Sunday, September 11, 2011

Random quiz - Phrasal verbs

Multifunctional quiz based on a 'bank' of about 500 phrasal verbs in example sentences. View by verb, particle or topic. Or just go for a random selection.

This is a work in progress, I will be adding more verbs in the near future.

Note that I don't give you any definitions here, this is purely a quiz, although I do try and point to the meaning in the quiz sentences. If you want to see definitions, I find the quickest way is to enter the whole phrasal verb into the dictionary box and select 'Oxford Advanced'. This will take you straight to the phrasal verb.
You have various options for choosing verbs:
  1. Click on a verb or particle in the table (better when there are at least 8)
  2. Click on a topic in the table and select whether to gap particles (recommended / default) or verbs.
  3. To see all verbs, either randomised (default) or in alphabetical order, click on 'Show all'
  4. Optionally choose a phrasal verb type (see below), or see all types
  5. Option 4 can be combined with options 1,2 or 3
You also have various options for how to do the quiz:
  1. Multiple choice (easiest / default)
  2. Show all the missing words in a box at the top.
  3. Show the missing words as anagrams. (Better for verbs perhaps)
  4. Text entry - no hints, the most difficult.
Entering the answers in Multichoice
  • Particles - Click on a suitable option
  • Verbs - If it's in First form, you can just click on the option, otherwise you'll need to type it in.
Entering the answers in 'Show missing words'
  • Particles - Click on a particle in the box, and then click on a suitable gap
  • Verbs - You'll need to type it in.
Entering the answers in Anagrams and Text entry - Type in the answers

For details of phrasal verb types and some notes on them, see below the quiz area
Please note - The options are generated automatically and occasionally more than one will be correct. The program only knows my original choice, so may mark you as being wrong. In this case just choose another option.
Verbs A-ZVerbsParticlesTopics
Quiz options Verb type Gapped
Questions per page Randomised
Showing Qs out of a total of
Note - when entering verbs, make sure that they are in the correct form.
Your quiz will appear here

A reminder of phrasal verb types

  • Type 1 - Intransitive
    verb + adverb - no object (but see Note 2 below)
  • Type 2 - Transitive seperable
    verb + adverb (which can act like a preposition) - takes an object between the verb and the particle, or after the particle. Pronouns must go between.
  • Type 3 - Transitive non-separable
    verb + preposition - takes an object after the particle (but see Note 2 below)
  • Type 4 - Two or more particles
    verb + adverb + preposition - takes an object after the preposition (but see Note 2 below)
Note 1 - Passive - some phrasal verbs are used only, or mainly, in the passive. You can see these by selecting passive with the 'Type' selector
Note 2 - Always separated - some phrasal verbs must be separated by an object. These are marked in a darker blue in the sentences. This can occur with Type 1, Type 3 and more rarely with Type 4 phrasal verbs. If it is Type 3 or Type 4, there will be a second object after the preposition (marked here in red). You can also see these verbs by selecting - Separated
  • Type 1 - To ask somebody around (invite somebody to visit you)
  • Type 3 - To put somebody onto somebody (to recommend somebody)
  • Type 4 - To help somebody on with something (eg a coat)

Multiword verbs

This is the trendy new expression for phrasal verbs, and you may see them divided like this:
  • Phrasal verbs - Types 1 and 2 in my (traditional) classification
  • Prepositional verbs - Type 3 plus verbs with dependent prepositions
  • Phrasal-prepositional - the trendy name for Type 4 verbs
All very confusing as far as I'm concerned. So I stick with the old system.

Printer friendly post

The printer version wiil show the exercise on Page 1 and the notes Page 2. Do a Print preview to make sure your exercise isn't too long. You can make a teacher copy with answers by clicking on 'Show'. Make sure you 'Clear' before printing student copies.


  1. Thank you very much for such great blog.
    I would like to suggest 1 thing. The Longman Dictionary in the top right hand side of the page seems not working. Could you help correct it.
    Pipat Seetoon

  2. @pipat - Thanks for the comment, and for sending so many people my way over the last three or four days. Thailand jumped up to be number one country for visitors for a couple of days. You obviously have a very influential website there.

    As for Longman - it's always been a bit of a hit and miss - it worked fine on some words but not on others. However, I had a look at the search box on your own site and have altered the search address, which seems to have changed since I wrote the code for that widget, and I think it's working OK now.