Phrasal Verbs

Phrasal Verbs

  • what are phrasal verbs?
    • Phrasal verbs combine a verb with an adverb or a preposition (or sometimes both) to create a new meaning.
      This new meaning is often very different from that of the original verb.

      Example:
      Did you find your purse? (find expresses its usual meaning)
      When did you find out you had lost your purse? (find out is a phrasal verb which means discover)

  • Separable and inseparable phrasal verbs
    • Sometimes the two parts of a phrasal verb can be separated by an object. If the object is a noun it may go before or after the adverb or preposition.

      Example:
      Take your shoes off / Take off your shoes = remove your shoes

      If the object is a pronoun, it must go before the adverb or preposition.

      Example:
      Take them off.

      Some phrasal verbs are inseparable. No object can go between the verb and adverb or preposition.

      Example:
      Please can you look after the children this evening.
      Please can you look the children after this evening.

      Here are some examples of common separable phrasal verbs with their meaning in brackets:

      e.g. back....up (support)
      e.g. clear....up (tidy)
      e.g. fill.....in (complete)
      e.g. find.....out (discover)
      e.g. give.....up (stop doing)
      e.g. hold.....up (delay)
      e.g. make.....up (invent)
      e.g. put......off (postpone)
      e.g. put......through (connect)
      e.g. ring.....up (phone)
      e.g. take.....off (remove)
      e.g. throw....away (dispose)

      Here are some examples of common inseparable phrasal verbs with their meaning in brackets.

      e.g. break down (stop working)
      e.g. carry on (continue)
      e.g. check in (register)
      e.g. cut down on (reduce)
      e.g. get on (like someone)
      e.g. get over (recover)
      e.g. hold on (wait)
      e.g. look after (take care of)
      e.g. look into (investigate)
      e.g. run out of (have none left)
      e.g. take up (occupy)
      e.g. turn up (arrive)

Phrasal Verbs Practice Test

Select the best answer to complete the sentences below. Sometimes it may seem that two answers are possible but there is always a BEST answer. Check your score at the end of the test by clicking 'RESULTS'.

Complete each sentence by selecting the best answer


  1. 01. When did you give smoking?

  2. 02. Take your shoes before you enter the building.

  3. 03. We have decided to put our wedding until next summer.

  4. 04. I'm so tired I'm not sure if I can carry .

  5. 05. Could I ask you to fill this application form?

  6. 06. I have thrown all my old letters.

  7. 07. Could you put me to the customer services department please?

  8. 08. It was a total lie. He made the whole story.

  9. 09. The steward greeted passengers as they got the plane.

  10. 10. I've decided to stop my yoga class because it takes too much of my time.

  11. 11. The concert was called due to poor ticket sales.

  12. 12. Samantha agrees with my proposals and will back me at the next board meeting.

  13. 13. They are brothers but they don't get .

  14. 14. I need to take these shoes to the shop. They don't fit me.

  15. 15. We have run fuel for the central heating.

  16. 16. We don't have very much money but we get .

  17. 17. How did you feel when you found you had won the lotto?

  18. 18. The story appeared in the paper but they left the names of the victims.

  19. 19. The plane arrived on time but we were held in customs.

  20. 20. If you want to lose weight you really should cut alcohol consumption.

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