How does the pronunciation of phrasal verbs work?

The important part to remember when using phrasal verbs and hearing phrasal verbs is that the particle is always stressed.

There are many verbs in the English language that have a preposition with it, but are not phrasal verbs.

  • Talk to
  • Listen to

Here you never stress (emphasize) the preposition. For this reason students have issues saying it or writing it. They just don’t hear it when people speak. So, they will say something like: I love listening music. While you need to say I love listening to music.

With phrasal verbs the particle is always stressed, since with a different preposition the verb has a different meaning.

  • Look into: investigate
  • Look out: pay attention/ be careful
  • Look up: try to find some information

Apart from that you just have the ‘normal’ English pronunciation of the verb and the particle. Don’t worry, every topic/unit has multiple pronunciation activities to help you with the pronunciation of the phrasal verbs. So, you’ll get plenty of practice.

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Kristof Abrath

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