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A phrasal verb is a combination of a verb and a preposition, a verb and an adverb, or a verb with both an adverb and a preposition, any of which are part of the syntax of the sentence, and so are a complete semantic unit. Sentences, however, may contain direct and indirect objects in addition to the phrasal verb.[1] Phrasal verbs are particularly frequent in the English language. A phrasal verb often has a meaning which is different from the original verb.

According to Tom McArthur:

...the term ‘phrasal verb’ was first used by Logan Pearsall Smith, in “Words and Idioms” (1925), in which he states that the OED Editor Henry Bradley suggested the term to him.
Alternative terms for phrasal verb are ‘compound verb’, ‘verb-adverb combination’, ‘verb-particle construction (VPC)’, AmE “two-part word/verb’ and ‘three-part word/verb’ (depending on the number of particles), and multi-word verb (MWV).[2]

'Preposition' and 'adverb' as used in a phrasal verb are also called 'particle' in that they do not alter their form through inflections (are therefore uninflected, they do not accept affixes, etc.).

It is, however, the figurative or idiomatic application in everyday speech which makes phrasal verbs so important:

"I hope you will get over your operation quickly."
"Work hard, and get your examination over WITH."
The literal meaning of “to get over”, in the sense of “to climb over something to get to the other side”, no longer applies to explain the subject's enduring an operation or the stress of an examination which they have to overcome. It is when the combined meaning of verb plus adverb, or verb plus preposition is totally different from each its component parts, that the semantic content of the phrasal verb cannot be predicted by its constituent parts and so becomes much more difficult for a student learning English to recognise.

Other idiomatic usages of phrasal verbs show a verb + direct object + preposition/adverb + indirect object construction:

In her introduction to "Longman Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs, What this dictionary contains", Rosemary Courtney includes as a third category

3. Idioms which are formed from phrasal verbs, such as let the cat out of the bag. These idioms are printed in heavy type. Idioms have a meaning which is different from the meaning of the single words, and usually have a fixed word order.[3]
Courtney then cites among many other examples in the dictionary such phrases as "to add insult to injury", "to add fuel to the flames", "to leave someone in the lurch", "to scare someone out of their wits", etc.

"To get over an examination" is not the correct application of the phrasal verb "to get over." The author wants to imply, "to finish," the phrasal verb in this case is "to get over with." To get over the examination means put it in your emotional past.  See more phrasal verbs in English


Nella lingua inglese colloquiale, dell'uso quotidiano, i verbi frasali sono preferiti agli eventuali verbi corrispondenti di origine neolatina: invece di He entered the house si dice (e si scrive) pi˙ spesso He went into the house.
Vi sono quattro tipi principali di verbi frasali. I verbi frasali del primo tipo sono intransitivi.
When the milk boiled over, the flame went out. Quando il latte trabocc˛ la fiamma si spense.
Quelli del secondo tipo sono seguiti da un complemento oggetto (nome o pronome):
Let's look into this problem! Let's go into it deeply now! Occupiamoci di questo problema! approfondiamolo subito!
Nei verbi di questo tipo la preposizione o la particella non sono mai separate dal tema verbale.
I verbi frasali del terzo tipo ammettono due costruzioni:
He didn't switch off the lights; He didn't switch the lights off. Non spense le luci.
Se il complemento oggetto Ŕ un pronome, deve essere collocato prima della particella:
He didn't switch them off. Non le spense.
Infine, i verbi del quarto tipo sono seguiti da un complemento retto da preposizione:
He looks down upon everybody. Egli disprezza tutti.
Nobody looks up to him. Nessuno lo rispetta.

Dictionary of English

World Proverbs and Sayings


The wind blew the candle out. Il vento spense la candela.
The scandal will blow over soon. Lo scandalo si sgontiera presto.
Dad, please blow up these balloons! PapÓ, per favore gonfia questi palloncini.
Be careful! That fluid might blow up. Attento, quel fluido potrebbe esplodere.


She felt depressed, but then she bore up. Si sentiva depressa, ma poi si riprese.
How can you bear with him? He's so boring! Come fai ad ascoltarlo pazientemente? ╚ cosÝ noioso!
These matters do not bear upon the problem we are discussing. Queste questioni non si collegano col problema che stiamo discutendo.


Turn the gas down, or the water will boil over. Abbassa il gas, altrimenti l'acqua (bollendo) traboccherÓ.
It all boils down to this: he hasn't got the money to pay for it. Si riduce tutto a questo: non ha i soldi per pagarlo.


Suddenly, the car broke down. Improvvisamente l'auto si ferm˛ per un guasto.
The emotion was such that he broke down and wept. L'emozione fu tale che egli non resse e pianse.
Some thieves broke into the manager's office. Alcuni ladri fecero irruzione nell'ufficio del direttore.


The house burnt down before the fire-men arrived. La casa fu distrutta dalle fiamme prima che arrivassero i pompieri.


He called in to see me when I was ill. Pass˛ a trovarmi quando ero malato.
Please call me up before seven. Per favore telefonami entro le 7.
The English lesson has been called off. La lezione d'inglese Ŕ stata sospesa.
Language learning calls for specific aptitudes. L'aporendimento delle lingue richiede attitudini specifiche.
Will the ship call at Malta? La nave farÓ scalo a Malta?


Where shall I check in? At the terminal or at the airport. Dove devo presentarmi per l'accettazione? Al terminal o all'aeroporto.
I'd like to check out my luggage. Vorrei ritirare i miei bagagli.
Please check up your accounts: there must be a mistake. Per favore verificate i conti: ci dev'essere un errore.


get away = fuggire
get on = fare progressi,andare d'accordo
get on with = andare d'accordo,continuare con qualcosa
get over = riaversi da
get through = stabilire un contatto,finire qualcosa
get together = trovarsi,incontrarsi
get up = alzarsi


go away = partire
go back = ritornare
go down = scendere
go in = entrare
go on = continuare
go over = ripassare
go up = aumentare


give away = dare in omaggio,dare via
give back = restituire
give in = arrendersi
give out = distribuire
give up = rinunciare, smettere di fare qualcosa


look after = badare,prendersi cura di
look at = guardare attentamente,esaminare
look for = cercare
look forward to = attendere con ansia
look into = investigare
look out = fare attenzione
look up = cercare(qualcosa in un libro)


take after = assomigliare(a qualcuno)
take back = riprendere
take in = capire
take off = togliere i vestiti
take on = accettare(un lavoro di responsabilitÓ)
take over = assumere il controllo
take up = dedicarsi ad un hobby


turn away = cacciare via,respingere
turn down = rifiutare qualcosa,abbassare il volume
turn in = consegnare alla polizia
turn off = spegnere,chiudere
turn on = accendere,aprire
turn over = meditare
turn up = arrivare,alzare il volume


make up = inventare,fare la pace
make up for = compensare
make an effort = fare uno sforzo,provare
make a fuss = lamentarsi,essere agitati
make a mistake = fare un errore
make a noise = fare rumore
make do = accontentarsi di qualcosa
make it = arrivare in tempo
make money = fare soldi
make up your mind = decidere


do with = aver bisogno
do away with = abolire
do up = allacciare,restaurare
do without = fare senza
have/be to do whit = avere a che fare con
do school subject = studiare
do someone a favour = fare un favore a qualcuno
do someone good = fare del bene a qualcuno
do well = riprendersi (da malattia)
do your best = fare del proprio meglio


keep at = continuare a lavorare su qualcosa
keep back = trattenere
keep off = evitare
keep on = continuare a fare qualcosa
keep out = trattenere lontano,non fare entrare
keep to = attenersi,mantenere
keep up = tenersi su,tenere
keep going = ostinarsi,insistere
keep togheter = mantenere insieme
keep warm = mantenere/mantenere caldo


run away = scappare
run into = imbattersi,incontrare inaspettatamente
run on = continuare,andare avanti senza interruzione
run out off = esaurire
run over = investire,passare sopra
run through = ripassare,esaminare velocemente
run up = far salire (un conto)

See more phrasal verbs in English.


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