Types of Phrasal Verbs

Автор: Ирина Нестерова

Рубрика: Английский язык

Опубликовано: 05.03.2018

Библиографическое описание:

Нестерова И.А. Types of Phrasal Verbs [Электронный ресурс] // Образовательная энциклопедия ODiplom.ru

There are different types of phrasal verbs in English. Some phrasal verbs consisting of a verb followed by an adverb, which have the same meaning whether they are used transitively or intransitively.

The Category of Separable and Inseparable Multi-Word Verbs

Types of Phrasal Verbs

Multi-word verbs, or MWVs, are verbs made up of two or more words. These words are a verb plus a preposition or particle. They are often known as phrasal verbs[1].

Multi-word verbs are verbs that combine with one or two particles word verbs (a preposition and/or an adverb).

I'm looking for my keys. Have you seen them?

(verb + preposition)

Look out! There's a car coming!

(verb + adverb)

A snob is someone who looks down on people of a lower social class.

(verb + adverb + preposition)

If the addition of the particle(s) changes the meaning of the verb, it is usually called a phrasal verb because it has the meaning of a phrase. However, there are so many different types of phrasal verbs that it is easier to call all combinations of verb + particle(s) multi-word verbs [2].

Each multi-word verb has its own rule for word order. Multi-word verbs which have more than one meaning can have several word order rules. Some descriptions of these rules are too complex to be useful, but there are four basic types which cover most multi-word verbs.

Type 1. Some multi-word verbs are intransitive (i.e. they don't take an object). We can use these multi-word verbs in a sentence on their own or continue the sentence in any way we like in order to add further information:

Ex.: John called round.

John called round last night.

John called round to see you.

John called round because he wanted to borrow some sugar.

Type 1 multi-word verbs: intransitive + inseparable

Type 1 multi-word verbs are written in a dictionary with nothing after them (i.e. without someone or something) to show they are intransitive and inseparable: to call round.

Type 2 multi-word verbs

Type 2 multi-word verbs are transitive (i.e. they take a direct object) and separable (i.e. it is possible to separate the verb and the particle). For example, these two sentences have the same meaning:

He looked up the word in the dictionary. He looked the word up in the dictionary.

If an object pronoun is used (me/you/him/her/it/us/them), the particle must always come after the object pronoun:

He looked it up. Not He looked up it.

In other words, you have to separate the verb and the particle when you use an object pronoun.

Type 2 multi-word verbs: transitive + separable

Type 2 multi-word verbs are written with someone and/or something between the verb and the particle to show they can be separated: to look something up.

Type 3 multi-word verbs are transitive and it is impossible to separate the verb and the particle by the noun object or the pronoun object.

Type 3 multi-word verbs are written with someone and / or something after the particle to show that they are transitive and inseparable: to look for someone/something.

Type 4 multi-word verbs are always transitive and have two particles which are inseparable. Type 4 multi-word verbs are written with someone and/or something after the two particles: to look down on someone.

Some multi-word verbs can be used to talk about people {someone) and things (something) without any difference in meaning. In a dictionary these verbs have someone/something after them. However, some multi-word verbs change their meaning depending on whether they are talking about people or things. For example, to get on with someone and to get on with something is not the same:

Do you get on with your neighbours? = Do you have a good relationship with your neighbours?

How are you getting on with your studies? = What progress are you making with your studies?

Phrasal verbs

Separable or inseparable phrasal verbs? Some dictionaries tell you when phrasal verbs are separable. If a dictionary writes "look (something) up", you know that the phrasal verb "look up" is separable, and you can say "look something up" and "look up something". It is a good idea to write "something/somebody" as appropriate in our vocabulary when we learn a new phrasal verb, like this:

  1. get up
  2. break down
  3. put something/somebody off
  4. turn sthg/sby down

This tells you whether the verb needs a direct object (and where to put it).

When phrasal verbs are transitive (that is, they have a direct object), we can usually separate the two parts. For example, "turn down" is a separable phrasal verb. We can say: "turn down my offer" or "turn my offer down".

The part of our overview has shown a very important characteristic of phrasal verbs which may be separated and the ones which are inseparable. It also touches upon the essential role of dictionaries in studying such phrasal verbs and their appropriate usage.

Category of Transitive – Intransitive Verbs, Essential in Formation of Phrasal Verbs.

Verbs carry the idea of being or action in the sentence.

I am a student.

These students passed all their courses.

Verbs are classified in many ways. First, some verbs require an object to complete their meaning: "She gave _________? Gave what? She gave money to the church. These verbs are called transitive. Verbs that are intransitive do not require objects: "The building collapsed". In English there is a difference between a transitive and intransitive verb by its form. In fact, a verb can be both transitive and intransitive: "The monster collapsed the building by sitting on it"[3].

Many phrasal verbs consist of a verb followed by an adverb, or particle. It depends on the verb if the phrasal verb is either transitive or intransitive. Such combinations as intransitive verb + adverbial particle are intransitive phrasal verbs.

For instance, the intransitive phrasal verb to show up is formed of the verb to show followed by the adverb up. In the following example, the phrasal verb does not have an object:

Ex: At ten o’clock my brother showed up.

Another phrasal verb "buckle down" is formed of the verb is formed of the verb to buckle followed by the adverb down and its meaning is work seriously. This phrasal verb is an intransitive one.

Ex.: You may fail your course if you don’t buckle up to work.

There are a lot of examples of intransitive phrasal verbs which consist of a verb followed by an adverb.

The transitive verb is the one used with a direct object either expressed or understood. The transitive phrasal verb "to sort out" is formed of the verb to sort followed by the adverb out.

Ex.: 1. We sorted out the papers.

In this example, the phrasal verb sorted out has the object papers and consequently, is a transitive phrasal verb.

2. Because of lack of funds, we had to scale down our plans.

The transitive phrasal verb "to scale down" is formed of the verb to scale followed by the adverb down and has one direct object our plans. This phrasal verb is a transitive one.

3. We would like to see over the flat again before we rent it.

The transitive phrasal verb "to see over" is formed of the verb to see followed by preposition over and has the object the flat.

So, we can say that transitive verb may combine with an adverbial particle and prepositional particle. Intransitive phrasal verbs also can combine with adverbial and prepositional particles.

Ex.: 1. Johnson went off at half-time.

Went off – intransitive phrasal verb, which consists of the verb went (go) and preposition off.

2. What do you want to do when you grow up?

Grow up – intransitive phrasal verb, which consists of the verb grow and adverb up.

In case of transitive phrasal verbs consisting of a verb followed by an adverb, if the object of the verb is a noun, the object can usually either follow or precede the adverb.

Ex.: I called off the meeting.

I called the meeting off.

In the first example the object meeting follows the adverb off, while in the second example the object meeting precedes the adverb off.

However, in the case of a few phrasal verbs, a noun object must usually follow the adverb.

Ex.: We attempted to smooth over the disagreement.

In this example, the phrasal verb "to smooth over" is followed by the noun object disagreement. In this case, the object disagreement cannot be placed before the adverb over.

In case of transitive phrasal verbs consisting of a verb followed by an adverb, if the object of the verb is a pronoun, the object must usually precede the adverb.

Ex.: I called it off.

We attempted to smooth it over.

Most transitive phrasal verbs may be used in the Passive Voice.

Ex.: The meeting was called off by me.

Bellow are examples of transitive phrasal verbs where a noun object must usually follow the adverb. The objects of the verbs are underlined.

Drum up: raise

She has drummed up support for her plan.

Paper over: repair superficially

They attempted to paper over their differences.

Smooth over: improve

We tried to smooth over the situation.

If the phrasal verb consists of a verb followed by an adverb and preposition, such phrasal verb is called three-word verbs. Both transitive and intransitive verbs can make such combination as verb + adverb + preposition.

She has a lot to put up with. – to tolerate

Put up with consists of the verb to put followed by adverb up and preposition with. – Intransitive phrasal verb, there is no object in this sentence.

She always looked up to her older sister.

Look up to consist of verb look followed by adverb up and preposition to. It is a transitive phrasal verb. There is an object in this sentence – her older sister.

Phrasal verbs turn up in the language all the time, but where do they come from? One answer is of course that new inventions and activities appear and new names and verbs are invented to describe them. But in fact, they are not usually completely new verbs, but either new combinations of existing verbs and particles, or old phrases which have found new uses.

1. From literal meaning to figurative meaning

Plough back originally meant to return a crop that you have grown to the soil. This was done to produce more. It is easy to see how this can change to begin used about reinvesting profits in a business. Sometimes the connection is less obvious. An American student may blow off his or her classes (that is, not to go to classes) – perhaps because they seem as unimportant as a fly that you would blow off your face.

2. New opposites

In the past we tended to dress up more for formal occasions, putting on special clothes and perhaps jewelry. Today, modern companies often try to foster a more creative and relaxed atmosphere by allowing staff to dress down once a week, that is, to wear more casual clothes.

3. New verbs from nouns or adjectives.

There are enormous possibilities for creating phrasal verbs because they don’t have to be made from existing verbs. Nouns, too, can turn into verbs and be used with particles to make in new phrasal verbs. These often come into the language first through American English where there seems to be more freedom for words to change grammatical class, or through informal spoken language. So from the noun luck, instead of "getting lucky", we can luck out and cowards ("wimps" – people who have no courage or "bottle") might wimp out or bottle out.

Sometimes a simple verb can turn into a phrasal verb without any real change of meaning. We now often hear something like "Professor Jones will head up an international team" where before we would have said that he will head the team, and it is difficult to see any reason for this change, except that the particle "up" seems to strengthen the meaning of the verb.

In addition to forming new verbs in the ways we have looked at, it is also possible to form many other combinations of verbs and particles. Think, for example, at all the ways that movement can be described. Almost any verb of motion can team up with almost any particle. Because we can go back or come back, we can also hurry back, amble back or tear back. We can say "I walked around the town", so it’s also possible to say wandered around or strolled around. If you are having a lazy day, perhaps you sit around at home. You might also lie around or lounge around. If we want to describe how somebody came in, did they sneak in, bust in, creep in or storm in? You can see how using combinations of verbs and particles in this way can make your speech and writing more interesting.

It is necessary to emphasize, although the meaning of phrasal verbs may not be obvious and it is not always possible to find a pattern or an explanation, the meaning is not arbitrary. Te combinations follow a logical pattern of meaning and when new combinations appear they also follow it.

A good example of new phrasal verbs that follow a pattern is click on. Sometimes we use the preposition on to imply that you continue doing something, like in drive on or read on. So when the Internet came along, this was the logical verb to say continue clicking.

There are many new phrasal verbs because people use the same old meanings of prepositions to talk about new things. An interesting example is google around. It means spend time on the Internet searching for information at www.google.com.

This part of our theoretical research illustrates the fact that we live in a fast-changing world and new expressions to describe it can be coined faster even than dictionaries can record them! However, we do not need to freak out when we meet a new phrasal verb, because we are usually already familiar with one or both of the parts when we hear a new addition to English.

Classification in Terms of Grammar and Phonetics of Phrasal Verbs

There are a lot of classifications of phrasal verbs. I bumped into the following classifications:

1. In the book "Help with phrasal verbs" by Richard Acklam it is said that there are four basic types of phrasal verbs [4].

The first is Verb + adverb (no object)

The verb and adverb cannot be separated in phrasal verbs of this category.

Ex.: break down = stop working

The car broke down and we had to walk.

There is no passive form with Type 1 phrasal verbs. The adverb, not the verb, is usually stressed with Type 1 phrasal verbs.

Type two is Verb + adverb + object

Verb + object + adverb

The verb and adverb can be separated.

  • If the object is a noun, the adverb can come before or after the noun.
  • If the object is a pronoun, for example, it, the adverb must come after the object.

Ex.: put off=to postpone

We must put off the meeting for another week.

We must put the meeting off for another week.

We must put it off for another week.

The adverb, and not the verb is usually stressed with type three phrasal verbs

Type three is Verb + preposition + object.

The preposition cannot be separated from the verb

Ex.: take after=be similar to older relative

He takes after his mother

He takes after her.

But not: He takes his mother after.

Type four is Verb + adverb + preposition + object.

Phrasal verbs in this category have 2 particles. They cannot be separated from the verb.

Ex.: put up with=tolerate

Go along with=to accept, agree

I cannot put up with his behavior any more.

He went along with her idea to grow vegetables in the garden.

The stress usually falls on the first particle.

Another grammarian, Graham Workman, made the classification of phrasal verb in another principle, which is based on dividing them (ph.v.) into transitive – intransitive; separable – inseparable. He distinguishes four types of phrasal verbs too and he calls the phrasal verbs as multi-word verbs [3].

The first type of multi-word verbs is intransitive and inseparable.

Some multi-word verbs are intransitive (i.e. they don’t take an object). We can use these multi-word verbs in a sentence on their own or continue the sentence in any way we like in order to add further information.

John called round.

John called round last night.

John called round to see you.

John called round because he wanted to borrow some sugar.

It is impossible to separate the verb and the particle.

Not John last night round.

Not John called to see you round.

Type one multi-word verbs are written in a dictionary with nothing after them (i.e. without someone or something) to show they are intransitive and inseparable: to call round.

Type two multi-word verbs: transitive + separable

Type two multi-word verbs are transitive (i.e. they take a direct object) and separable (i.e. it is possible to separate the verb and the particle). For example, these two sentences have the same meaning:

He looked up the word in the dictionary.

He looked the word up in the dictionary.

If an object pronoun is used (me/you/him/her/it/us/them), the particle must always come after the object pronoun: he looked it up. Not He looked up it.

In other words, you have to separate the verb and the particle when you use an object pronoun.

Type two multi-word verbs are written with someone and/or something between the verb and the particle to show they can be separated: to look something up.

Type three multi-word verbs are transitive and it is impossible to separate the verb and the particle by nouns object or the pronoun object:

I am looking for my keys. Not I’m looking my keys for.

Type three multi-word verbs are written with someone and/or something after the particle to show that they are transitive and inseparable: to look for someone/something.

Type four multi-word verbs are always transitive and have two particles which are inseparable.

He looks down on other people.

Not He looks down other people on.

Type four multi-word verbs: transitive + two inseparable particles. Type 4 multi-word verbs are written with someone and/or something after the two particles: to look down on someone.

But in fact, this classification of multi-word verbs is the same as the bellow one.

By Graham Workman multi-word verbs are verbs that combine with one or two particles (a preposition and/or an adverb) [3].

I’m looking for my keys. Have you seen them? (verb + preposition)

Look out! There is a car coming! (verb + adverb)

A snob is someone who looks down on people of a lower social class. (verb + adverb + preposition). If the addition of the particle(s) changes the meaning of the verb, it is usually called a phrasal verb because it has the meaning of a phrase. However, there are so many different types of phrasal verbs that it is easier to call all combinations of verb + particle(s) multi-word verbs.

Traditionally, multi-word verbs have been divided into several types/

Types of multi-word verbs

Types of multi-word verbs

Prepositional verbs are a group of multi-word verbs made from a verb plus another word or words. In other words, prepositional verbs are made of: verb + preposition.

Because a preposition always has an object, all prepositional verbs have direct objects.

Prepositional verbs cannot be separated. That means that we cannot put the direct object between the two parts. For example, we must say "look after the baby", we cannot say "look the baby after":

Who is looking after the baby? This is possible

Who is looking the baby after? This is not possible

a. Phrasal verbs

Phrasal verbs are made of: Verb + adverb

And they can be:

intransitive (no direct object)

transitive (direct object)

When phrasal verbs are transitive (that is, they have a direct object), we can usually separate the two parts. For example, "turn down" is a separable phrasal verb.

However, if the direct object is a pronoun, we have no choice. We must separate the phrasal verb and insert the pronoun between the two parts.

Ex: Bill switched on the radio.

Transitive verbs whose object can come in two positions – after the verb or after the particle I think I’ll put on my jacket. If the object is a pronoun, however, it must come between the verb and the particle: I think I’ll put it on (Not – I think I’ll put on it).

Transitive verbs whose object must come between the verb and the particle: Its high-quality designs set the company apart from its rivals.

Transitive verbs whose object must come after the particle: The baby takes after his mother – Why do you put up with the way he treats you.

Verbs with two objects – one after the verb, the other after the particle: They put their success down to good planning.

As far as we are concerned, we think this classification is a bit tangled and more difficult than previous ones.

One more, interesting, for we, classification, which we found in Internet divides the phrasal verbs into the following four types:

Type 1 verbs

These verbs do not have an object.

Ex.: The plane took off two hours late.

He left his wife and children and went away.

There was a horrible smell in the fridge because the chicken gone off.

All right, I don’t know. I give up.

Because there is no object you don’t have to worry about where to put it!

The main difficulty is when a verb can be more than one type. For example, a plane can take off (no object), but a person can take off a coat (with object). This second example would not be a Type 1 verb.

Another problem is when a verb can have more than one meaning but remain the same type. A chicken can go off, for example, which means it’s old and bad and cannot be eaten. But a person can go off, too, which means the same as go away.

Type 2 verbs

These verbs have an object, and this object can go after the verb or between the two parts of the verb.

Ex: I must put up those shelves this weekend.

I must put those shelves up this weekend.

I must put them up this weekend.

I must put up them this weekend.

When you do not use a pronoun, it does not really matter where you put the object. We generally put the object where it sounds better.

If the object is very long – it could include a relative clause, for example – it will probably sound better after the verb.

If you use a pronoun, you have to put it between the two words of the verb.

Type 3 verbs

These verbs have an object, but the object must go after the verb. It does not matter whether it is a pronoun or not.

Ex.: My sister takes after my mother

My sister takes after her.

My sister takes my mother after.

My sister takes her after.

Type 4 verbs

These are the same as Type 3 verbs, but they have three words instead of two. The object must go after the verb.

Ex.: I’m looking forward to the holidays.

I’m looking forward to them.

Do you get on with your neighbors?

Do you get on with them?

Get on with your work!

Get on with it!

It is necessary to say, that a few phrasal verbs can behave like Type 1 and Type 4; that is to say

Like verbs intransitive + inseparable, and it is not possible to separate the verb and the particle (Type1).

Like verbs transitive + two particles, which are inseparable (Type 4).

Ex: How do you get on with your boss? (Type 4)

We get on very well. (Type 1)

How are you getting on with your studies? (Type 4)

I’m getting on very well at the moment. (Type 1)

A few other verbs can behave like Type 1 and Type 3; that is to say:

like verbs intransitive + inseparable, and the particle cannot be separated from the verb (Type 1)

like verbs transitive + inseparable; verbs from this type are impossible to separate from the particle by the noun object or the pronoun object (type 3)

Ex.: He tripped over and hurt his knee. (Type 1)

He tripped over the carpet. (Type 3)

Now, that we have done our theoretical research into the abundance of phrasal verbs and found out that there are a few classifications of Ph. V. in terms of their ergative, being separable and inseparable, we can proceed to practical part of our research and make an attempt to apply the knowledge attained to analyzing the language of everyday dialogues, short stories and newspaper articles in which phrasal verbs find their particular place.

Bibliography

  1. Fowler, H.W. The New Fowler’s Modern English Usage. 3rd edition, edited by R.W. Burchfield, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996.
  2. Graham Workman Phrasal Verbs and Idioms – Oxford University Press, 2000
  3. Grammar in Use Intermediate With answers: Self-study Reference and Practice for Students of English – by Raymond Murphy (Author), William R. Smalzer (Author); Paperback, Second Edition, Cambridge University Press
  4. Longman Guide to English Usage