Bài 8: : Phrasal verbs

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 Topic: Phrasal verbs (Introduction)

Phrasal verbs aren’t easy to figure out, are they?

Do you know what I have here?
Grammar books.I’ve been looking through books and websites to make sure I have a solid understanding of phrasal verbs.
But do you know what I’m finding out?

There’s a lot of different information about phrasal verbs.
That makes it kind of confusing.

But it’s my goal to sort everything out and offer you a clear explanation of phrasal verbs.

I’d like to help you learn the answers to these questions:

What are phrasal verbs?

When do we use them?
How do we use them?
Let’s start with our first question: What are phrasal verbs?
Phrasal verbs are also called two-part verbs, three-part verbs, and multi-part verbs.
I like the term phrasal verb.
We’re talking about a verb and one or two other short words.
Together as a phrase they have a special meaning.
These one or two other short words can be called particles.
When these particles come together with a verb, a new definition is made.
The particles change the original definition.

This is different from just a verb and a preposition or a verb and an adverb.
Prepositions and adverbs add information, but they don’t change the original definition of a verb. Particles do.
So far you’ve heard me use four phrasal verbs.

How do the particles change the original definition of a verb?

Figure out means understand after much thought.

Look through means search for something.

Find out means discover or learn information.

Sort out means organize something messy or complicated.
Learning the definitions of phrasal verbs is probably the biggest challenge for students. After all, there are hundreds of phrasal verbs used in English.

The definitions of some phrasal verbs are rather easy to understand because they ‘re more literal that means the meanings are still close to the original definition of the verb.

For example: Look through
Look means to see with your eyes.
Look through a book means to search through the book.

You’re using your eyes and you’re going from one end of the book to the other searching for information.

Figure out is a phrasal verb that is more idiomatic.
The meaning is not quite clear by just looking at the two parts.

To figure out a math problem means think about it a lot and then you find you understand it.

I’d like to emphasize the importance of particles:
Compare two statements:
The boy looked through the keyhole.

The lawyer looked through the files.
I would argue that we have only one example of a phrasal verb.
Where is it? In the second statement.

In the first statement, ‘through the keyhole’ is additional information.

We’ve just learned more information about where the boy is looking, where he directs his eyes to see
‘Through’ did not change the definition of “look”.

But in the second sentence, we add the particle “through” to “look” and we get a new definition “searched”.

The lawyer looked through the files = The lawyer searched the files.
Now consider the short list of verb phrases:
Agree (on an issue), care (about someone), dream (of a better life)…

In my opinion, these are not examples of phrasal verbs because “on, about, of” are not changing or extending the definitions of the verbs that they follow.

Exercise 1: Identify the phrasal verb in each pair of statements:
Example: Watch and listen

Which statement has phrasal verb?
a) Jennifer is sitting on the couch and reading a magazine.

b) Jennifer likes to sit back and watch TV when she gets the chance.

Answer: B. sit back means to get comfortable, rest in a comfortable position.

1.Which statement has phrasal verb?
a)Jennifer is thinking about what she can cook for dinner.

b)Jennifer is thinking over what she wrote in her complaint letter. Was it ready to send?

Answer: B. think over means carefully consider before making a decision.

Which statement has phrasal verb?
Jennifer said good bye and hung up.
Pictures and photographs hang on Jennifer’s walls.

Answer: A. hang up means to end a phone call.

2.Which statement has phrasal verb?
a)Jennifer didn’t get around to vacuuming until after 2 in the afternoon.

b)Jennifer was happy she got a new coat for only 10 dollars.

Answer: A. get around to something or doing something means you finally do it after a lot of delay.
Let’s move on to the second question: When do we use phrasal verbs?
Phrasal verbs are common in everyday English. They are often less appropriate for formal speech than their one-word equivalents.

 For example: come up with is a phrasal verb that means  invent, create. Similarly, put together could be replaced with the single verb assemble or prepare. So depending on how formula situation is, I’d decide whether or not to use phrasal verb.
If asked informally to talk about my work, I would explain that I really enjoy coming up with ideas and putting together for you, my viewers.

 But in a more formal situation, if asked the same question, I would use different wording.

 Let me show you some of the changes I would make.

 Example: I thoroughly enjoy both the challenge of generating (coming up with) ideas and the experience of preparing (putting together) lessons for my viewers.
Do you feel how this statement is more normal?

 I think that idioms are less common in formal English. So because there are so many idiomatic phrasal verbs, they are more common in everyday English, more informal situations.
Exercise 2: Consider the statement as a whole.  Which verb is more appropriate?

 Example: The newspaper reported that the businessman was extremely disappointed to (find out/ discover) one of his own employees had commited a major crime.

 In the statement, both verbs could work, neither one is incorrect. They both have the same meaning. But overall, the language of the statement is more formal. I argue that ‘discover’ is the better choice. I think you understand even better if we compare that statement to the second one.

 This is more informal. This is spoken statement.

 “I read in the newspaper that the businessman was really upset to find out an employee of his was guilty of a serious crime.”

 Again, both verbs could work. But because this is more informal, ‘find out’ is the better choice.

 Read the statement and choose which verb you think is more appropriate.

 We are greatly interested in your proposal, but we will require some time to (think over/consider) all our options.

 ‘Think over’ is not incorrect, but for the more formal statement, I would choose ‘consider’.
It drives me crazy when my sister (looks through/ searches) my things without asking. I have to tell her to stay on her side of the room.

 ‘Searches’ is not incorrect, but for this informal statement, I would choose ‘looks through’.

3.  Doctors fail to (figure out/determine) the cause of the illness; however, they were able to reduce the patient’s suffering.

 ‘Figure out’ is not incorrect, but I would choose ‘determine’.

 The third question we must address is ‘How do we use phrasal verbs?’

 That question will be focused on the next lesson.  We will talk about transitive and intransitive phrasal verbs. And I’ll explain how transitive phrasal verbs (verb that take an object) can be separable or inseparable.

 For now, I’d like to invite you to englishcafe.com where additional practices are available under the name JenniferESL.

dich]Follow the direct link listed in the description.*Hãy theo đường dẫn trực tiếp được liệt kê trong phần mô tả.[/dich]

 Acknowledgement: Thank you, Stacy and Maria, for never turning me away. You put up with all my questions and help me figure out all the tricky grammar points.

 We’ve come to the end of our lesson. It’s time for you to do some review, and it’s time for me to start putting together our next lesson on phrasal verbs.

 Thanks for watching! and Happy Studies!


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