Getting Into It
Phrasal Verb Basics
Phrasal verbs are generally two or three words verb phrases composed of a verb and one or more particles - these 'particles' are often prepositions. Phrasal verbs are especially challenging to English learners because they may be literal in meaning:
I picked up the pen.
or they may be figurative in meaning:
They brought up their children in London.
Here is a short list some common phrasal verbs:
come up with
drop in on
get ready for
I looked into buying some meats for the deli departments.
We lifted the tablecloth off the table.
The cook looked after the snacks before the meeting.
Phrasal Verbs Followed by the 'ing'
One problem in English that can cause a lot of confusion is whether a verb following another verb takes the 'ing' form or takes the infinitive.
I hope to do something.
I enjoy doing something.
Phrasal verbs generally end in a preposition. Prepositions always take the 'ing' form of the verb. For this reason, any verb combined with a phrasal verb takes the 'ing' form of the verb.
I brought up stopping at one of the gas stations along the highway.
I brought up giving away comps as a way to fill the theater.
Three Word Phrasal Verbs
Here is a list of some of the most important three word phrasal verbs:
catch up on
come up with
go along with
cut down on
keep up with
come down with
check up on
get along with
get on with
look forward to
send off for
We look forward to reaching the campground tonight.
We ran out of self-discipline and had to be disciplined.