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
It seems impossible to keep up with the blogosphere.
They put poverty alleviation work off until the second year.
They took the old positioning statement down when the new executive was elected.
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.
We brought up redefining what were considered best practices.
I brought up testifying with my legal consultant, and explored what legal principle would be in play."
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
I kept up with what products and services the competition were offering.
We looked out for problem solving opportunities.