Verbs 10 - Phrasal Verbs
"Forest fires break out easily at this time of the year." Can you see the phrasal verb in this sentence?

Verbs 10 - Phrasal Verbs

We know that English comprises 8 parts of speech. Every one of these parts is important for proper communication between people, both in the written and the spoken form. Three of these parts - the verb, the preposition and the adverb - combine to provide much more meaning to communication. We often come across verbs that are followed by prepositions or adverbs. We find that when these words are taken together the meaning is quite different from what the verb alone conveys.

‘The plane TOOK OFF from the runway.’ This sentence means that the plane has flown off the ground and into the sky. TOOK OFF is known as a phrasal verb and here it comprises TOOK, a verb and OFF, an adverb.

‘I will THINK ABOUT going to high school.’ This is another sentence in which THINK ABOUT is a phrasal verb and here it comprises THINK, a verb and ABOUT, a preposition.

Any of the prepositions or adverbs can be used with the verb to lend more meaning. Sometimes, a word is both a preposition and an adverb. You can see how they differ in meaning when used with verbs.

'She is GETTING OVER the hurdle.’ This is a sentence where OVER is used as a preposition and the phrasal verb, GETTING OVER, means ‘to overcome the hurdle.’

‘He is THINKING OVER the problem.’ This is a sentence where OVER is used as an adverb and the phrasal verb, THINKING OVER, means ‘to study the problem’.

Phrasal verbs are normally used in spoken, rather than written, English. The use of phrasal verbs makes spoken English much more meaningful and readily understood. Sometimes, phrasal verbs help to put across an inconvenient thought in a more acceptable manner, as in the case of someone’s death, where the phrase ‘passed away’ is often used.

Take this quiz and see how phrasal verbs are made use of in the English language.

1.
"In fact, we are getting --- next week to talk about a really important issue." - Fill in the blank by choosing the answer which forms a phrasal verb with the preceding word.
Together
About
After
Through
The phrasal verb 'getting together' means 'to meet as a group'
2.
"A friend of mine has called --- her wedding." - Fill in the blank by choosing the answer which forms a phrasal verb with the preceding word.
After
Through
Without
Off
The phrasal verb 'called off' means 'to have cancelled'
3.
"I just cannot do --- my mobile." - Fill in the blank by choosing the answer which forms a phrasal verb with the preceding word.
Down
Forward
Without
Off
The phrasal verb 'do without' means 'to manage in the absence of'
4.
"I can't believe how much Ramesh takes --- his father. They look and act exactly the same." - Fill in the blank by choosing the answer which forms a phrasal verb with the preceding word.
Down
After
Forward
Off
The phrasal verb 'takes after' means 'to follow as an example' or 'to resemble in appearance, character or temperament'
5.
"I have been trying all morning and I can't get --- to Mr Sharma." - Fill in the blank by choosing the answer which forms a phrasal verb with the preceding word.
Out
Through
About
Without
The phrasal verb 'get through' means 'to succeed in making contact'
6.
"Don't smoke in the forest. Fires break --- easily at this time of the year." - Fill in the blank by choosing the answer which forms a phrasal verb with the preceding word.
Together
Away
Out
Down
The phrasal verb 'break out' means 'to develop suddenly and rapidly'
7.
"I am really looking --- to seeing my friends again." - Fill in the blank by choosing the answer which forms a phrasal verb with the preceding word.
Forward
Off
Out
About
The phrasal verb 'looking forward' means 'to eagerly await an outcome'
8.
"Popular protest and extensive media coverage finally helped bring --- change in the country's environmental policies." - Fill in the blank by choosing the answer which forms a phrasal verb with the preceding word.
Without
Together
Away
About
The phrasal verb 'bring about' means 'to make something happen'
9.
"The car broke --- on the highway and the 24/7 service had to be called for help." - Fill in the blank by choosing the answer which forms a phrasal verb with the preceding word.
Without
Together
Away
Down
The phrasal verb 'broke down' means 'to have stopped working or functioning'
10.
"Mrs. Sukanya's husband passed --- last Friday. We are going to attend his funeral next week." - Fill in the blank by choosing the answer which forms a phrasal verb with the preceding word.
About
After
Away
Through
The phrasal verb 'passed away' means 'to have died'
Author:  V T Narendra

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