Phrasal verbs



Chapter I Phrasal verbs

Chapter I.1 The definition of the verb

Chapter I.1.1 The function of Phrasal verbs

Chapter I.2 History

Chapter I.2.2 The structure and meaning of Phrasal verbs

Chapter I.2.3 Categories of Phrasal verbs

Chapter I.2.4 Classification of Phrasal verbs

Chapter I.3 The Basic structure of Phrasal verbs

Chapter I.3.1 Preposition and postposition

Chapter I.3.2 Verbs with preposition and noun

Chapter I.3.3 Verbs with postposition

Chapter II. English Phrasal Verbs Lists

Chapter II.1 Phrasal verbs in use




English grammar is the subject that provokes many argumentations. There are a lot of methods of approaching an investigator's opinions. But nevertheless English grammar is a peculiar structure and the topic, which is worth to be researched.

The annual project is based on the descriptions of such grammatical phenomenon in English Grammar and language as "Phrasal Verbs".

As is known, those grammatical categories have not been inquired to the full, therefore they are always topical.

The main purpose of the project is to explain the troubles that refer to the object of investigation and to give lists of Phrasal verbs and to explain their meanings.

The basis of this research is the problems that students most often come across with - "practical and theoretical value of the types of Phrasal verbs, the structure and their role in the English Grammar". [9]

In order to study the subject of the project we used the following methods.

- bibliographical method

- method of investigation

- method of description

- method of analysis Theoretical value of the work lies in the research of the formation and usage of the types of Phrasal verbs in the English Language.

Practical value lies in the fact that the present research work can be used by other students and teachers who are interested in such grammatical sentences for the following purposes:

- to improve their knowledge of the grammar structure of the English Language

- to understand the structure of the phrasal verbs

- to distinguish the types of phrasal verbs

- to get deeper knowledge about such phenomena in the English grammar as Phrasal verbs.

The research work consists of two chapters:

Chapter One contains the theoretical basis and general notions of the work. In this chapter we tried to give a definition of Phrasal verb, to analyze it and to give a classification of Phrasal verbs.

Chapter Two contains the List of Phrasal verbs. In this chapter we tried to show the meanings of phrasal verbs with different preposition.

Chapter I. Phrasal verbs

In the Modern English language the number of the Phrasal verbs grows. It is the evidence of many books and dictionaries devoted to Phrasal verbs and their applications. Together with the growth in number, the frequency of the usage also grows. This means that the Phrasal verbs carry out their necessary function because of greater conciseness and significance at the same time.

Phrasal verbs are used not only in the spoken language; several of them are the integral part of the language of the newspapers and of the official business.

Before proceeding to the description of the Phrasal verbs, it is necessary to give the definition of the verbs and of their function.

1.1. The Definition of the Verb

A verb is a word used primarily to indicate a type of action, such as to fly or to wish, though it may also be used to indicate a general state of existence, such as to live. There is also a special type of verb, known as a copula or linking verb, which helps to describe the subject of the sentence, rather than describing an action. The primary example of this in English is the verb to be which is usually used in the role of linking verb. A verb is one of the basic building blocks of a sentence in most languages, with most grammatical sentences requiring at least one noun acting as a subject, and one verb to indicate an action.

Verbs can be inflected, which means the verb is changed in some way to indicate something about the sentence the verb is a part of. A verb may be inflected to describe virtually anything. [1][11]

1.1.1 The Function of the Verb

Dance! Sing! Paint! Giggle! Chew! What are these words doing? They are expressing action, something that a person, animal, force of nature, or thing can do. As a result, words like these are called action verbs.

There are three properties which characterize verbs in English - tense, voice, and mood.

The voice of a verb, passive or active, expresses whether the action is being received by the subject or being done by the subject. The two voices may occur in any tense.

The mood of a verb expresses the conditions under which an action or condition is taking place. In English there are three moods--indicative, subjunctive, or imperative. Indicative and subjunctive can be in any tense; imperative, only in the present tense.

Verbs are also classified according to function. Action verbs show action or possession. Action verbs are either transitive or intransitive. Linking verbs show the condition of the subject. Auxiliary verbs, also called helping verbs, are used with other verbs to change the tense, voice, or condition of the verb.

Conditional verbs are verbs conjugated with could, would, or should to show a possible condition. They may be in any tense.

A verb is often defined as a word which shows action or state of being. The verb is the heart of a sentence - every sentence must have a verb. Recognizing the verb is often the most important step in understanding the meaning of a sentence. In the sentence: the dog bit the man, bit is the verb and the word which shows the action of the sentence. In the sentence: the man is sitting on a chair, even though the action doesn't show much activity, sitting is the verb of the sentence. In the sentence: she is a smart girl, there is no action but a state of being expressed by the verb is. The word be is different from other verbs in many ways but can still be thought of as a verb.

Unlike most of the other parts of speech, verbs change their form. Sometimes endings are added (learn - learned) and sometimes the word itself becomes different (teach-taught). The different forms of verbs show different meanings related to such things as tense (past, present, and future), person (first person, second person, third person), number (singular, plural) and voice (active, passive). Verbs are also often accompanied by verb-like words called modals (may, could, should, etc.) and auxiliaries (do, have, will, etc.)

One of the most important things about verbs is their relationship to time. In English the fourteen verb tenses express the time or relative time in which an action or condition occurs. Verbs tell if something has already happened, if it will happen later, or if it is happening now. For things happening now, we use the present tense of a verb; for something that has already happened, we use the past tense; and for something that will happen later, we use the future tense. [10]

1.2 Phrasal verbs

1.2.1 History

Since phrasal verbs were not investigated until the late nineteenth to early twentieth century, although they have been part of the English language for centuries, their history is still a controversial subject. Rolando Bachelor says it is "impossible to write an exhaustive and definitive history of phrasal verbs." The term itself, "phrasal verb," was first seen in print in 1925 when Logan Pearsall Smith used it in Words and Idioms; it was supposedly suggested to him by Editor Henry Bradley (Oxford Companion 772). Phrasal verbs themselves, however, have been around much longer, as can be seen by looking at some Shakespearean and Middle English works.

Torne about and goon dour, for example, are both phrasal verbs that have been found in Middle English language in 1300 and 1388, respectively, and phrasal verbs are common in Shakespeare's works. Even though they were present in literature in the fourteenth century, they weren't considered serious formations until the eighteenth century, when lexicographer Samuel Johnson noted them "with great care" in his Dictionary of the English Language (1755).

Olga Fischer believes the emergence of phrasal verbs to be "the most notable new development in Middle English [the form of the English language spoken and written from about the 12th to the beginning of the 16th centuries] involving prepositions" (386). Phrasal verbs developed because Old English [the earliest from of the English language, used up to around A.D. 1150 prefixes were deteriorating (Cambridge History 377), and they have now practically replaced the prefixes (Fischer 386). The deterioration of Old English prefixes came about because it was becoming impossible to establish undeviating meanings for them (Cambridge 377). Bachelor argues in his commentary that "phrasal verbs are a native development that in some measure received a boost from the [Scandinavian, French, and Celtic] languages." In fact, the development of phrasal verbs in both the northern and southern dialects at the same time attests to their native development. Also, since phrasal verbs are used more in vernacular English than in formal and since lexically mature verb-particle combinations have been found in the mid-twelfth century, some experts argue that "we must suppose the type to have become deeply entrenched even before period IV [i.e. the period between 1170 and 1370]" (Fischer 398). Even then, phrasal verbs did not show much fortitude until the fifteenth century. The expansion of phrasal verbs occurred with the adoption of the Subject Verb Object (SVO) word-order (Bachelor). One researcher, Kennedy, proposes the idea that this took place because the invasion of Romance compound verbs stunted the growth of new verb-particle combinations (Fischer 398). The history of phrasal verbs is still under debate today. [8]

1.2.2 The structure and meaning of phrasal verbs

A phrasal verb is a combination of a "simple" verb (consisting of one word). (For example: come, put, go) and a postposition (for example: in, off, up), representing semantic and syntactic uniform unit.

For example: come in - to enter give up - to cease The phrasal verb can be replaced by a "simple" verb. It characterizes a phrasal verb as semantic unity:

call up – telephone

come by – obtain

put off – postpone

put up with - tolerate. [16]

But this criterion is not common for all phrasal verbs since the equivalent of many phrasal verbs is a word-combination:

break down - stop functioning

make up - apply cosmetics

take off - of a plane - leave the ground. [17]

The next peculiarity is idiomatic. The idiom is a combination of two or more words, whose value does not coincide with the value of its components. Many phrasal verbs have the value which is impossible to deduce from the values of its components.

For example: bring up - educate

give up - stop doing, using, etc.

go off - explode; ring

come by - obtain.

It is difficult to define the meaning of an idiomatic verb.

So for example the verbs fall down and pull off, on the one hand, don't possess any idiomatic value.

fall down - to fall

pull off - to remove, pull down

But these verbs have also the following dictionary values.

fall down - 1) to admire (to someone in power)

2) to fail, unsuccessfully to terminate

pull off - 1) to achieve, despite difficulties

2) to win (a prize, competition)

So, the given property is not the core for phrasal verbs.

Sometimes the value of a verb can be deduced from its components.

Some phrasal verbs have two and more values, one of which idiomatic, others opposite which are easily deduced from their components.

Many linguists consider the ability of phrasal verbs to form the passive voice as one of their basic properties.

For example: Payments are limited to 10 % each month.

This medicine must be measured out exactly.

The next property of a phrasal verb is the possibility to have adverbial postposition before and after a noun used with the given verb. For object the final position bears the big semantic loading, therefore if addition does not bear the new or important information, usually it settles down interposition.

For example: Call him up or call up him (not his sister)

If the object is expressed by several words, it, most likely, will be taking of a final position.

For example: He put on the coat he had bought in London.

If the object is expressed by a pronoun, it always is interposition.

For example: He took his coat and put it on. [15]

1.2.3 Categories of Phrasal verbs

Considering the syntactic indivisible combinations of the verb and a postposition with perspective brought by postpositions in their values I.E. Anichkov distinguishes five categories of such combinations:

1) Combinations in which the postposition has specifically spatial meaning,

For example: go in, come out, take away, bring, back).

2) Combinations in which the postposition is an abstract derived value, whose contact with the primary meaning is felt

For example: let a person down = fail him;

come in = find a place;

bring out = expose;

pull through = recover;

pick up = acquire;

3) A combination in which only the postposition underlines or supports the importance of the verb.

For example: fall down, rise up, turn over, and circle round;

4) A combination of values, which don't arise from the values of verbs and postpositions are not felt as emanating from them, and are semantically

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