Appendix:English phrasal verbs

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Phrasal verbs are multi-word verbs constructed from a normal, single-word verb (e.g. run, drink, or play) and one or more additional words (usually words from the categories preposition and adverb) called particles.

Phrasal verbs can be transitive (e.g., walk into someone) or intransitive (e.g., sing along). In the case of transitive phrasal verbs, the position of the particle may be fixed before the direct object (e.g. come across [some money]), after the direct object (chat someone up — the verb being chat up), or either (bring a movie over or bring over a movie).

Sometimes the particle is optional (e.g. bring over a movie vs. bring a movie), though in most cases it is necessary (bring up the accident vs. bring the accident).


Keywords: idiom, idiomacity, sum of parts, inclusion criteria.

Some phrasal verbs are idiomatic while some have meanings that are clearly derived from the individual words. Similarly, the distinction between a phrasal verb and a verb with a preposition is not always clear either, as is the case with go into detail about something. As with the last example, the construction is frequently metaphorical. In other cases, the supplementary word is directional (e.g. sit up or sit down).


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