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English grammar: Phrasal Verb of the day 2

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Phrasal verbs are normally used in spoken English and texts written in an informal style.

Phrasal verbs are made up by joining a verb and a particle together.

The particle is usually a small word like a preposition or an adverb.

This 'small word' can completely change the meaning of the phrasal verb.

 

The change in the particle is small, but the meaning can be completely different. Not too easy, is it?

 

 

As an example, think of the differences between....

  • look up
  • look down
  • look out
  • look back
  • look for sth
  • look at sth
  • ​look after sth
  • look through sth

 

That's why English students do not truly master all the phrasal verbs in the language until they really are an advanced speaker.

 

Unlike a lot of English grammar which has easy to remember rules, there are no rules for learning phrasal verbs. So, it is a good idea to write them down in a grammar or vocabulary notebook every time that you learn/hear/see a new one.

 

Phrasal Verb of the day #2:

boil down to something

Meaning: This is the most important part of something

Examples:

  1. It all boils down to money in the end.  (Money is the most important part of this)
  2. What it all boils down to is, can they do the work before the end of November?
  3. This promotion will only be successful if we can sell 50,000 units. It all boils down to sales at the end of the day.

 

NOTE:

This phrasal verb is not used in the progressive tense - e.g. it's all boiling down to money*  WRONG

This phrasal verb often comes with 'all' at the beginning

 

 

You can see Phrasal verb of the day #1 if you click here.

To take the SGI online English grammar test to get an estimate of your English level, please click here.

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