What are the 4 different types of phrasal verbs in English? When is a phrasal verb separable or inseparable? Do you always need an object? Watch this video lesson to find out everything you’ve always wanted to know about phrasal verbs!
The 4 different types of phrasal verbs | Learn English grammar
Hi everyone, in this video we’re going to look at phrasal verbs, sometimes known as multi-word verbs. Now these are very important in English, because they help us to sound more natural, but they can also be quite confusing as a lot of phrasal verbs tend to look quite similar and the same phrasal verb could often have many different meanings.
If you want some examples of common phrasal verbs in English to help you understand the type of phrasal verbs we use, and how we use them and how one phrasal verb can have lots of different meanings then have a look at some of my other videos to see some examples and to see how we use those phrasal verbs.
In this video, we’re going to look at the grammar of phrasal verbs. We’re going to look at how we use phrasal verbs and in particular, we’re going to look at the four different types of phrasal verbs in English.
The first thing to notice about phrasal verbs is a phrasal verb or a multi-word verb has a main verb and it has either one or two particles after that. Now the particle might be a preposition, it might also be an adverb. That’s not so important, we will look at the difference, but the most important thing to remember is that a phrasal verb is made up of a verb and either one or two particles.
So let’s have a look at the first type of phrasal verb: type one. This phrasal verb is intransitive. This means that the phrasal verb doesn’t have an object. It doesn’t need an object. So for example, you can say to someone ‘hurry up’, which means you’re telling someone to go faster or to come faster. In this case, ‘hurry’ is the main verb, ‘up’ is the particle and there’s no object, you don’t need an object here.
Another good example is ‘get by’. You can say ‘I have enough money to get by’. Again, there’s no object here, you don’t need an object. ‘Get by’ here means ‘survive’ or ‘manage’. If you have enough money to ‘get by’, it means you have enough money to pay for the things that you need to pay for. To pay for food, to pay for your rent. To pay for transport. I have enough money to ‘get by’.
Here’s another example: ‘throw up’. I think I’m going to ‘throw up’. Again, there’s no object here. ‘Throw’ is the main verb and ‘up’ is the particle.
OK, let’s have a look now at type two phrasal verbs. This is probably the most common type of phrasal verb and a type two phrasal verb has an object but the object is separable. This means that you can move the object. The object can go between the main verb and the particle or it can go after the particle. So for example…’Turn the TV off’ or ‘turn off the TV’. So in this case the TV is the object and the object can go in the middle of the phrasal verb, between the main verb and the particle or it can go at the end of the phrasal verb, after the particle. ‘Turn the TV off’ or ‘turn off the TV’. However, if the object is a pronoun, for example ‘it’, you can only put the object in the middle of the phrasal verb, not at the end. So for example, ‘turn it off’ – but you can’t say ‘turn off it’. So, if the object is a pronoun, the pronoun must go in the middle of the phrasal verb.
OK, let’s look at type three phrasal verbs now. Type three phrasal verbs are non-separable. This means that you cannot separate the verb from the particle. So the object must go at the end of the phrasal verb. Even if the object is a pronoun, such as ‘it’. So for example, ‘I need to deal with this problem’ or ‘I need to deal with it’. ‘Deal with’ is the phrasal verb – ‘deal’ is the main verb, ‘with’ is the particle, in this case it’s a preposition, and the object, ‘the problem’, or ‘it’, must go at the end of the phrasal verb. ‘I need to deal with this problem’, or ‘I need to deal with it’.
Here’s another example of a type three phrasal verb. In this case, there are two particles. ‘It’s really hard to keep up with my homework’ or ‘It’s really hard to keep up with it’. So in this case, ‘keep up’ or ‘keep up with’ is the phrasal verb, in this case ‘up’ is an adverb, ‘with’ is a preposition, but again you don’t need to worry too much about that, but the object must go at the end of the phrasal verb. ‘It’s hard to keep up with my homework’ or ‘It’s hard to keep up with it’. This is a type three phrasal verb.
OK, finally, let’s look at type four phrasal verbs. This is probably the least common type of phrasal verb and a type four phrasal verb actually has two objects. So, for example…’I will keep you to your promise’. So the objects here are ‘you’ – that’s the first object – and ‘your promise’ is the second object. So, ‘keep someone to something’ is the phrasal verb. ‘I will keep you to your promise’. This means that you promised something and I will make sure you don’t break your promise. ‘I will keep you to your promise’.
Here’s another example…’I couldn’t get my message across to the locals’. Again, there are two objects here: ‘my message’ and ‘the locals’. This means that I tried to explain something to the local people, but they couldn’t understand me. Maybe I don’t speak their language very well. ‘I couldn’t get my message across to the locals’.
OK, so those are the four types of phrasal verbs that we use in English. By understanding the grammar of phrasal verbs it will make it much easier for you to understand and also to use phrasal verbs. So let’s do a practice now of these four different types of phrasal verbs. To see how well you understand these different types of phrasal verbs, these four types of phrasal verbs, I’m going to tell you a short story and I want you to listen out for the different phrasal verbs and you can write them down or just think about them in your head and try to work out what type of phrasal verb each example is. Is it type one, type two, type three or type four? And then at the end we’ll look together, we’ll check together and see if you were right. If you need to pause the video or go back and listen again then feel free to do that. It’s always easier the second time.
When I was eleven, my class went over to France for the day, because the UK is so close. When we got off the bus, the teacher told us we could go off and explore, but we had to meet up with everyone else at the bus in one hour. My friend was hungry, so we went to get pizza. He ordered a takeaway pizza in a local restaurant and we went for a walk while we waited for it to be ready. Then, we went back to pick it up, but we realised we were lost and couldn’t get back to the bus! I tried to ask for directions, but I just couldn’t get my message across to the locals. My French was very basic!
Luckily, the teacher found us but he was really angry and he told us off! After that, we had to stay on the bus for the rest of the trip!
OK, how many phrasal verbs did you hear and what type of phrasal verbs were they? Here they all are…
I know phrasal verbs might seem confusing because they often seem quite similar. The best way to learn them is to learn them in context, in a sentence, in an article. A good way to practice phrasal verbs is to notice them, to look out for them. So every time you’re reading, underline phrasal verbs you see. Every time you listen and you hear a phrasal verb, write it down. Songs are very good for phrasal verbs, so listen to lots of songs and notice all the phrasal verbs that are used and how they’re used in context and that can help you to remember how we use them and what they mean.
I hope this video lesson has been helpful. If you’re still not sure, you can always watch the video again. It’s always easier the second time. Don’t forget to like, share and subscribe. Keep practising your English and good luck!