A phrasal verb (also known as a multi-word verb or MWV, although this is not strictly correct) is a verb comprising a verb and a particle. Mainly of Anglo-Saxon origin, they are often considered a colloquial synonym to more formal verbs of Classical origins, even though some of them actually contain Latin words, such as contract out; level off, and so on. Most phrasal verbs consist of two words, a verb and an adverb or a verb and a preposition. But just to complicate matters, there are a number of phrasal verbs which consist of three words: a verb, an adverb and a preposition.
- The meaning may or may not be transparent from an examination of the individual words involved.
- They are grammatically complex.
There are basically six types of verbs that are used as phrasal verbs:
- verbs of movement (usually monosyllabic and Anglo-Saxon in origin): go; come, run; walk; spin; shake;
- verbs of indefinite/multiple meanings (usually monosyllabic): get; put; take; make; do;
- verbs for inviting and ordering: invite; let;
- verbs formed from adjectives: dry; brighten, flatten;
- verbs formed from nouns: chalk up; brick up;
- verbs of Latin origin: contract out; level off;
- Compound verb
- Do or make
- List of multi-word verbs
- Prepositional verb
- Set phrase