Separable and Inseparable Phrasal Verbs


Today we are going to learn about separable and inseparable phrasal verbs.

There are phrasal verbs that can be separated, some that cannot and others that can be either.

Cheer up! Don’t worry…

Let me cheer you up! It is not that difficult….

As you can see the phrasal verbto cheer up” can separated…

A phrasal verb  is separable when it is transitive, that is, it needs a direct object to express a complete idea.

Look at this example

He has been watching TV too long, so his mother can say:

“Please, turn off the TV”  or “Please, turn the TV off

To turn off” is a transitive phrasal verb and therefore it is separable. The direct object is  the noun “the  TV” and that is why both examples are correct. However, if we used the pronoun “it”, we MUST separate the phrasal verb and say:

Please, turn it off

Find a list of commonly used separable phrasal verbs

On the contrary, an intransitive phrasal verb is not separable.

For example, if the boy complains, the mum can say:

When you grow up, you can watch all the TV you want.

To grow up” is an intransitive phrasal verb and therefore CANNOT be separated.

Find a list of commonly used inseparable phrasal verbs.

Well, this is all for NOW

Take care and keep on learning English

Now Teacher

PS: “To take care” and “keep on” are two inseparable phrasal verbs



  1. Pingback: To back up «
  2. Pingback: To act up «
  3. Pingback: To bring up «
  4. Pingback: To tell someone off «
  5. Pingback: To chip in «
  6. Pingback: To make fun of «
  7. Pingback: To do (something) over |
  8. Pingback: To end up |
  9. Pingback: To fall behind |
  10. Pingback: To run into |
  11. Pingback: To join in |
  12. Pingback: To iron out |
  13. Pingback: To hand in |
  14. Pingback: To put down |
  15. Pingback: To go after |
  16. Pingback: Tu ran out |
  17. Pingback: To pay back |
  18. Pingback: To use (something) up |

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s