Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Three-Part Phrasal Verbs - Practice exercises

Three-part phrasal verbs are sometimes known as Type 4 phrasal verbs, or phrasal-prepositional verbs
Grammar notes - they have two particles. The particles can't be separated by the object.
  • We get on with the neighbours like a house on fire.
  • It looks like we've run out of coffee.
  • Do you think they will get away with it?
The first particle is an adverb and always stays with the verb, whereas the second particle is a preposition and cannot be separated from its object. We can however, sometimes separate the two particles with modifiers.
  • I get on really well with my in-laws.
  • I'm not putting up any more with your behaviour.

Some notes on the exercises

I'm not giving you the meanings of these verbs, but I hope that they will be fairly clear from the context in the exercises. And remember there's the dictionary box on the right. If you have no idea, try using trial and error.
Click and Drop - Where you see this sign, mouse over for instructions
There is now a follow up story exercise which you can find here. While the literary merit may be dubious, I'm rather proud of the fact that it contains just about every three part phrasal verb in 'English Phrasal Verbs in Use' (Cambridge).

Using online dictionaries (see box on the right)

For phrasal verbs the most direct seem to be Oxford Advanced, Cambridge Advanced and Dictionary.com, where you enter the phrasal verb. The others you have to look up under the verb itself.
  • Oxford Advanced - enter the phrasal verb
  • Cambridge Advanced - enter the phrasal verb - you will be given an index
  • Dictionary.com - enter the phrasal verb and click on 'expand'
  • Macmillan - enter the main verb - you'll see a box of phrasal verbs on the right
  • Meriam-Webster - enter the main verb - scroll down to the sub entries
  • Free dictionary - enter the main verb - scroll and there's a phrasal verb section

Exercise 1 - Relationships

1. Harry's going outa)with Delia - Oh! That's a shame.
2. Ken has broken it offb)me to buy a plasma TV, but I don't see the point.
3. You're always sticking upc)with him? I'd dump him.
4. Why do you talk downd)with him once and for all. Is it going to be me or her?
5. Tim always stands upe)with Jim's wife. - Poor Jim!
6. Pete's run offf)for his younger brother when he gets into trouble.
7. How do you put upg)for her and not me. It's not fair!
8. She often looks downh)to me? I'm not a child.
9. I really look upi)with all your news over a coffee.
10. I'm going to have it outj)with Samantha - that's great news!
11. She keeps on atk)to my father. He's a real role model.
12. I'll catch upl)on people. She's such a snob.

Exercise 2 A Spring holiday

1. We're all really looking forward
2. It ties in neatly
3. We'll all need to brush up
4. And read up
5. So I've sent away
6. But at this time of year I'm very taken up
7. And I have to catch up
8. I just hope we don't get caught up
a)for the 'Paupers Paris' guide book.
b)to the Paris trip next month.
c)in some transport strike.
d)with the gardening.
e)with the kids' visit to EuroDisney.
f)on what I wasn't able to do earlier.
g)on the history of the city.
h)on our French before we go.

Exercise 3 - A tricky situation

with   ·   of   ·   to   ·   against   ·   in   ·   for   ·   from   ·   on
1.Unfortunately we've run up a bit of problem.
2.One of our salespeople seems to have been mixed up some shady dealing.
3.They thought this would make up their poor sales performance.
4.And that they would walk off the 'Salesperson of the Year' award.
5.We are determined to face up this situation resolutely.
6.Our salespeople must stay away anything that looks remotely dodgy.
7.And they should know that we'll be checking up them regularly.
8.And we'll be watching out anything that looks suspicious.
9.So the message to our salespeople is clear - stay out trouble.

Exercise 4 - the verb get

out   ·   away   ·   on   ·   to   ·   with   ·   down   ·   through
1.They'll never get with robbing the bank. The police will catch them.
2.We could maybe get away sending them an email rather than a letter.
3.Can we get back the topic we're meant to be discussing here.
4.We seem to have got to something totally irrelevant.
5.Dave, get to the printers and see when our brochures will be ready.
6.I really need to get to some serious study.
7.I don't think I'll be able to get of working late tonight.
8.He's very difficult to get to. He never listens to what you say.

Exercise 5 - The verbs come and go

in   ·   through   ·   to   ·   with   ·   down   ·   for   ·   back   ·   up   ·   along
1.So, just to come to what we were talking about earlier.
2.What it comes down is whether we can afford it.
3.She came/went with a cold, but she's better now.
4.We've come against a bit of a dilemma.
5.We need to come up a solution fast.
6.I'd go with that idea.
7.We can't go on the promise we made last week.
8.Pete's gone in that competition on the radio.
9.I don't go for sushi myself.
10.We'll just have to go with it, we're committed now.


  • Ex 1 - 1. j, 2. a, 3. g, 4. h, 5. f, 6. e, 7. c, 8. l, 9. k, 10. d, 11. b, 12. i
  • Ex 2 - 1. b, 2. e, 3. h, 4. g, 5. a, 6. d, 7. f, 8. c
  • Ex 3 - 1. against, 2. in, 3. for, 4. with, 5. to, 6. from, 7. on, 8. for, 9. of
  • Ex 4 - 1. away, 2. with, 3. to, 4. on, 5. on, 6. down, 7. out, 8. through
  • Ex 5 - 1. back, 2. to, 3. down, 4. up, 5. with, 6. along, 7. back, 8. for, 9. in, 10. through

Printer friendly post

You can make a teacher copy with answers by clicking on 'Show All'. Make sure you 'Clear All' before printing student copies. Or you can print normally and the answers will appear on a separate page (Page 5). The introduction is on Pages 1. The exercises on Pages 2-4. I strongly recommend doing a Print Preview first. You might want to change your margins and you certainly won't want to print every page.

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