Unit 4: Travellers' tales
Select a unit
- 1 Pop-ups
- 2 Hidden talents
- 3 Can't buy me love
- 4 Travellers' tales
- 5 The colleague from hell
- 6 Jurassic mystery: unpacking the past
- 7 Career changes
- 8 Art
- 9 Project management
- 10 The dog ate my homework!
- 11 The diary of a double agent
- 12 Fashion forward
- 13 Flat pack skyscrapers
- 14 Extreme sports
- 15 Food fads
- 16 Me, my selfie and I
- 17 Endangered animals
- 18 A nip and a tuck: cosmetic surgery
- 19 I'm really sorry...
- 20 Telling stories
- 21 Fakes and phrasals
- 22 Looking to the future
- 23 Becoming familiar with things
- 24 From rags to riches
- 25 Against the odds
- 26 Our future on Mars?
- 27 Where is it illegal to get a fish drunk?
- 28 Dodgy dating
- 29 Annoying advice
- 30 I'll have been studying English for thirty weeks
Break up, break down, get up, make out... There are lots of multi-word verbs in English, and they can be confusing. But don't give up! We're here to help.
To separate or not to separate? Finn and Catherine look into phrasal and prepositional verbs in 6 Minute Grammar. Listen to the examples and see if you can pick up the rules.
Listen to the audio and complete the activity
Hello and welcome to 6 Minute Grammar. I'm Finn…
And I'm Catherine. And today we're talking about phrasal verbs and prepositional verbs.
Yes, we'll explain what they are and how you use them...
We'll have lots of examples and of course we'll finish with a quiz.
But first, let's listen to Mary. She's a lifestyle coach and she has some advice for us about friends and friendship.
And listen out for the answer to this question: What do psychologists say that it is important to do?
How often do you and your friends get together? In our busy lives today, it's easy to let our friends down by putting off social arrangements or even forgetting to ring them up. Yet our friends are the people who stand by us when we need support. So while it's great to keep up with people on social media, psychologists point out that it's really important to make time to meet up together too.
So that was Mary. And we asked: What do psychologists say that it is important to do?
And the answer is: They say it's important for us and our friends to meet up. And I think they mean face to face. What do you think, Finn?
They do. Face-to-face meeting up is the best thing, they say. And there's our first phrasal verb - meet up.
Yes, meet up. Now, a phrasal verb is a two-word verb made of a verb plus a little word like in, on, out, or up. We usually think of in, on, out, and up as prepositions, but in phrasal verbs they behave more like adverbs.
They do. In the phrasal verb meet up, the adverb up modifies the meaning of the verb meet. Meet and meet up are very similar in meaning. But the adverb sometimes does more than that. Listen to this clip.
...psychologists point out that it's really important to make time to meet up together too.
Right, we heard the phrasal verb point out there, but it doesn't mean the same as the verb point. Point out means to say something interesting, or unusual or useful. And the adverb changes the meaning significantly.
It does. Now listen out for more phrasal verbs in this clip.
In our busy lives today, it's easy to let our friends down by putting off social arrangements or even forgetting to ring them up.
Now if we let our friends down, it means that we don't help or support them. And when we put off arrangements, we cancel or delay them. And if we ring people up, we phone them.
And those are interesting phrasal verbs because when they have an object, we can put the object either between the verb and the adverb, or we can put it after the adverb.
Like this: we can let our friends down or we can let down our friends.
You wouldn't let your friends down.
I'd never let my friends down, Catherine. Or my colleagues.
And we can put off arrangements or put arrangements off.
We can. But be careful. If the object is a pronoun, you have to put it in the middle. For example, you have to say ring them up.
Yeah. Don't say ring up them.
No, don't say that. Now, one more clip. Can you spot any more phrasal verbs?
Yet our friends are the people who stand by us when we need support.
Well, we just heard stand by us. And you are probably wondering why the pronoun is at the end of the verb because we just said that you can't put pronouns at the end. But stand by is a slightly different type of verb, because by isn't an adverb. It's a preposition.
That's right. In some two-word verbs, the second word such as by, with, into, or on behaves like a preposition, not an adverb. And in these verbs, the object or object pronoun always comes after the preposition.
OK. So Mary said that it's great to keep up with people on social media. And keep up with means keep in contact with, and it's a phrasal verb made of three parts: a verb: keep, plus an adverb: up, plus a preposition: with.
That's right. And with phrasal verbs with three parts, the object always comes at the end. We keep up with people.
6 Minute Grammar from the BBC.
And it's time for a quiz! Number one. Is this sentence correct or wrong? She took her coat off, hung it up and sat down.
That's correct. Number two: correct or wrong? We keep with each other up by phone and email.
And that one is wrong...
...sounds horrible! The correct sentence is: We keep up with each other by phone and email. So, number three: I turned down the job because it was too far away. Now the question is: can you also say a) I turned down it. Or b) I turned it down?
Well, this time you can say b) I turned it down.
You can. And very good if you got those right at home.
There's more about this at bbclearningenglish.com. So join us again soon for more 6 Minute Grammar.
End of Session 2
That's the end of this session. We hope you enjoyed learning about phrasals. You can practise your speaking skills in Session 3 when Finn explores some useful language for pointing out problems. See you there!
Form of multi-word verbs
Are you going away on holiday this year?
I can’t wait to look around Athens.
Object pronoun after the verb
I’m so looking forward to it!
Object pronoun in the middle
Is someone picking you up at the airport?
Phrasal verbs with direct objects
The noun object can usually go before or after the adverb.
I broke off our engagement.
I broke our engagement off.
But if we use a direct object pronoun, remember it can only go between the verb and the adverb.
WRONG: I broke off it.
RIGHT: I broke it off.