Like many grammars, we treat phrasal verbs as one kind of multiword verb. Other grammars may class all multiword verbs as “phrasal verbs”.
The structure of a phrasal verb is:
Phrasal verbs can be:
- transitive (direct object)
- intransitive (no direct object)
Look at these examples of phrasal verbs:
||We will have to put off
||They turned down
||rise from bed
||I don’t like to get up.
||cease to function
||He was late because his car broke down.
Separable phrasal verbs
When phrasal verbs are transitive (that is, they have a direct object), we can usually separate the two parts. For example, “turn down” is a separable phrasal verb. We can say: “turn down my offer” or “turn my offer down“. Look at these example sentences:
||They turned down my offer.
||They turned my offer down.
However, if the direct object is a pronoun, we have no choice. We must separate the phrasal verb and insert the pronoun between the two parts. Look at these examples with the separable phrasal verb “switch on”. Note that the last one is impossible:
||John switched on the radio.
||John switched the radio on.
||John switched it on.
||John switched on it.
|Separable or inseparable?
Many dictionaries tell you when a phrasal verb is separable. If a dictionary writes “look (something) up”, you know that the phrasal verb “look up” is separable, and you can say “look something up” and “look up something”. It’s a good idea to write “sthg/sby” as appropriate in your vocabulary book when you learn a new phrasal verb, like this:
- get up
- break down
- break sthg off
- turn sthg/sby down
This tells you if the verb needs a direct object (and where to place it).
What is a Determiner?
Determiners are one of the nine parts of speech. They are words like the, an, this, some, either, myor whose. All determiners share some grammatical similarities:
- Determiners come at the beginning of a noun phrase, before adjectives.
- Determiners limit or “determine” a noun phrase in some way.
- Many determiners are “mutually-exclusive”: we cannot have more than one of them in the same noun phrase.
- If we do have more than one determiner, they go in a very specific order.
Look at these example noun phrases. The first word in each noun phrase is a determiner:
- the dog
- those people
- some brown rice
- either side of the road
- seven pink elephants
- your oldest child
- which car
what, which, whose
The interrogative determiners are: what, which, whose
||iPad did you use?
|car keys are these?
||stupid man told you that?
|books did you read?
||red pen do you want?
|three teachers do you prefer?
Whose means “belonging to which person”: They didn’t know whose car it was.
What is for asking for information specifying something: What time did you arrive? I wonder what reason he gave.
Which is for asking for information specifying one or more people or things from a definite set: Which table would you prefer? I wonder which teacher told him that.
Like all determiners, interrogative determiners come at the beginning of a noun phrase, so they come in front of any adjective(s).
Look at these example sentences:
- Whose iPhone was stolen?
- He couldn’t remember whose car keys they were.
- What idiot told you that?
- I don’t know what non-fiction books he was reading.
- I asked them which Italian car was best.
- Which nightclubs on the Champs Elysées did you go to?
When an adverb modifies a verb, there are usually 3 possible positions within the sentence or clause:
|1. FRONT – before subject
||I will read a book.
|2. MID – between subject + verb
|3. END – after verb/object
||I read books
When an adverb modifies an adjective or another adverb, it usually goes in front of the word that it modifies, for example:
|She gave him a
The position of an adverb often depends on the kind of adverb (manner, place, time, degree). The following table gives you some guidelines for placement based on the kind of adverb.
|kind of adverb
||I’ll do it
||go to Paris.
||verbs, adj. and adv.
|Warning: these are guidelines only, and not complete. There are many exceptions.
Kinds of Adverbs
Adverbs of Manner
Adverbs of Manner tell us the manner or way in which something happens. They answer the question “how?”. Adverbs of Manner mainly modify verbs.
- He speaks slowly. (How does he speak?)
- They helped us cheerfully. (How did they help us?)
- James Bond drives his cars fast. (How does James Bond drive his cars?)
We normally use Adverbs of Manner with dynamic (action) verbs, not with stative or state verbs.
- He ran fast. She came quickly. They worked happily.
- She looked beautifully. It seems strangely. They are happily.
Adverbs of Place
Adverbs of Place tell us the place where something happens. They answer the question “where?”. Adverbs of Place mainly modify verbs.
- Please sit here. (Where should I sit?)
- They looked everywhere. (Where did they look?)
- Two cars were parked outside. (Where were two cars parked?)
Adverbs of Time
Adverbs of Time tell us something about the time that something happens. Adverbs of Time mainly modify verbs.
They can answer the question “when?”:
- He came yesterday. (When did he come?)
- I want it now. (When do I want it?)
Or they can answer the question “how often?” (frequency):
- They deliver the newspaper daily. (How often do they deliver the newspaper?)
- We sometimes watch a movie. (How often do we watch a movie?)
Adverbs of Degree
Adverbs of Degree tell us the degree or extent to which something happens. They answer the question “how much?” or “to what degree?”. Adverbs of Degree can modifyverbs, adjectives and other adverbs.
- She entirely agrees with him. (How much does she agree with him?)
- Mary is very beautiful. (To what degree is Mary beautiful? How beautiful is Mary?)
- He drove quite dangerously. (To what degree did he drive dangerously? How dangerously did he drive?)
Present perfect and past simple – differences
Spain has governed the enclave of Ceuta since 1580.
Spain governed the state of Western Sahara from 1958 to 1976.
I haven’t seen Keith this morning yet.
(It’s still morning)
I didn’t see Keith at all this morning.
(It’s now afternoon/evening.)
The Indian Government has imposed a ban on tiger hunting to prevent the extinction of tigers.
|No present relevance
The Indian Government imposed a ban on tiger hunting a few years ago.
I’ve been to Eurodisney twice.
I went to Eurodiseny in 1999 and 2000.