Student Jevgenija Boga?iova, English and another language (Spanish), 2nd year
1.1 PHRASAL VERBS
Phrasal verb is the verb with preposition or adverb, which make a phrase e.g. find out (find (verb) + out (particle) = find out (phrasal verb)), the meaning of which changes when verb and adverb or preposition connect with each other and it differs from the main meaning of the verb e.g. calm down means relax after being angry, but separate words have totally different meanings from the multi-words. There are three main types of multi-words – 1) Phrasal verb – it is a verb with an adverbial particle (e.g. away, back, out, etc.); 2) Phrasal-prepositional verb – verb with an adverbial particle and with preposition together; 3) Prepositional verb – verb + preposition (e.g. into, against, as, at, etc). P. H. Matthews (2007, p. 301) stated that phrasal verb is “any combination of two or more words that is treated as, or as the semantic equivalent of, a verb” and he also distinguished one more definition of the phrasal verb: “Specifically of a unit in English which is formed from a verb with with the addition of a preposition or adverb that can variously precede or follow an object.” .
1.2 CHARACTERISTICS OF PHRASAL VERBS
There are many ways to differentiate the meaning and structure of phrasal verbs and Biber D., Conrad S. Leech G. (2007, p. 124-126) separates phrasal verbs into three criteria:
Idiomatic meaning – it is very useful when there is no upcoming noun phrase and you want to exclude an intransitive phrasal verb and a free combination. Most of the intransitive phrasal verbs have an idiomatic meaning.
Examples to compare the intransitive phrasal verbs and intransitive free combinations:
Intransitive phrasal verbs:
Come on; shut up; get up, etc.
Intransitive free combinations:
Come back; come down; look back. etc.
Particle movement – is when next after the multi-word combination goes a noun phrase. It is common for transitive phrasal verbs. Particle movement is impossible with prepositional verbs
Noun phrase – it is a pronoun, noun or a group of words which includes noun or pronoun and acts in the sentence as a noun or pronoun.
K came back and picked up the note.
He picked the phone up.
Wh-question – it is an important test to separate free combinations behind which goes an adverbial prepositional phrase and prepositional verbs after which follows an object.
Wh-questions for prepositional verbs are normally formed with the words – what and who:
What are you talking about?
Who was he talking to?
Wh-questions for free combinations are formed differently from wh-questions for prepositional verbs because for free combinations we use adverbial wh-words – where (place) and when (time):
Where will we meet? (place)
When will we meet? (time)
1.3 SUBCATEGORIES OF PHRASAL VERBS
In the English language exist two main subcategories of phrasal verbs:
A transitive verb is a verb which is used with a direct object and intransitive verb oppositely, is a verb which is used without a direct object (Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, 2010, p. 819, p. 1646).
According to Biber D., Conrad S. Leech G. (2007, p. 128-129) “… conversation and fiction use phrasal verbs much more frequently than new and academic prose do. This difference is especially noteworthy for intransitive phrasal verbs. … One reason for this difference is that most phrasal verbs are colloquial in tone. … the most common intransitive phrasal verbs are action verbs that are used as directives. They often occur as imperatives.”, as we can understand intransitive verbs are usually informal. The same authors mention that transitive phrasal verbs are more popular among spoken and written English language. The direct object with a transitive phrasal verb can perform between the verb and the particle. It is important to mention that transitive phrasal verbs also can be turned into passive without misunderstanding.
1.4 THE MOST COMMON PHRASAL VERBS
The English language has more than three hundred phrasal words and they are very common in English, especially spoken language. Some of the phrasal verbs may have several meanings and their frequency is very different and they are often used among idioms.
Here are several most common verbs and their particles with meanings and examples:
GO OUT = 1) to leave the house for socialising; 2) to stop burning; 3) to go away from the shore
E.g. I am going out tonight.
BREAK DOWN = 1) to stop moving; 2) to end in failure; 3) to start crying without control
E.g. Jessica broke down when she did not pass the exam.
LOOK UP = 1) to find an information (transitive); 2) to improve (intransitive)
E.g. I will look up for the translation in the dictionary.
TAKE OFF = 1) to remove (transitive); 2) to leave the ground (intransitive)
E.g. You should take off this scarf it doesn’t suit our coat.
BRING UP = 1) to mention; 2) to look after someone till the adultery
E.g. Sara brought up some of her personal information
PUT OFF = 1) to arrange something for a later time; 2) to make somebody to not want to do something
E.g. Let’s put our plans off until the next year.
PICK UP = 1) to collect somebody from somewhere; 2) to lift something
E.g. John, pick up the phone.
A derivation is a new word formation.
According to English Oxford Living Dictionaries, the words ‘derivation’ definition is being explained as – “the action of obtaining something from a source or origin. The formation of a word from another word or from a root in same or another language.”
Derivative as stated by Merriam-Webster (2017) “linguistics: a word formed from another word or base: a word formed by derivation “pointy,” “pointed,” and other derivatives of “point”.”
1.6 DERIVATIONAL PATTERNS
Biber D., Conrad S. Leech G. (2007) Longman. Chapter 5: Verbs. Students Grammar of Spoken and Written English (p. 124-126). England: Longman.
Biber D., Conrad S. Leech G. (2007) Longman. Chapter 5: Verbs. Students Grammar of Spoken and Written English (p. 128-129). England: Longman. English
Oxford Living Dictionaries (n.d.) Retrieved from https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/derivation
Matthews P. H. (2007) Oxford concise dictionary of Linguistics.
Merriam-Webster (2017) Retrieved from: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/derivative
Oxford (2010) Advanced Learner’s Dictionary. New York: Oxford University Press.
Walter L. (2017) Phrasal verbs with more than one meaning. Retrieved from https://dictionaryblog.cambridge.org/2017/03/15/phrasal-verbs-with-more-than-one-meaning/#more-9285