What are phrasal verbs?

Like it says in the name, phrasal verbs are verbs, but not just any verbs they are verbs with a particle, either a preposition or an adverb, or multiple particles.

English has many verbs with for example a preposition: 

  • Listen to
  • Look at
  • Interested in
  • Search for

The list goes on.

But unlike the previous examples when you take the verb and you add a preposition to it the meaning changes.

look + at = still means you are looking at something.

Look + after = doesn’t mean you are looking behind you. It means to take care of someone or to provide for or keep something or someone safe. For example I look after my children when my wife goes to work.

So, there you have it. Phrasal verbs are verbs which have a different meaning than that of the original verb.

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Kristof Abrath

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