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 Run Against
Gore ran against Bush in the 2000 elections in the U.S.A.
To Take Off
My stomach felt funny when the plane took off.
To Keep Off
Keep the cat off the couch.
To Bear Down On
The soldier had to bear down on the leather strap while the doctor removed a bullet from the soldier's arm.
To Run Away
The child ran away because her parents beat her.