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 Give Up
The police told the thief to give his gun up.
To Close In On
The rebels were closing in on the capital, so the government called in the army.
To Crack Down On
The police have been cracking down on drunk driving.
To Play Up
She played up her part in the new movie, but it was actually a very small role.
To Drop In
Meg dropped in yesterday after dinner.