Studying a foreign language, a person learns new words, terminology, idioms, phrasal verbs, collocations and the way the language is used in communication. In this paper we are going to give some advice on the work with phrasal verbs.
On the whole, the work with phrasal verbs at lessons of English as a foreign language:
- promotes the development of learner’s competences (linguistic, communicative, sociolinguistic, discourse, strategic);
- significantly enlarges lexical resource;
- helps to recognize them in the context and use properly;
- helps to distinguish them from free combinations of verbs with prepositions;
- helps to understand the cultural world of other people .
Phrasal verbs are found in all types of texts. They are widely used in conversational speech and in formal contexts. Phrasal verbs are usually two-word phrases consisting of verb + preposition or verb + adverb . Although phrasal verbs are largely used in oral speech and written texts, their understanding is a relatively tough task for EFL learners . There are a lot of combinations of verbs and many phrasal verbs have more than one meaning .
Phrasal verbs can be:
- transitive — have a direct object (check out, fill out, hand in, look for, make up, walk across, etc.);
e.g. You need to fill out the contact form.
- separable — can separate the two words and put the direct object in the middle.
e.g. Jack handed the test in.
or Jack handed in the test.
- inseparable can not be separated.
e.g. I am looking for a clothing boutique.
I am looking a clothing boutique for= incorrect
- intransitive do not have a direct object (break down, come over, come back, drop by, get up, show off, wake up, etc.).
e.g. When Gerald entered the room, Alexandra looked up.
Phrasal verbs shouldn’t be learnt independently, they should be learnt through the context and active use [2, 6].
There are a lot of principles to choose phrasal verbs for studying:
- semantic value;
- stylistic unlimitedness and differentiation of the spheres of use;
- frequency of use;
- authenticity (newspapers, journals, movies, documents from scientific, technical, advertising texts, etc.);
- word-formative value [3, 5].
Phrasal verbs can be taught through a number of exercises. Here there are some examples with the verb “to work”:
- complete sentences 1 — … with an appropriate particle to make phrasal verbs:
e.g. Nicholas has finally worked ___ the answer for the task in physics (to solve or find out by reasoning or calculation); Answer: out.
Unfortunately, the bench is not painted smoothly. It has to be worked ___ (to do for a second time; rework). Answer: over.
The total cost of our holiday in Spain, including sightseeing, worked ___ at about € 1700 (to add up to a particular amount). Answer: out.
- read the sentences and try to find out the meaning of phrasal verbs:
e.g. When I returned to the room, Elvis was still working away at his experiment.
His image works against him. He needs to change it if he wants to find a steady job.
Believe me, it is not the worst thing that could happen. Don’t get so worked up about it!
- choose the correct variant:
At the moment Rhett is working ___ some interesting projects for the Prague company.
Outside trainings work ___ the appetite.
I don’t want to go by motorbike. I am sure we can work ___ a way to avoid it.
- match the sentences:
1) Billy could not ___
2) You look so great! What do you do? I ___
3) We ate too much at dinner ___
a) so we went to the park to work it off.
b) work out the task.
c) work out at the gym four times a week.
Answer: 1 — b; 2 — c; 3 — a.
- read the sentences with phrasal verbs. Correct the mistakes if necessary:
1) The bike is broken. Calm down, I’m working on it.
2) Doris needs to work on her pronunciation.
3) I am afraid, we got lost. We need to work for a plan how to find the way home.
Answer: 1, 2 are correct, 3 is incorrect, work out is correct.
Thus the knowledge of phrasal verbs increases learners’ competences and ability to communicate in the target language. Phrasal verbs are an important and difficult part of English language. They should be introduced and taught through the context.
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