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Mentor Josephan's Phrasal Verb Teaser

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Mentor Josephan's Phrasal Verb Teaser

Q: What are phrasal verbs?
A: Google dictionary - “An idiomatic phrase consisting of a verb and another element, typically either an adverb, as in break down, or a preposition, for example see to, or a combination of both, such as look down on.” Sometimes, it is difficult to understand the meaning of phrasal verbs.
Some phrasal verbs have a literal meaning. They can be easily understood. She opened the door and looked outside. She was walking across the street when she heard an explosion.

Phrasal verbs can also have a figurative or idiomatic meaning which makes them difficult to understand. Can you put me up for tonight?

Q: How many phrasal verbs are there?
A: Quora quote – “In practice each compiler of lists uses different combinations of these two definitions because the first definition would create lists of billions of phrasal verbs and the second would eliminate phrasal verbs like “look for” which are fairly obvious to understand. So, for my estimate, I am going to use just a small fraction of the 170,000 verbs in common usage (500) and just a small fraction of the over 100,000 adverbs, together with the 150 prepositions. So the total number of combinations is given by the number of prepositions and adverbs (250) that can combine with 500 verbs. And the answer is 500!/(250! x 250!) Try typing this into your calculator!”

Q: What is the best way to learn phrasal verbs.
A: My suggestion is you start by reading at least one English fiction novel per month. With thousands of existing phrasal verbs and new phrasal verbs brewing up everyday, learning a new phrasal verb each day will require years to cover a thousand. Reading nonfiction English books will expose you to many phrasal verbs used in modern context. Other than that, your best shot is to search the internet for as many phrasal verbs as you can find and expose yourself to at least 10 new phrasal verbs every day.

Here are 15 phrasal verbs (a mere drop in the bucket) to get you started. Although I’ve provided the answers below, do your best to fill in the blanks without referring to the answers. I just completed a 1,000 Phrasal Verb Primer based on the same format; message me if you’re interested.

1. Fill in the correct form of one of the phrasal verbs from the list!

1. get along
2. give away
3. step down
4. make up
5. ring back
6. find out
7. cut off
8. carry out
9. take over
10. fall over
11. give up
12. hold up
13. go off
14. make out
15. sort out

1. I have all the information that you need but I’m busy. Can I ___________ you __________ in half an hour?
2. The Prime Minister has decided to ______________________ after 10 years in office.
3. We heard the bomb ______________________ from the hotel where we checked in.
4. Large companies sometimes ______________________ smaller ones.
5. My brother and I ______________________ very well most of the time, but occasionally we do have a fight.
6. I ______________________ playing football a long time ago because of a knee injury.
7. Don’t worry, we’ll try to ______________________ the problems and find a solution for everyone.
8. That story cannot be true. You have surely ______________ it ______________ .
9. After browsing the internet for some time, we finally ______________________ where he lived.
10. I had no use for the books so I _____________ them ______________ to the library.
11. I can’t ______________________ if it’s a woman or a man, because the person is too far away.
12. The pavement is very icy so be careful you don’t ______________________ .
13. There have been several robberies, but up to now the police don’t know who ___________ them ______________.
14. The traffic on the motorway was ___________________ by construction work.
15. The energy company __________________ our electricity because we didn’t’ pay.

Answers
1. I have all the information that you need but I’m busy. Can I ring you back in half an hour?
2. The Prime Minister has decided to step down after 10 years in office.
3. We heard the bomb go off from the hotel where we checked in.
4. Large companies sometimes take over smaller ones.
5. My brother and I get along very well most of the time, but occasionally we do have a fight.
6. I gave up playing football a long time ago because of a knee injury.
7. Don’t worry, we’ll try to sort out the problems and find a solution for everyone.
8. That story cannot be true. You have surely made it up.
9. After browsing the internet for some time, we finally found out where he lived.
10. I had no use for the books so I gave them away to the library.
11. I can’t make out if it’s a woman or a man, because the person is too far away.
12. The pavement is very icy so be careful you don’t fall over.
13. There have been several robberies, but up to now the police don’t know who carried them out.
14. The traffic on the motorway was held up by construction work.
15. The energy company cut off our electricity because we didn’t’ pay

Mentor Josephan

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