Themes > Retailing > Common problems
Common problems

Phrasal verbs

What is a phrasal verb? A phrasal verb is a verb combined with a preposition. The preposition can add extra meaning to the verb or give it more emphasis.

Could you switch off the light, please?
I had an ice-cream to cool down.

Some, prepositions change the meaning of different verbs in a similar way. The preposition away, for example, can mean away from here, or it can mean intensively. This means that it can be combined with any verb of activity.

I didn't hear the telephone because I was working away.
I've been typing away all morning.

Exercise 1

Match each of the prepositions below to one of the groups of sentences. Decide whether the preposition has the same meaning in all four sentences and then write what the preposition means. The first is done as an example.

back

down

off

on

up

1.

back

= return
He gave me the book back.
We came back on Friday
We turned back because of the weather.
She walked back on her own.

2. =
Could you carry reading, please?
Don't stop, just walk .
We played for an extra ten minutes.
I told him to be quiet, but he went talking.
3. =
It was so hot, I took my pullover .
We paid the overdraft last month.
Get your hands ! It's mine!
You have to tear the slip and post it.
4. =
She was really angry at first, but then she calmed .
We had to slow because of an accident.
The company scaled it's foreign investments.
I need a cold beer to cool .
5. =
I'm trying to speed my typing.
At last! The weather is beginning to warm !
Come on, we're late. Drink !
I was late so I had to heat the food .

Exercise 2

Now look at the six verbs and six prepositions below. How many phrasal verbs can you make with them?

off

down

in

up

on

back

get

look

set

take

turn

give

   


© Linguarama International, Alton UK, 1992 - 2000. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photographic, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of Linguarama International.

You may download any issue of POSTSCRIPT for personal (non-commercial) use and may distribute it to friends and work colleagues provided that the above conditions are extended to all users and that no commercial use is made of the material.