What is the difference between prepositional verbs and phrasal verbs?

PREPOSITIONAL & PHRASAL VERBS. According to his calendar, Matt was available all morning. I considered to call on him but I came across Tom on the corner. At that stage, Tom was getting over his back injury so I invited him for a coffee. I felt like a piece of chocolate cake. Then, minutes after we ordered he asked the question, “How are you getting on darling?” Because I did not want to go into it, I just nodded. During my divorce I was looking for someone to rescue me, but not anymore. Tom never put up with Matt. As soon as Matt owned up to cheating on me, Tom looked down on him. Tom was the first one to see through his lies. However, he never told me. Tom looks like our dad, he also takes after our grandfather. He looked after both until they passed away. Without a doubt, my oldest brother was looking forward to seeing me move on. Sooner or later I will.

Prepositional Verbs vs Phrasal verbs

A prepositional verb is a verb followed by a *preposition. Using the correct preposition is very important. Prepositional verbs must not be separate. An object only can go after a preposition. VERB + PREPOSITION + OBJECT

Some commonly used prepositional verbs are as follows:

e.g. laugh at, knock at, listen to, consist of, beg for, look at, wait for, agree with, agree to, believe in, suffers from, remind of, worry about, approve of, charged with.

A phrasal verb is a combination of words (a verb + a preposition or verb + *adverb) that when used together, usually take on a different meaning to that of the original verb. Phrasal verbs can be separated. The object can go before and after the adverb. VERB +OBJECT + ADVERB or VERB +ADVERB + OBJECT.

e.g. look down on, get on with, hand in, put off, ran into, showing off, give in, drop in, come across, show up, lift up, blown over, took off, get into.

* What is a preposition?

A word governing, and usually preceding, a noun or pronoun and expressing a relation to another word or element in the clause, as in ‘the man on the platform’, ‘she arrived after dinner’, ‘what did you do it for ?’.

* What is an adverb?

A word or phrase that modifies the meaning of an adjective, verb, or another adverb, expressing manner, place, time, or degree (e.g. gentlyherenowvery ). Some adverbs, for example, sentence adverbs, can also be used to modify whole sentences.



  1. No just in ‘just on the corner’. Check out the following: ‘According to’ instead of ‘Accordingly to’. Also ‘move on’ instead of ‘moving on’


  2. Prepositional verbs don’t change their meaning as much when you add that preposition, and they’re much more rigid when it comes to word order. For example: The cat jumped on the TV.

    The cat jumped and landed on the TV, it’s not very different from “jump”.
    It also has to be in that exact order, there’s no “*The cat jumped the TV on”.

    Phrasal verbs change their meaning a lot more when you add a preposition or an adverb, and you can separate the latter from the main verb. For example: I turned on the TV.

    “To turn on” is very different from simply “turn”, it basically means “to start”.
    You can say both “I turned on the TV” and “I turned the TV on”, they’re equally grammatical.

    Liked by 1 person

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