What are Phrasal Verbs?

Phrasal verb is the name given to an English verb which is composed of two or three words. One verb is combined with a preposition (like on, in, under) or an adverb (like up, down, away). Sometimes a phrasal verb can have a meaning that is very different to the meaning of at least one of those two or three words separately. Some text books call these verbs multi-word verbs. Phrasal verbs are used more frequently in everyday speech than in formal, official writing or speaking.

Here are some examples:

To Close Up
They are closing the ski resort up for the summer.
To Look After
When my sister goes on vacation, I look after her dog.
To Hold Back
The police held the demonstrators back while the politicians entered the building.
To Wait Up
Don't wait up.
To Show Off
Young boys show off in order to impress girls.