The ultimate phrasl verb book

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There is a good deal of review built into this textbook. Every section contains two or more exercises requiring the student to refer back to a previous section in order to review a phrasal verb, participle adjective, or noun. When a phrasal verb has two or more meanings, it is intentional that no help is provided to the student in determining which meaning applies; students have to review them all and figure it out for themselves.

I have tried in this textbook to imitate the form and content of everyday English. If occasionally the register and subject matter of some examples and exercises seem not quite right for formal discourse, that is deliberate. Students need to learn formal English, of course, but since most people speak informally most of the time, students need to gain familiarity with the syntax, usage, and content of the informal English they read and hear every day at work, at school, at home, and on television.


Phrasal verbs are combinations of ordinary verbs like put, take, come, and go and particles like in, out, on, and off. They are a very important part of everyday English. Every student of English needs a basic understanding of the most common phrasal verbs and also of common nouns and adjectives made from phrasal verbs.

Most phrasal verbs are nor informal, slang, or improper for educated speech or formal writing. Exactly the opposite is true most phrasal verbs are acceptable at all levels of spoken or written English. In fact, for many of the phrasal verbs in this textbook, there is no alternative to the phrasal verb there is no other way to say it.


However, a few phrasal verbs in this textbook are identified as informal, and it is better not to use them in serious, formal speech or writing. But these informal phrasal verbs are important because they are very common in everyday informal speech and writing.

Some phrasal verbs are very easy to understand. For example, it is not difficult to understand sit down or come in because their meanings are obvious. But  many phrasal verbs are very idiomatic. Idiomatic means that there is no way to know what the verb and particle mean together by knowing what the verb and particle mean separately. For example, every beginning-level student learns what the words call, run, off, and out mean, but that does not help the student to know that call off means cancel or that run out means use all of something.

Each section of this textbook starts with a FOCUS, an explanation of something important about phrasal verbs. Then eight phrasal verbs and an explanation of each important meaning of each one are presented along with one or more example sentences for each meaning. Following that are several exercises to help you understand and remember what the phrasal verbs mean and how to use them in a sentence. And like real conversation, questions asked with I or we are answered with you, and questions asked with you are answered with / or we.

And because there is a lot to learn in this textbook, there is a lot of review to help you learn it. Every phrasal verb is reviewed at least twice later in the book. The more idiomatic phrasal verbs are reviewed more often, and the more important meanings of phrasal verbs with several meanings are reviewed more often.

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