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Phrasal-prepositional Verbs

Phrasal-prepositional verbs are a small group of multi-word verbs made from a verb plus another word or words. Many people refer to all multi-word verbs as phrasal verbs. On these pages we make a distinction between three types of multi-word verbs: prepositional verbs, phrasal verbs and phrasal-prepositional verbs. On this page we look at phrasal-prepositional verbs.

Phrasal-prepositional verbs are made of:

verb + adverb + preposition

Look at these examples of phrasal-prepositional verbs:

phrasal-prepositional verbs meaning examples
  direct object
get on with have a friendly relationship with He doesn't get on with his wife.
put up with tolerate I won't put up with your attitude.
look forward to anticipate with pleasure I look forward to seeing you.
run out of use up, exhaust We have run out of eggs.

Because phrasal-prepositional verbs end with a preposition, there is always a direct object. And, like prepositional verbs, phrasal-prepositional verbs cannot be separated. Look at these examples:

phrasal-prepositional verbs are
inseparable
Correct! We ran out of fuel.
Correct! We ran out of it.

Now check your understanding »

It is a good idea to write "something/somebody" in your vocabulary book when you learn a new phrasal-prepositional verb, like this:
  • get on with somebody
  • put up with sthg/sby
  • run out of something
This reminds you that this verb needs a direct object (and where to put it).

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