs tick all those boxes.
Let’s look at some examples of phrasal verbs
Consider the phrasal verb “work out.” The phrasal verb contains the verb “work” and the preposition “out”. The new phrasal verb does not have the same meaning as the original words. “Work out” means to exercise, but it can also mean being successful at something (ie “I hope this job works out”) or it can mean to calculate (ie “I need to work out this math problem”). Students need to simply memorize these meanings because you cannot figure them out by looking at the words themselves. Watch the video here: Phrasal Verbs List The worst part about phrasal verbs is that they are extremely common in English.
Get Your Phrasal Verb List PDF Download
In the PDF I developed for you (click below to download) I compiled this list of 150 phrasal verbs (!!), but it is by no means an exhaustive list! There are quite literally hundreds more. Click here for the Phrasal Verb List PDF (by getting on my email list).
Want more information about English Grammar and Linguistics?
If you are interested in information like this, I cover phrasal verbs and tons of other details about English in my course: English Grammar Workshop. English Grammar Workshop is meant for native English speakers who got little to no grammar or linguistics instruction and feel a lack of confidence in the mechanics of English. We absorbed English as our native language and now we are teaching communication to our students, but we feel the gaps in our knowledge. Dig deeper and finally feel confident by taking my course.