What is a preposition?
If you’ve forgotten what a preposition is, I’ll give you a quick reminder:
A preposition tells the reader or listener when or where something is in relation to another person or object. For example:
- My mum is waiting AT the gate.
- I’m going to sit NEXT TO you.
Prepositions can be tricky, especially as there are around 150 to learn. My students often have trouble choosing the correct ones. In, on, and at cause the most problems, but luckily for you, I have made a guide to help you.
phrasal verbs example
The next task is to combine the verb with the preposition.
I’ll give you a quick example before you go and explore them for yourselves. Let’s take the verb ‘look’, meaning to glance at something with your eyes. If we pair that with the prepositon ‘up’, we get the phrasal verb ‘look up’. This literally means turn your eyes towards the sky to see something.
Obvious right? Well… this particular example is easy BUT, now there is a big but coming your way. Look up can also mean to search for information. Just like you’re doing now, you’re looking up information on phrasal verbs. That meaning is not so obvious.
So, what i’m trying to say is that some are easy and make sense, others are difficult and you can’t guess the meaning just by looking at the the verb and preposition.
Here is ‘look up’ in use.
A – Z phrasal verbs list
Over to you! Check out the phrasal verbs alphabetical list by clicking on the links below.
Phrasal verbs grouped by verb
Did you know…
Lots of phrasal verbs in English use the same verb BUT the preposition alters the meaning either slightly or totally.
A little tip…they can be in either the past, present or future tense. It’s a great help if you’re up to speed with your verbs for this. If you’re unsure if a verb is regular or irregular, or want to refresh your memory, head over to my grammar section.
Do you like to learn English phrasal verbs?
If you’ve enjoyed this page, there are plenty more for you to look at. Click here to see the list of groups ready and waiting to be studied. Maybe you just like informal/slang English? Head to my useful tips and information section for loads more hints and tips to speak like a native.
If you really want to take your native speaking to the next level, how about taking a course? Here are some of the best ones:
Let’s see these idioms with pictures and meaning using real-life scenarios.