5 things you need to know about phrasal verbs

by / Tuesday, 03 September 2013

1.  The meaning can depend on the context

Set up a meeting means arrange a meeting
Set up equipment means assemble equipment
Set up a room means prepare a room for use

2. Different contexts means different meanings, so remember that that means different opposites

The music on the office put me off – meaning =distracted ≠ focused
I was put off by the price – meaning = discouraged ≠ encouraged
Can we put the meeting off until next week – meaning = postponed ≠ brought forward

3. Phrasals can be transitive or intransitive

I’ll pick you up at the airport.
Sales picked up gradually.

4. Transitive verbs can be separable or inseparable

I’ll pick up john.
Can you pick me up?

5. Phrasal verbs are often idiomatic

CEO stands for Chief Executive Officer
A replacement speaker is standing by…’stand’ does not have it’s regular meaning in these examples.

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