Multi-word verb

From Teflpedia

A multi-word verb (MWV) is a verb phrase that consists of a verb plus one or two particles;[1] contrast single-word verb. A MWV may have a adverb as a particle; it may have a preposition or it can have both an adverb and a preposition.

Modern grammar identifies three types of MWVs

Without preposition With preposition
Without adverb Single-word verb Prepositional verb
(transitive and inseparable)
e.g. "to look after something"
With adverb True phrasal verb
verb+adverb
(intransitive or transitive and separable)
e.g.
  • "to look up"
  • "to look up something"
  • "to look something up".
phrasal-prepositional verb
verb+adverb
(always transitive)
e.g. "to look forward to something"


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