When speaking, native English speakers use phrasal verbs a lot and often do not even realize it. For any English-learner to improve their conversation skills, learning how to use phrasal verbs is important.

Today's post is about two different kinds of phrasal verbs:
*inseparable phrasal verbs (the main verb and preposition cannot be separated)
*separable phrasal verbs (the main verb and preposition can be separated by an object)

There is not much to say about inseparable phrasal verbs because they cannot be separated. You must use them as they are written. For example, 'come up', which means 'to suddenly arise', cannot be separated. 

A meeting came up, so I have to stay at work late.


Separable phrasal verbs are transitive, which means they take an object, the noun that 'receives the verb'. The object can separate the phrasal verb, but only for some verbs. 

For example, 'drop off', which means 'to deliver something or someone to a specific place', is a separable phrasal verb. In the example below, notice how the object, 'Mary' can be used after or in-between this phrasal verb:

We will drop Mary off at home after school.
or
We will drop off Mary at home after school.

Also notice that if a pronoun is used, the phrasal verb must be separated. It is also important to note that this happens most of the time when speaking English. Therefore, in the example above, if the pronoun 'her' is used instead of 'Mary', then the phrasal verb must be separated:

We will drop her off at home after school.
(correct)

We will drop off her at home after school.
(incorrect)


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She turned him down!

Another example is the phrasal verb 'turn down' which means 'to refuse an offer'. This phrasal verb is separable, so if the pronoun is used, the phrasal verb must be separated:
Nathaniel asked Samantha to marry him, but she turned him down. 
(correct)

Nathaniel asked Samantha to marry him, but she turned down him. 
(incorrect)


There is no way to know which phrasal verbs are separable and which are inseparable...you have to learn and remember!

One way to do this is to get a simple ebook that lists the most common phrasal verbs. You do not need to know all phrasal verbs because there are too many for you to ever use them all.
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Most native English speakers use the same phrasal verbs over and over again and these are the phrasal verbs with different meanings.
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