Learning Objectives To understand what are phrasal verbs. To see how phrasal verbs can help in expressing an action effectively.
Introduction You have heard it a hundred times from your parents or well-intentioned teachers in the course of learning English to exalt you to Read more! or Memorise more vocabulary words! Vocabulary does indeed play a part in ensuring that you can express yourself better – in speech and writing. Consider the story of how a migrant Chinese in Singapore aced his O level English.
Story of a Chinese Immigrant A Chinese migrated to Singapore at the age of 14, with only a basic grasp of English Language since it is not his native tongue. With sheer determination and will, he set his mind about mastering this devilish tongue with a simple routine. He reads everyday - books, papers and magazines. He writes down new words he come across. Recite them often. Memorise them. Recalls the words before sleeping. And this routine is repeated daily.
Vocabulary The story tells us about the determination of this boy but also an important fact: Vocabulary is an important building block in your learning journey in expressing yourself anew. Whether you are at primary, secondary or junior college level, having a wide working knowledge in vocabulary is one of the most important assets in language.
Phrasal Verbs Phrasal Verbs have a special place in learning vocabulary. It comes easily to most students and helps you to express actions effectively. It helps your audience to form a visual image of what you are expressing. As they say, a picture speaks a thousand words!
Phrasal Verbs What are phrasal verbs? They are verbs and prepositions in a phrase.1) Sit up2) Back out3) Break down4) Call off These phrasal verbs give you a small sense of the action being described. Break down would give you an image of something that is totally down in contrast to up and running.
Phrasal Verbs It also offers precision and accuracy. Compare The car has broken down. to ...The car is not working completely.The car is spoilt.The car is not moving.Any of the above would either be not precise or accurate. In other words, they will be either not short or sharp.
Phrasal Verbs Examples Some of the common phrasal verbs you are probably already familiar include:1) Cut in – Dont cut in when Im talking.2) Drop out – Dropping out of school is not advisable.3) Eat out – Lets eat out today.4) Fall apart – The house is falling apart.5) Go ahead – Go ahead and have lunch without me. They help you to express more with less.
Learning Activity Construct sentences based on these phrasal verbs.1) Put down2) Chill out3) Take apart4) Force down5) Pull through Hint: Imagine the sense of the action behind them to better use them in your sentences.
Learning Activity Suggested Answers Some suggested sentences are:1) Put down – Dont put Alex down yet as thats only his first mistake.2) Chill out – Lets chill out with a karaoke session.3) Take apart – The rottweiler took apart the rag doll in seconds.4) Force down – Dont force the proposal down his throat as he has an idea of his own.5) Pull through – He managed to pull through the major operation.
Discussion What are Phrasal Verbs? How do they help you express verbs better?
In summary Phrasal verbs consist of a verb and preposition in a phrase. They contain a small imagery of the action and hence, helps to express the verb effectively.