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English Grammar

Two-word verbs

Many English verbs can be followed by prepositions or adverb particles.

  • I ran down the road.
  • Could you switch off the light?
  • Please sit down.

The meaning of a two-word verb is sometimes very different from the meanings of the two parts taken separately.

Verbs with prepositions and particles together

Some verbs can be used with both an adverb particle and a preposition. Examples are: put up with, get on with, look out for etc.

  • How do you put up with her?
  • I get on with her quite well.
Word order with objects

Prepositions normally go before objects.

  • He fell off the ladder. (NOT He fell the ladder off.)

Adverb particles can go before or after noun objects.

  • Could you switch the light off? OR Could you switch off the light?

Note that if the object is a pronoun, the adverb particle has to be put after the object.

  • She switched it off. (NOT She switched off it.)
See Also
Correct use of the present perfect tense New!
Correct use of the present perfect continuous tense New!
Whoever, whatever etc. New!
Phrasal verbs and prepositional verbs New!
Possessives with of New!
Past tenses with present or future meaning New!
It as a preparatory subject New!
It as a preparatory object New!
Agreement of the verb with the subject New!
Correct use of relative pronouns New!


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