Phrasal verbs

Being a very productive and frequent phenomenon in the English language Phrasal verbs have always required enough attention in the curriculum of English. So this Module provides students with some information on how they are formed, where and how they are used and how the level of English speech changes with the introduction of Phrasal verbs into it.

What is a Phrasal Verb?

Its most typical structure is the following:
Verb + preposition
Verb + adverb
Verb + preposition + adverb

It often has ideomatic meaning. When you use Phrasal verbs in your speech you sound much more informal, e. g. to put off = to postpone, to get out = to exit.

Literal usage
To walk across (the square)
To look outside
To look up
Ideomatic usage
Get over = overcome (explanation: to climb over something to get to the other side)
Pull up = to stop (explanation: move up lever brake)

There are two types of phrasal verbs depending on whether they can have an object after them or not: Intransitive - No objects, Example: to look up AND Transitive - Has an object, Example: switch off (the light). Moreover Phrasal verbs can be divided into groups according to the placement of an object: Separable, e. g. Switch the light off/Switch off the light; Inseparable, e. g. Boiling water gives off stream; If object is a pronoun it must precede, e. g. Switch it off.
There are also cases when the phrasal verb should always be followed by an object, it is so called prepositional verbs, e. g. I look after my cat. I talked to the teacher about the exam.

TASK 1. Fill in the gaps with any suitable Phrasal Verb.

  1. I Windows 7 on my computer.
  2. Last week my car and I am disappointed.
  3. My friend riding a bike, even though he his leg.
  4. The plane from Sheremetevo Airport.
  5. My article . in the magazine Nauka v Sibiri.
  6. Alex likes with me on all topics.
  7. Workers because they need a break.
  8. A dangerous murderer . and hides in the town.
  9. I .. doing my home work for four hours already.
  10. A taxi .. and 4 large men got out.
  11. In the beginning of a holiday the bad weather so it was raining all the time.
  12. We mustnt with our teacher, we have to discuss our problems politely.
  13. I have been .. the English language for 10 years.
  14. My late arrival her so much that she has failed to perform the presentation.

TASK 2. Write Phrasal Verbs for the following definitions

  1. This PV is used when you need to tell about somebody escaping from somewhere.
  2. This PV is used when you need to provide somebody with a place to live in.
  3. This PV is used when you need to describe something that has started and continued.
  4. This PV is used when you talk about a book being released.
  5. This PV is used when you tell about somebody considering something.
  6. This PV is used when talking about something disappearing.
  7. This PV is used when somebody disappoints somebody else.
  8. This PV is used when describing persons biography and education done by his/her parents.
  9. This PV is used when we talk about something becoming weaker, fading away.
  10. This PV is used when talking about some sudden noise.
  11. This PV is used when one has arrived unexpectedly.
  12. This PV is used when speaking about escaping from punishment.
  13. This PV is used when one admits defeat.
  14. This PV is used when somebody wants to attract others attention.
  15. This PV is used when you invent something.
  16. This PV is used when two people are arguing and give reasons for and against.
  17. This PV is used when one uses something for the first time.
  18. This PV is used when describing the separation from the ground.
  19. This PV is used when somebody feels extremely tired.
  20. This PV is used when something that is wanted is cancelled.
  21. This PV is used when you want to refuse something.
  22. This PV is used when something came to the stop.
TASK 3. Complete the following sentences with a phrasal verb and its more formal equivalent.

1.Parents always their children because they are responsible for them since the birth.

2.He the method of the best results achievement in this kind of sport.

3.He reading lectures in spite of the fact that he has almost fallen asleep.

4.Popov and Marconi a radio receiver in the end of 19th century.

5.The visitor for damage to the broken shop furniture.

6.I my lost passport which I searched for more than a month.

7.Masha wants to know how you are. She you.

8.Its awful. This important date has from your memory.

9.I have a lot of work, but I of time. Thats why I am asking for your help, I you.

10.My doctor advised me smoking, but I cant cigarettes.

11.He trusts me. I dont want to him

12.Let me get at him, Ill him soon.

13.After an hour-long discussion the director our suggestion

14.Ann is always She never misses a chance to tell about her achievement.

15.Paul agreed to more tasks because everybody had been already overloaded.

16.Driving under alcohol Mark the tree.

17.My new bestseller is in April.

18.The match has been until tomorrow because of bad weather.

19.Jenni really her mother, she reminds her a lot in appearance as well as in behaviour.

20.Detectives followed the man as far as the harbour, but then he jumped into a speedboat and clear

21.She his violent temper.

22.I a few words of Greek when I were there last year.

23.Im a new computer, because I bought it just yesterday.

24.I dont know whats

25.She never the death of her son.

26.Ive been asked to some new idea about our new project.

27.Winter seems to be early this year.

28.I keep meaning to put a lock on it, but I never it.

29.Police are disappearance of two children.

30.The printing machines are always when you urgently need them.

31. fatty foods, if you want to lose weight.

32.The bomb at 3 a. m. this morning.

33.The taxi at the gate and everybody started getting out.

34.Watch Frank - hell cheat if he thinks he can it.

35.Go upstairs and see what the children are , because they are too silent for a while.

36.Carrie is always with people, even though they did not disagree with her.

37.Shell quite a lot of money when her father dies.

38.Eventually I and accepted the job on their terms.

39.The trip to Italy might be because we did not manage to collect enough money for it.

40.I was hoping Kenny could me in his flat for a few days.


In order to complete these tasks you can use the following reference books about Phrasal verbs:

  1. English phrasal verbs in Use, by Michael MacCarthy and Felicity O'Dell, Cambridge publishing press; - you can find sample tasks for testing yourself in the test section of this manual;
  2. Phrasal verbs organiser, by John Flower, Language teaching publications;
  3. The ultimate Phrasal verb book;
  4. Test your phrasal verbs, by Jake Alsop;