Seidl 1990:8/9 - English Idioms Exercises on Phrasal
are three basic combinations of verb, adverbial particle
and preposition. These are:
Verb + particle
Verb + preposition
Verb + particle + preposition
their Oxford Dictionary of Current Idiomatic English,
A.P.Cowrie and R. Mackin present these combinations
in a system of patterns, three intransitive (i.e. there
is no direct object) and three transitive (i.e. there
is a direct object).
gives us six patterns:
1 Intransitive + particle
e.g. slow down, get on, take off
Intransitive + preposition
e.g. go off someone/something, count on someone/something
Intransitive + particle + preposition
e.g. put up with someone/something, come up against
Transitive + particle
e.g. pack something in, take someone off
Transitive + preposition
e.g. talk someone into something, turn someone off someone/something
Transitive + particle + preposition
e.g. put someone up to something, take someone up on
Martin Parrott 2000: 109
Grammar for English Language Teachers
types of multiword verb
are often taught that there are four 'types' of multiword
1 No object (intransitive) i.e. they don't take a direct
We got up early. The plane took off.
2 Object (transitive) inseparable i.e. they need a direct
object and this can't go between the verb and the particle
She never asks me to look after the children (NOT ..
never asks me to look her children after.)
3 Object (transitive) separable i.e. they need a direct
object and this can go between the verb and the particle
Can you put my parents up if they come?
Don't bring these problems up at the meeting.
4 Object (transitive)with two particles (the particles
You should look up to teachers (NOT
look up teachers
Teachers as well as learners generally find this degree
of analysis sufficient for all practical purposes. However,
sometimes multiword verbs are also known as and divided
into phrasal and prepositional verbs, and the particles
are described as adverbs or as prepositions. In this
case types 1 and 3 multiword verbs are known as phrasal
verbs and their particles are classified as adverbs.
Type 2 multiword verbs are known as prepositional verbs
and their particles are classified as prepositions.
Type 4 multiword verbs are known as phrasal-prepositional
verbs. The first particle is classified as an adverb
and the second as a preposition.
types of multiword verbs
all multiword verbs fit neatly into one of these four
verbs and particles have to be separated by an object,
even if this is not a pronoun.
He knocked his children about (NOT He knocked about
object of some multiword verbs can only be it. We can't
use other nouns, expressions or pronouns.
We both sulked for ages but in the end we had it out
and now we've made it up.