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Thesaurus of Phrasal Verbs
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"The first of its kind in the world. Though there are a number of dictionaries of phrasal verbs in the market, no thesaurus dedicated to phrasal verbs is understood to have been brought out so far... It aims to help the users to be really fluent in English, with words and word groups rushing to their minds as they start saying something."
- The New Indian Express
"It is intended to help advanced learners of English achieve command over phrasal verbs and also fine-tune their knowledge of synonyms and near-meaning of words."
India's national newspaper
since 1878.
  Thesaurus of Phrasal Verbs >Sample

Thesaurus of Phrasal Verbs
by Prof. Kev Nair


A snippet from the Introduction

A phrasal verb is a type of multi-word verb. It is a word combination made up of a lexical verb and one or two grammatical particles. In every word combination that is a phrasal verb, the verb comes first and the particle(s) next. And though it thus consists of more than one word, a phrasal verb behaves as a single unit.

The combination grow up is a typical example of a phrasal verb. Here are a few other common phrasal verbs:

bow out, check up, die down, flare up, get ahead, hold on, phone back, run out, sit down, watch out.

He wants to be a writer when he grows up.
He’s been an actor for 30 years now, and you can’t blame him for deciding to bow out.
Have you locked the door? Go back and check up, will you?
When the applause died down, he continued speaking.
He flares up whenever anybody criticizes him.
Do you want to get ahead? Work hard.
Hold on – he’s on the other line.
Tell him I’ll phone back later.
Do it quickly – time is running out.
Pull a chair and sit down.
If you don’t watch out, you’ll trip over that box.

In these phrasal verbs, the first word is the verb and the second word, the particle.

Now don’t be under the impression that all lexical verbs can form phrasal verbs. That is not so. In fact, most lexical verbs don’t. Only a small number of them do. And among them, there are 38 verbs that are truly versatile: They can combine with a variety of particles to produce a large number of frequently occurring phrasal verbs. Here is a list of these 38 lexical verbs:

break, bring, call, cast, come, cut, do, fall, get, give, go, hang, hold, keep, kick, knock, lay, lie, live, look, make, move, pass, play, pull, push, put, run, send, set, sit, stand, stay, stick, take, talk, throw, turn.

As far as particles are concerned, there are only a handful of them in English. You’ll find them listed below in this Introduction in three lists (Adverb particles, Adverb-cum-Preposition particles and Prepositional particles). And out of these particles1, the following twenty are the most common ones:

about, around, at, away, back, down, for, in, into, of, off, on, out, out of, over, round, through, to, up, with.

The particle up is the commonest of them all.

Types of phrasal verbs
Most phrasal verbs are two-word phrasal verbs. But there are many three-word phrasal verbs, too. Broadly speaking, six types of multi-word verbs are considered as phrasal verbs. They are:

1). Two-word phrasal verbs:

• Intransitive phrasal verbs.
• Transitive phrasal verbs.
• Intransitive prepositional verbs.
• Transitive prepositional verbs.

2). Three-word phrasal verbs:

• Intransitive Phrasal-prepositional verbs.
• Transitive Phrasal-prepositional verbs.

Intransitive phrasal verb
An intransitive phrasal verb ... (continued in the book)

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