Inseparable phrasal verbs

November 30, 2011pdf

The two parts of an inseparable phrasal verb always remain together. Phrasal verbs made with prepositions are usually inseparable. Examples of inseparable phrasal verbs are: fall off, splash out, scrap by, dip into, break intoetc.

  • He fell off the bridge. (NOT He fell the bridge off.)

Fall offis an inseparable phrasal verb. Therefore the two parts remain together.

  • They broke into the room by force. (NOT They broke the room into by force.)
  • She broke into tears. (NOT She broke tears into.)
  • He dipped into his pocket. (NOT He dipped his pocket into.)
  • Average students often find it hard to pull through the examination. (NOT Average students often find it hard to pull the examination through.)

Verbs with prepositions and particles together Some verbs can be used with both an adverb particle and a preposition. Examples are: get on with, put up with, look down upon and look out for. Note that all of these three-word phrasal verbs are inseparable.

  • He gets on with his mother-in-law well.
  • I can no longer put up with this.
  • Don’t look down upon the poor.

It is not easy to know whether a phrasal verb is separable or not. If you are not sure always use a noun as the object and do not separate.

Free Grammar Guide: "120 Deadly Grammar and Vocabulary Mistakes."