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.