Multiword Verbs

English 430
Multiword Verbs
Some verbs ( more than 3000 in English) consist of more than one word. Greenbaum and Quirk
distinguish between phrasal verbs, which consist of a verb plus an adverb, and prepositional verbs,
which consist of a verb plus a preposition. In addition, multiword verbs may be either transitive,
intransitive, or both.
Prepositional Verbs
Agree on (a subject) (settle)
Agree with (a person) (concur)
Believe in (trust)
Beware of (distrust)
Call on (visit)
Call up (telephone, summon)
Call for (demand)
Care for (mind)
Come about (transpire, occur)
Confide in
Consist of (constitute)
Decide on (select, choose)
Depend on (trust) contingent on)
Dream of (imagine)
Drop out (leave, stop)
Get through (an event) (survive, endure)
Get through (with something) ( finish)
Get along with (tolerate, be compatible with)
Get in, get into ( a car, etc. ) (enter)
Get off (airplane, etc. ) (deboard, deplane)
Get on (airplane, etc. ) (board)
Get out, get out of ( a car, etc.) (exit)
Get up (rise)
Go off (explode)
Get through (with something) (survive)
Grow up (mature)
Go back (return)
Fall in love
Fall over (topple)
Fall through (fail)
Hope for (expect, anticipate)
Hurry up (quicken, accelerate)
Insist on (require)
Listen to (heed)
Look down on (patronize, condescend)
Look up to (admire, respect)
Keep up (continue)
Laugh at (ridicule)
Lie down (recline)
Log on (open. initiate)
Log off (close)
Look for (seek)
Move in (approach) or ( inhabit)
Move out (vacate)
Object to (reject, denounce)
Participate in (undertake)
Pick up on (comprehend)
Pull through (survive)
Put up with (tolerate)
Result in (conclude)
Rest up (recover)
Sign in (register, check in)
Sign off (end, finish)
Sign on (enroll)
Sign out (leave)
Sit down (sit)
Sit in for ( substitute)
Speak up (to speak loudly) or (express one’s
Stand up for (support, advocate)
Succeed in (achieve, accomplish)
Turn up (appear)
In order to distinguish prepositional verbs from
verbs followed by a preposition, try making the
object of the preposition into a passive
construction. If the preposition stays with the
verb, it is part of the verb.
We decided on a name.
A name was decided on.
Phrasal Verbs
Objects may be inserted between the elements
of the phrasal verb.
He backed up the car.
He backed the car up.
Back up (reverse) (support)
Blow away (impress)
Break down (dismantle)
Bring about (cause, induce)
Bring up (raise)
Burn down (incinerate tall things)
Burn up (incinerate smaller things)
Call off (void, invalidate, cancel)
Check over (examine)
Cheer up (gladden, hearten)
Close down (terminate, conclude)
Close up (shut, close)
Cool off (quell, compose)
Drink up (guzzle, gulp)
Drive off (leave, usually in a car) or (expel)
Drive out (expel, banish)
Drop off (leave, deposit) or (decrease)
Eat up (consume)
Figure out (understand, decipher)
Fill in (inform) or (substitute)
Fill out (complete)
Finish up (complete)
Give away (reveal)
Give back (return)
Give up (relinquish, surrender)
Hand back (return)
Hand out (give)
Heat up (warm)
Let down (disappoint)
Lock up (imprison, incarcerate)
Look up (seek)
Mark down (reduce, devalue)
Open up (reveal) or (inaugurate)
Pick out (choose)
Pick up (learn informally)
Pull off (succeed, accomplish)
Pull up (stop, halt) or (lift)
Put away (clean) or (save)
Put off (postpone, delay) or (repel, repulse)
Put on (clothing) or (mislead)
Quiet down (calm)
Run off (printed materials) (copy ) or (escape)
Run over (squash, flatten)
Set aside (preserve, save)
Show off (display, flaunt)
Shut down (close)
Shut up (silence)
Sign up (assign, volunteer,)
Sit up
Slow down (diminish)
Speed up (accelerate)
Stand up (rise)
Take back (retract what one has said )
Take down (remove to a lower level) or (record
in writing)
Take in (accommodate) or (deceive)
Take off (clothing ) or ( depart )
Take up (begin) or raise)
Talk over (discuss)
Think over (consider)
Throw away (discard)
Throw out (discard)
Turn out (evict)
Use up (consume)
Wake up (awaken)
Wear out (exercise) or (use up)
Write down (record)