PHRASAL VERBS – Meaning & Their Usage with Explanation & Examples

A combination of words that makes a complete sense or meaning is called a sentence.


A sentence is used to

—Name a person or thing

—say something about that person or thing


The word or words denoting the person or thing about which something is said are called the subject of the sentence.

The word or words which say something about the person or thing denoted by the subject in the sentence are called the Predicate.


The subject and predicate are absolutely necessary to make a complete sense in a sentence.The subject of a sentence usually comes first, but occasionally it comes after the predicate. Just in following sentences

  1. The building went down like a pack of cards.

But to put emphasis in the sentence the sentence is changed as follows:

2. Down went the building like a pack of cards.


In Imperative sentences the subject is implied and is left out as – 1.   Stand up.    2.  Go out.

Here the subject ‘you’ is left out.


A group of words that makes a sense but not a complete sense, is called a Phrase.


Examples :

  • People have come to see the fair from far and near.
  • The sun rises in the east.
  • She is a lady of virtues.


In the above sentences words in italics form a  phrase.



A clause is a group of words forming a part of a larger sentence and having a subject and a predicate of its own and  makes a complete sense.


Example of a Clause:

I went to school when I was five years old.



Difference  between  a Clause and a Phrase :


A Clause though is a part of a sentence yet it is independent in itself having its own subject and predicate where as a phrase also forms a part of the sentence but it is not independent in its meaning. No doubt both of these make their own sense.





Phrasal Verbs   are usually two worded phrases consisting of   Verb & adverb  or  Verb & preposition. Mostly phrasal verbs consist of two words but a few consist of three words which always stay together.


We should act on the advice of our parents.

They hit upon a plan to get out of the trouble.

We went across the river in a boat.

Consider the following sentences:

  1. He brought a watch for me. 
  1. His uncle brought up the child.


In the first sentence ‘bring’ is a transitive verb and it means ‘to fetch’. But in the second sentence, another word ‘up’ is added to it which changes its meaning altogether. Such a word ‘brought up’  is called a phrasal verb.

Examples : Abide by, bring up, come off, fall out, give up, make up, put on & put off etc.



Phrasal Verbs are of two types : Transitive & Intransitive.


Transitive Phrasal Verb is a verb having an object

Examples :

  • We were alarmed at his weakness.
  • The hunter aimed at the bird.
  • John gave up smoking.
  • The child hit upon a plan.
  • The principal presided over the meeting.
  • He quarrelled with me over a trifle.
  • Children take after their parents.

The words in italics in the above sentences are Transitive Phrasal Verbs because these all are followed by an object.



Intransitive Phrasal Verb is a verb which is not followed by an object 


  • Friends fall off in adversity.
  • He broke down during his speech.
  • Both the brothers fell out over a trifle.
  • The autumn season has set in.
  • get up at 5 O’clock in the morning.
  • Fire broke out in the factory.

The words in italics in the above sentences are Intransitive Phrasal Verbs & these all are not followed by any object.


Use of Phrasal Verbs in writing enriches the subject and makes it understandable in an easy and subtle manner. For this purpose practice of these words is needed.



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