The four types of phrasal verbs
Phrasal verbs are really important in English if you want to sound as natural as possible and understanding them will really help you to understand what you hear and read as well. Check out my other videos on phrasal verbs to understand the different meanings of some of the most common phrasal verbs, but in this video I’m going to help you understand the FOUR different types of phrasal verbs.
The first thing to notice about phrasal verbs is that they contain one common verb and one or two particles. Those particles could be either an adverb or a preposition (but don’t worry if you can’t tell the difference between an adverb and a preposition in phrasal verbs - that’s not so important). Let’s take a look at the FOUR different types with examples and then I’ll explain how we use them.
Type one (Intransitive) This just means there is no object after the particle. So, for example: Hurry up! Or I don't have enough money to get by.
Type two (Separable) This means the particle can go before the object or after it. For example: Turn off the TV or Turn the TV off. Both are correct. However, if you use the pronoun (for example ‘it’) the particle must go after the object. For example, Turn it off but NOT Turn off it.
Type three (Non-separable) This type of phrasal verb can have one or two particles but you can’t separate them from the verb. That means the object always goes at the end, even if the object is a pronoun like ‘it’. So for example: I need to deal with this problem or I need to deal with it. Deal + with + object. Here’s an example with two particles: It’s really hard to keep up with my homework or It’s really hard to keep up with it.
Type four (Two objects) This type of phrasal verb is the least common but it’s worth looking at. I will keep you to your promise. The objects here are ‘you’ and ‘your promise’. This means you promised something and I will make sure you don’t break your promise.
I'm going to give you a few example sentences with phrasal verbs and I want you to decide which type of phrasal verb is used in each example, one, two, three or four. If you need time to think then just pause the video after each example…
I don't feel well. I think I'm going to throw up.
When I was in France, I couldn't get my message across to the locals.
Mum told us off because we had been fighting.
The driver told us to get off the bus.
My girlfriend asked me to pick her up.
I can't put up with your lies anymore!
I wish you would shut up.
I'm going to let you in on a secret.
I know phrasal verbs might seem confusing to remember but the more you hear them, the easier it will be to use them. The best advice I can give you, as with learning all vocabulary, is to learn phrasal verbs in context. That will help you to understand what they mean and how you can use them. Write them down in a sentence and practise using them. Good luck!