The difference between a normal verb and a phrasal vern

A phrasal verb is a combination of a verb and preposition, a verb and an adverb, or a verb with both an adverb and a preposition.

A phrasal verb has a meaning which is different from the original verb.  You may need to try to guess the meaning from the context, or look it up in the dictionary.

A further way of considering phrasal verbs is whether they are separable or inseparable. In inseparable verbs, the object comes after the particle (adverb/preposition that follows the verb).


• She got on the bus.

• On weekdays, my parents look after my son because I have to work.

Separable verbs have several ways of separating verb, particle, and object. Usually, the object comes between the verb and particle.


• She looked up the word in her dictionary.

• She looked it up in her dictionary.

However, with some separable verbs, the object can come before or after the particle.


Switch the light off.

Switch off the light.

Switch it off.


There’s usually no way of telling whether they are separable or inseparable. In most cases you have to get a feel for them.

Here are a few of interactive phrasal verb games that you can download for free on Google PlayStore:

Dynamic English Lessons

The Phrasal Verbs Machine

Phrasal Nerds

Phrasal Verb World


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