Session 2

Phrasal verbs are an important feature of natural English. There are different types with different grammar. Find out about them in this session and test what you've picked up. Then listen out for Dave's sad holiday story in 6 Minute Grammar.

Sessions in this unit

Session 2 score

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    Activity 1
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    Activity 2
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    Activity 3

Activity 2

Learning multi-word verb types

Tip 1

It's important to know what type a phrasal verb is. When you hear or see it being used you can often work it out.

Look at the example from the sentence above. What type of phrasal verb is it?

You can often work it out.

You can see that the pronoun it has split the verb and particle. This means it must be a Type 1 phrasal verb.

Tip 2

The way you note down multi-word verbs can help you remember what type they are. Can you see any patterns?

Type 1

to take something off
to call someone back

The object pronouns someone/something are splitting the verb. This will always show it's a type 1.

Type 2

to get on something
to work on something

The object pronoun something comes after the verb and particle. This tells you it's a type 2.

Type 3

to mess around
to give in

Note that there are no pronouns because type 3 verbs are intransitive, they don't have objects.

Type 4

to splash out on something
to go on about something

These are easy to identify as type 4 because they have two particles.

Tip 3

Whenever you come across a new multi-word verb, note it down and be sure to include an example and what type it is.

To send something back = to return something that's been delivered to you.

Type 1
I had to send back the shoes, they were the wrong size.
I had to send them back, they were the wrong size.

Read the text and complete the activity

To do

Can you work out what type the phrasal verbs are in the quiz?

What type of multi-word verb

5 Questions

Each sentence contains a multi-word verb. Can you identify what kind it is?

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How did you get on? (To get on is a type 3 by the way). Hope you've picked up (type 1) some useful tips and an understanding of the grammar of multi-word verbs. Now relax and listen to Callum and Catherine discussing the topic in 6 Minute Grammar.

Session Grammar

  • The grammar of multi-word verbs

    There are four types of multi-word verbs. Each type has different rules which tell you if they have an object and where you can put the object.

    Type 1

    They transitive so they must have a direct object. The object can come after the particle or between the verb and particle

    He took off his jacket.
    He took his jacket off.

    If you use a pronoun instead of the object it must come between the verb and particle.

    He took it off.
    NOT: He took off it.

    Type 2

    They are transitive so they have a direct object. The object must come after the particle.

    Don't try to get on the train if it's already moving.
    NOT: Don't try to get the train on if it's already moving.

    If you use a pronoun instead of the object it must not come between the verb and particle.

    Don't try to get on it if it's already moving.
    NOT: Don't try to get it on if it's already moving. 

    Type 3

    These are intransitive, they don't have an object. You can't split the verb from the particle.

    Stop messing around

    Type 4

    These are transitive, they have a direct object. They have two particles (an adverb followed by a preposition). You must put the object or pronoun after both particles.

    Stop going on about it.
    NOT: Stop going on it about.
    NOT: Stop going it on about.

Session Vocabulary