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Phrasal-prepositional Verbs

Like many grammars, we treat phrasal-prepositional verbs as one kind of multiword verb. Other grammars may class all multiword verbs as "phrasal verbs".

The structure of a phrasal-prepositional verb is:

verb + adverb + preposition

Look at these examples of phrasal-prepositional verbs:

phrasal-prepositional verb meaning example sentence
  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:

tick We ran out of gas.
tick We ran out of it.
cross We ran gas out of.
cross We ran out gas of.
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 the verb needs a direct object (and where to place it).