Picked It Up OR Picked Up It?
Separable and Inseparable Phrasal Verbs
Some phrasal verbs separate the verb from the preposition(s) (or particles) while others do not. Phrasal verbs are either separable or inseparable.
Separable Phrasal Verbs
Separable phrasal verbs can either remain together when using an object that is a noun or noun phrase, or separate:
Our bank's monetary policy puts off many clients from investing their money with us.
The branch manager put off the collateral requirement until the company could provide more documentation.
It is important to remember that separable phrasal verbs MUST be separated when using a pronoun as an object of the phrasal verb.
The liquidity let them out of that quarter's credit crunch.
Our mutual fund will help us out greatly.
Inseparable Phrasal Verbs
Inseparable phrasal verbs never separate and must remain together whether a noun, noun phrase or pronoun is used.
He kept up with fluctuations in cost of goods sold.
The board looked after the majority interest of the shareholders
When you are not sure whether a phrasal verb is separable or inseparable, ALWAYS use a noun or noun phrase and DO NOT separate. As separable phrasal verbs must separate when using a pronoun, using the noun or noun phrase will help you avoid this problem and will always be correct.