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Phrasal Verbs

Some basic verbs in English easily link up with certain prepositions. These combinations give new and completely different meanings. Examples of basic verbs are get, make, set, do, come, put, go, look. Combined with prepositions they change meaning, e.g.: look for, look after, look up, or: get on, get by, get off.

The term "phrasal" refers to the fact that these verb+preposition combinations make a phrase (i.e. a meaningful connotation or expression).

These expressions are widely used in spoken English. There usually is a more formal alternative in written English that will express the same meaning. E.g.: To put in an application (to submit), to set up a new business (to establish).

Fill In

Choose the corrrect preposition to give the meaning in brackets:

1. I have to look ____________ my little sister (take care of)
2. Let's hear what you have come ____________ with. (found out)
3. We need to take .... new staff (employ)
4. I am looking ____________ my keys. (seek, search for)
5. How did you come ____________ that scar? (get)
6. I have to look it ____________ in a dictionary. (check, find)
7. Please go ____________ reading. (continue)
8. Look .... for the crossing children. (pay attention, take care)
9. Don't let me ____________ this time. (disappoint)
10. She went to see him ____________ at the airport. (say good bye)
11. I came ____________ an old chest in the attic. (found by chance)
12. We can't put it ____________ any longer. (postpone)
13. I can't put ____________ with his rude behaviour. (tolerate)
14. It's a secret. Don't let ____________ that you know. (reveal)
15. There's not enough food to go ____________ (not enough for all)
16. She came ____________ after an hour. (regained consciousness)
17. My application was turned ____________ (rejected, declined)
18. They made ____________ the city. (went in the direction of)
19. After the fight they decided to make ____________ again.(be friends)
20. I can't make ____________ what you are saying. (understand)


1. after
2. up
3. on
4. for
5. by
6. up
7. on
8. out
9. down
10. off
11. across
12. off
13. up
14. on
15. round
16. round
17. down
18. for
19. up
20. out

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CC BY-SAWritten by: Jan-Louis Nagel.
Last revised date 09/14/2011

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