Transitive phrasal verbs – inseparable

by / Friday, 10 July 2020

We talked in a previous blog that some phrasal verbs need an object, i.e. they are transitive. The first type is non-separable, and the object must go after the preposition or adverb. In English Learner Dictionaries, you will see the symbol [T] to show that the verb is transitive.

Common examples are:
• To call on someone – to ask someone for help
• To come across something – to find something by chance
• To look through something – to read something or try to find something
• To look after someone or something – to take care of someone or something or to be responsible for something

It’s good to know that all phrasal verbs that include more than one preposition or adverb are always inseparable.
• To look forward to doing something
• To come up against someone / something

When you are learning vocabulary and adding new words, make sure that you show what kind of phrasal verbs it is. You should include reference to the object and put it in the correct spot so you know if the verb is separable or not. You can even add colour if helps you remember.

Intransitive to come to
Transitive (inseparable) to call on SOMEONE / SOMETHING
Transitive (separable) to put SOMETHING on


To read the other posts in the Phrasal Verbs blog series, click on the links below: