Phrasal Verbs

Topics: Phrasal verb, Word, Verb phrase Pages: 8 (2275 words) Published: April 29, 2013



Index number: OPK09/12

Instructor: Kristina Varcaković PRIJEDOR, 2013

2.Structuring and Presentation of Contents:4
2.1 Origin of Phrasal verbs:4
2.2 A diagnostic:5
2.3 Catenae:6
2.4 Shifting:7
2.5 Examples:8
2.6 Phrasal nouns:10
3. Conclusion:11


The term phrasal verb is commonly applied to two or three distinct but related constructions in English: a verb and a particle and/or a preposition co-occur forming a single semantic unit. This semantic unit cannot be understood based upon the meanings of the individual parts in isolation, but rather it must be taken as a whole. In other words, the meaning is non-compositional and thus unpredictable. Phrasal verbs that include a preposition are known as prepositional verbs and phrasal verbs that include a particle are also known as particle verbs. Additional alternative terms for phrasal verb are compound verb, verb-adverb combination, verb-particle construction, two-part word/verb, and three-part word/verb(depending on the number of particles), and multi-word verb.

2.Structuring and Presentation of Contents:

2.1 Origin of Phrasal verbs:

Prepositions and adverbs can have a literal meaning which is spatial or "orientational", and then, as happens with all words, metaphorical meanings develop that are systematic extensions from the original core meaning. Many verbs in English can interact with an adverb or a preposition, and the verb + preposition/adverb complex is readily understood when used in its literal sense. He walked across the square.

She opened the shutters and looked outside.
When he heard the crash, he looked up.
The function of the prepositional phrase/particle in such clauses is to show the relationship between the action (walked, opened,looked) and the relative positioning, action or state of the subject. Even when such prepositions appear alone and are hence adverbs/particles, they have a retrievable prepositional object. Thus, He walked across clearly shows that the "walking" is "across" a given area. In the case of He walked across the square, across the square is a prepositional phrase (with across as its head word). In both cases, the single-word/multi-word expression (across and across the square) is independent of the verb. The action of the subject (walking) is being portrayed as having happened in/at/on/over a certain location (across the square). Similarly in She opened the shutters and looked outside and When he heard the crash, he looked up, outside is logically outside (of) the house, and up is similarly an adjunct (= upwards, in an upwards direction, he is looking in a direction that is higher than where his eyes were previously directed). Phrasal verbs are represented in many languages by compound verbs.

2.2 A diagnostic:

When a particle phrasal verb is transitive, it can look just like a prepositional phrasal verb. This similarity is another source of confusion, since it obscures the difference between prepositional and particle phrasal verbs. A simple diagnostic distinguishes between the two, however. When the object of a particle verb is a definite pronoun, it can and usually does precede the particle. In contrast, the object of a preposition can never precede the preposition: 1. You can bank on Susan. – on is a preposition.

2. *You can bank her on. – The object of the preposition cannot precede the preposition. 3 You can take on Susan. – on is a particle.
4. You can take her on. – The object of the particle verb can precede the particle. 5. He is getting over the situation. – over is a preposition. 6. *He is getting it over. – The object of a preposition cannot precede the preposition. 7. He is thinking over the situation. – over is a particle....
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