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.