UNIT 134. Phrasal Verbs 1 Introduction

Canada-106 grammar
  1. A
  2. B
  3. C


We often use verbs with the following words:


So you can say look out / get on / take off / run away, etc. These are phrasal verbs.

We often use on/off/out, etc. with verbs of movement. For example:

We often use on/off/out, etc. with verbs of movement. For example:

get on – The bus was full. We couldn’t get on.
drive of – A woman got into the car and drove off.
come back – Sally is leaving tomorrow and coming back on Saturday.
turn around – When I touched him on the shoulder, he turned around.

But often the second word (on/off/out, etc.) gives a special meaning to the verb. For example:

break down – Sorry I’m late. The car broke down. (= the engine stopped working)
take off – It was my first flight. I was nervous as the plane took off. (= went into the air)
run out – We don’t have any more milk. We ran out. (= used it all)
get along – My brother and I get along well. (= are friendly with each other)
get by – My French isn’t very good, but it’s enough to get by. (= manage)

For more phrasal verbs, see Unit 135 – 142.


Sometimes a phrasal verbs is followed by a preposition. For example:

Phrasal Verb Preposition
run away from Why did you run away from me?
keep up with You’re walking too fast. I can’t keep up with you.
look up at We looked up at the plane as it flew about us.
look forward to Are you looking forward to the weekend?
get along with Do you get along with your boss?


Sometimes a phrasal verb has an object. Usually these are two possible positions for the object.

So you can say:

I turned on the light. or I turned the light on.

the light – object

If the object is pronoun (it/them/me/him, etc.), only one position is possible:
I turned it on. (not I turned on it)

Some more examples:
– Could you
{ fill out this form? }
{ fill this form out? }
but They gave me a form and told me to fill it out. (not fill out it)

  • Don’t
    { throw away this postcard }
    { throw this postcard away. }
    but I want to keep this postcard, so don’t throw it away. (not throw away it)

  • I’m going to
    { take off my shoes. }
    { take my shoes off. }
    but These shoes are uncomfortable. I’m going to take them off. (not take off them)

  • Don’t
    { wake up the baby. }
    { wake the baby up. }
    but The baby is asleep. Don’t wake her up. (not wake up her)