In this post, we will learn separable and inseparable phrasal verbs in English. A phrasal verb is a verb like RUN AWAY, GIVE UP, HOLD ON, STAND UP. They are combination of two or more words to describe an action.
In phrasal verbs a preposition or adverb added to the main verb and changes the meaning of the actual verb, giving it a different meaning.
For example when the preposition “Up” is added to the verb “Give“, the original meaning of main verb loses its original meaning and gains a different meaning.
GIVE ➜ Verb
UP ➜ Preposition
GIVE UP ➜ Phrasal verb means to stop doing something, stop and quit.
➜ I won’t give up easily.
➜ When a woman gives up on you, there is no going back.
➜ I gave up smoking two years ago.
Phrasal verbs phrases are divided into two group as Separable Phrasal Verbs and Inseparable Phrasal Verbs. Let us learn these two groups in detail.
Separable Phrasal Verbs
If a phrasal verb is separable, you can place the object between the main verb and the preposition, or add it to the end of the Phrasal Verb phrase without separating it at all.
➜ She will call off the next meeting.
➜ She will call the next meeting off.
When phrasal verbs are transitive (have a direct object), we can commonly separate the two parts.
➜ She will pick up her sister from the airport.
➜ She will pick her sister up from the airport.
Inseparable Phrasal Verbs
It is a phrasal verb type that cannot be divided and the object of the sentence cannot be placed in the middle of the Phrasal Verb phrase.
Phrasal verbs that do not take object and cannot be divided are called inseparable phrasal verbs. They are always stay together and it doesn’t make a difference if a noun or pronoun is used.
➜We set off for the concert. We can’t say “We set for the concert off.” ❌
➜ She is looking after her father. But we can’t say “She is looking her father after.” ❌
|Turn off||Separable||She turned the light off.|
|Turn on||Separable||He turned the TV on.|
|Take off||Separable||The plane took at dawn off.|
|Take on||Separable||She took the job on.|
|Put off||Separable||They put the meeting off.|
|Put on||Separable||He puts his coat on.|
|Break down||Inseparable||The car broke down on the highway.|
|Break up||Inseparable||They broke up after 5 years of relationship.|
|Cut off||Inseparable||He cut off his hair.|
|Cut down||Inseparable||They cut down the tree.|
|Get up||Inseparable||She got up early this morning.|
|Get off||Inseparable||He got off the bus.|
You can download detailed Separable and Inseparable Phrasal Verbs list with examples PDF down below.