Rod Mitchell
Freelance Researcher, Milan, italy.
A Cognitive Linguistics approach shows that neither verbs nor prepositions lose or
change meaning in phrasal or prepositional verbs. Indeed, both semantic and
syntactic evidence show that there is no such thing as multi-word verbs, which has
significance in teaching and learning English. The verb and the preposition each
make independent contributions to sentence message transfer, be this idiomatic or
literal. Intransitive prepositions (“particles”, “adverbs”) have functional and
semantic control over the prepositional subject in its pathway and/or positioning,
while the verb shows how that subject moves along the pathway or gets into its
position, or what it does or what happens to it there. The subject of the preposition is
the clause subject in intransitive clauses, and the clause object in simple transitive
clauses. In learning to understand and use English, students need to learn the
meaning content of verbs and prepositions separately from each other and how they
work as part of the whole sentence and across all contexts. A context-based approach
that extends beyond the context by focusing on verb and preposition meaning fields
appears to be the most effective means of teaching and learning verb and preposition
phrasal verb, multi-word verb, preposition, cognitive linguistics, cognitive grammar
«Phrasal verbs» (phrasal/ prepositional/ particle/ two~three~multi-word verbs/ verb[-
adverb/particle] compounds) are a bugbear for teachers and students alike. It is
difficult to say which has most problems, typical remarks being: ‘This is confusing’,
‘Phrasal verbs are random, there is no logic’, ‘I will never be able to learn all these’,
‘English is illogical’. Aarts 1989, Huddleston and Pullum 2002, Knowles and Moon
2006, Kovács 2011, Lakoff and Johnson 1980, Lindner 1981, Marks 2005, 2006,
Rudzka-Ostyn 2003, Rundell and Fox 2005, and Tyler and Evans 2003 show that
English is not illogical; rather, assumptions behind «phrasal verbs» are.
NB: «…» is used herein to mark terms such as «phrasal verb» which have dubious
The first paper on the topic, Kennedy 1920, used the term ‘verb-adverb combination’,
avoiding ‘compound’, as the greatest number form loose bonds (Kennedy 1920, p. 9).
Around the same time, Henry Bradley (an OED Senior Editor [1878-1913]) coined
«phrasal verb» for idiomatic combinations for Logan Pearsall Smith, who used it in
Words and Idioms (1925):
The term “phrasal verb” was suggested to me by the late Dr Bradley; not, as
he wrote, that he was satisfied with it, or would not welcome any alternative
that he could feel to be an improvement. But, as he said, one cannot write of
these words without some workable description; and although the word
“phrasal” is perhaps objectionable in formation, it fills a want, and is
sometimes indispensable. (Smith, 1928, p. 172)
The term stems from grammar-translation. Many verbs are paraphrasable by
«phrases», for exmpale rise > get up, stand up; these were then assumed to be
structural-semantic units, «phrasal verbs». Terms like «particle/ two-word/ threeword/ multi-word/ prepositional verb» continue this theme. Translation of verbs from
Latin and similar languages by «phrasals», such as set up, get ready for Latin
PRÆPARARE (PRAE beforehand, PARARE provide, get, resolve) brought the
enculturated perception that «single-word verbs» are “superior” to «phrasal verbs»,
along with the concept that prepositions attach to verbs.
«Phrasal verbs» are neither phrases, nor units, nor inferior. However, to teach and
learn the system, it must be understood.
Theoretical Inconsistencies
Confusion about «phrasal verbs» stems from differing, oft-times restricted and
sometimes poor analyses. The average textbook and grammar writer, teacher, and
student at times do not seem to know which way to turn.
Grammar-Translation. Early studies classified English prepositions according to
Latin praepositiō grammar, rather than analysing their meaning-function in English.
Where English prepositions do not fit the Latin model, they were commonly called
«adverbs» or «particles». Awareness that languages differ typologically was yet to
develop. Latin declines, cases show meaning-function roles of NPs, while English is
non-declining, largely case-free (Figure 1). Applying the Latin concept of preposition
to English is mistaken, there being important differences.

Figure 1 Examples of Latin Case Function Semantics.
Latin prepositions modify the case information of their noun phrase), an adverb-like
I go up to the door.
I go away from the door.
Latin is a verb-final language; therefore prepositions naturally come before verbs:
PENDET hangs, DEPENDET hangs off~from, ADPENDET hangs at. Latin also has
«phrasal verb» characteristics:
A cloak hangs
A cloak hangs OFF
A cloak hangs OFF from the shoulders.
As case-marking languages lose their cases, as when Latin and Old English evolved to
Italian and English, prepositions take over case functions, and become verb-like rather
than adverb-like.
Structural and Functional Linguistics. Structural Linguistics inherited its core
concepts of prepositions from “Grammar-Translation”. Prepositions are seen as
having full meaning when phrase Heads (IN the box), otherwise are described as
«function words» acting as «case markers», «connectors» or «particles»:
case markers: drawn WITH charcoal
connectors: a framework IN wood
verb particles: do UP
Structuralists analyse «phrasal verbs» two different ways (Figure 2). Chomsky (1957,
pp. 75-76) analysed deep-structure verbal compounds that clause objects (Cl-Objs)
split. Edmonds (1976, p. 82) placed the Cl-Obj next to the verb, with transformation
putting the intransitive preposition (intr-preposition) next to the verb.

Figure 2 Formal Structural Linguistic views of «Phrasal Verb» transformation.
Structuralists distinguish «phrasal verbs», 4, from «prepositional verbs», 5. In
«phrasal verbs», «particles» form a Small Clause with the Cl-Obj (Small Clauses are
verbless clauses, e.g. lights off in Lights off was what they asked for), while
«prepositional verbs» are “verb-preposition constructions that have ‘an idiomatic
character’” (Kayne 1984, p. 124).
4 I switched the light OFF.
5 I looked the information UP.
Radford (I988, p. 90ff.) showed that intr-prepositions following the Cl-Obj are oneword prepositional phrases (PPs) modifiable by intensifiers like right and completely
(6-7), unlike intr-prepositions before the Cl-Obj (8). 6 and 7 cannot contain «phrasal
verbs» because the verb and preposition do not form a phrase. When intr-prepositions
come after transitive verbs, the preposition in the resulting V-Prep+Obj complexes
links to the verb, according to Radford (1988, p. 257).
6 Mary did her laces right UP to the top.
7 They pulled the plugs completely OUT.
8 *The President broke right OFF the meeting.
While Structuralists apply structural analyses, even when using semantic wording
such as ‘result-focusing’, Functionalists (e.g., Bolinger 1971, Fraser 1979), Systemic
Functionalists (Halliday 1994), and the Lexical Approach (Lewis 1993, 1997) bring
meaning to the fore, while applying Structuralist models to «phrasal verbs».
Structuralists and Functionalists strongly influenced language teaching, which often
presents prepositions as grammatico-functional role markers with little relationship to
literal meaning. This makes language learning and teaching confusing, as few
meaningful handholds are given.
Prepositions, «Phrasal Verbs» and EFL
Research shows that EFL approaches to teaching prepositions are less than successful:
Learning how to use prepositions correctly in a foreign language is a colossal
task, one that is usually not accomplished until way into the learning process,
and one that many learners never manage to master thoroughly. As
Lindstromberg (2001: 80) points out, less than 10 % of upper-level EFL
students can use and understand prepositions correctly. (Brala 2002b, p. 1)
Chévez Herra (2013) felt that “verb phrases should be presented explicitly and in
context during class activities to help students internalize them and incorporate them
successfully in their oral production” (p. 495); however, she found that explicit
presentation and study of «phrasal verbs» does not lead to incorporation in
spontaneous language use. She also noted that many students find it much easier to
use transparent combinations such as go out with, where the meaning can be
understood from the parts (Chévez Herra, 2013, pp. 495-496).
If only 10% of upper level EFL students understand or use prepositions correctly, and
explicit classroom work on «phrasal verbs» as meaning-bearing units seems
somewhat ineffective, then teachers and their sources could well be taking the wrong
track. In the EFL world prepositions are confusingly portrayed as meaningful (e.g., IN
in in the box shows INSIDE) or meaningless. At first glance there seems no reason
why IN appears in interested IN films, and ON in keen ON films. Moreover, some use
‘preposition’ or ‘particle’ for all uses, while others reserve ‘preposition’ for PP uses
(TO the bank), otherwise using ‘particle’ or «adverb» (She came TO.). This confusion
includes «phrasal verbs». Figure 3 is typical, «phrasal verbs» are “idiomatic units” to
be learnt as «collocations», with no relationship to literal meaning.
Student understanding depends on the rudimentary linguistics training the average
teacher receives. Teachers have to rely on structural descriptions that assume that
«phrasal verbs» are an “arbitrary combination of a verb and a particle and that – since
there don’t appear to be any obvious rules – phrasal verbs just have to be individually
learnt and remembered. This is what traditional grammarians also assumed, and failed
to explain properly why phrasal verbs behave in the way they do” (Kóvacs 2011, p.

Figure 3. A Typical EFL Presentation of «Phrasal Verbs» (Brizee 2010).
Deconstructing «Phrasal Verbs»
Marks (2005, p. 1) lists common misunderstandings about «phrasal verbs»:
– Phrasal verbs are illogical, or random, or unpredictable
– Phrasal verbs are unique to English
– Phrasal verbs are necessarily informal or colloquial
– Phrasal verbs necessarily have ‘proper’, non-phrasal equivalents
– Phrasal verbs are a ramified area of English lexis, separate from the rest
One important key is that both prepositions and verbs are Head words with full lexical
meaning in all cases.
The Preposition
Evans and Tyler (2005, p. 29) state that “the traditional ways of representing the
meanings of prepositions in terms of [structural-functional] linguistic propositions has
resulted in a number of inaccurate characterizations of the prepositions. These
mischaracterizations have, in turn, led to assertions that much about the meanings of
English prepositions is idiosyncratic”. They offer four insights (ibid., p. 1):
a) understanding prepositions is based on their concrete uses;
b) meanings of prepositions are abstract ‘descriptions’ based on their concrete use;
c) meanings have two parts, positioning and function, positioning being important for
functioning in the physical and/or abstract environment;
d) other uses are extensions of core meanings.
These have importance in understanding all contexts where prepositions play a role:
9 The kid IN the blue jeans dropped IN to see his grandmother.
10 The CEO is very interested IN modern art.
11 He was taken IN by her sob story.
IN shows that the prepositional subject (P-Sub) is contained and therefore controlled
by the prepositional object (P-Obj). In 9, contained by his jeans, the kid dropped INto
the place where his grandmother was; in 10, modern art contains the CEO’s interest; in
11 he ended up IN her sob-story world, where she controlled him. The verb shows
how she managed that, by metaphorically taking him there.
Languages vary in how they describe positional relationships, by case or case plus
adposition (e.g., Latin), by adposition (e.g., Spanish), by verbs (e.g., Vietnamese),
etcetera. In learning language it is important to focus on the meanings of the items
used to express such relationships to understand their use: meaning governs use.
One-Word PPs. PPs are of various types:
 prep+NP (on the table); prep+adjective (for free); prep+adverb (till recently);
prep+clause (after the penny dropped), split PPs (Who is this for?)
 compounds: UPstairs, TOnight
 derivations: skyWARD
 postpositions: hereWITH
 prepositional-prefix words: Afoot < on foote, BEhind < bi hinde
 preposition-dropping phrases: He came [on] Friday, they arrive NEXT WEEK
 nominals with case function: he headed SOUTH
Prepositions are Headwords and like all Headwords (verbs, nouns, etc.) can be oneword phrases. In 12, OFF is the Head and the ship the P-Obj. In 13 OFF is a singleword PP, its object understood from context (Aarts 1989, p. 283).
12 I expect that sailor OFF my ship.
13 I expect that sailor OFF.
In many cases where the P-Obj appears nonexistent, it is retrievable from context. In
14-16, the P-Objs are respectively himself, consciousness, and a closed position:
14 He put his shirt ON.
15 After a few minutes unconsciousness she came TO.
16 The hatch slammed TO.
At times the preposition is truly intransitive, as in 17; UP is the metaphorical arrival
point of waking:
17 He woke UP
Native speakers retrieve unstated reference from context. English learners can
likewise do this; they already do it in their own languages, it being a universally
natural part of communication.
Intr-prepositions are not adverbs. Adverbs, adjective-like, modify our perception of
manner or degree in clauses, adjectival phrases, and prepositional phrases.
Clause adverbs are firstly subject-focusing. In 18 slowly refers to her swimming. She
is slow, not the action independently from her. Clause adverbs can also have Cl-Obj
reference; in 19, his painting resulted in a thick coat of paint.
18 She slowly swam across the creek.
19 Gerr painted the paint on thickly.
Prepositions, verb-like, refer to the concrete/ abstract positioning of the clause subject
(Cl-Sub) or Cl-Obj. In 20-21 (intransitives), the preposition refers to she. In 20 the PObj is the object climbed, and 21 contains a stative intr-preposition. The verbs
specifies how the Cl-Subs acted, by climbing and waking. In 22, the Cl-Obj (the
children) is the P-Sub of UP; the verb shows how the Cl-Sub (she) caused their
resulting state.
20 She climbed UP.
21 She woke UP.
22 She woke her children UP.
Intr-prepositions can come before or after the subject-verb core, and can cause
subject-verb inversion, showing independence from the verb:
23 OFF he walked to the bank.
24 He walked OFF to the bank.
25 OFF walked he to the bank.
Unlike clause adverbs, they can not appear between the Cl-Sub and the verb, or at the
end of the clause after other PPs:
26 *He OFF walked to the bank.
27 *He walked to the bank OFF.
The Verb
From the early days of Structural Linguistics (e.g., Kennedy 1920) and studies on
idioms (e.g., Smith 1925), a common belief has been that verbs and prepositions in
«phrasal verbs» change or even lose meaning; that is to say, take and OFF in 28 «can
not» have the meaning they have in 29:
28 The bird took OFF from the branch.
29 He took it OFF the table.
One analytical mistake is looking at the item in a specific context, thereby confusing
contextual overlays with what is specific to the item. Cognitive Linguistics shows that
different syntactic-contextual readings of a word do not mean change of meaning;
meaning stays the same regardless of differing readings, and dictates how and why
words work in specific contexts. It is better to investigate a wide range of differing
contextual uses to identify what is specific to the item.
OFF shows ‘away from the on-at position’ (Jenny walked OFF angrily, a splinter
group split OFF from the main party, slide OFF the shelf) while transitive verbs are
commonly reflexive-intransitive (hold [self] still, stop [yourself] right there). Take is
no different (31-33). In 28, take is reflexive-intransitive: the bird took itself away the
30 Four massive Rolls Royce turbines took the bomber OFF UP into the lowering
31 The helicopter took OFF UP and hovered over the airstrip.
32 Biggles took OFF heading for China.
33 The plane took OFF heading for China.
We need to keep contextual understanding distinct from word meaning. Saying that
“take OFF” means ‘leave’ gives a contextual paraphrase, not the meanings or
functions of the words take and OFF.
Language learners have to discover what semantic-functional field each item covers
across all contexts AND its link with the other items in the clause and beyond to be
proficient in a language. To wield the whole, the meaning and function of each part of
the whole needs to be understood.
«Separable, Inseparable, Intransitive Phrasal Verbs». The last statement in Figure
3 is misleading. The indicators to whether «phrasal verbs» are «separable» or
«inseparable» also show that the terms «separable» and «inseparable» themselves are
inappropriate. The indicators are whether the verb itself is transitive or intransitive. In
«separable phrasal verbs», the verb is transitive. The preposition adds meaning to the
sentence (up to completion in 34) without changing the meaning or transitivity of the
verb. 35 is a further example of this.
34 She added the total > She added the total UP.
35 She pulled the jeans > She pulled the jeans ON~OUT~UP.
The presumption of «phrasal verb units» led to assuming that Cl-Objs can separate
«phrasal verbs». Pronoun use shows the basic structure:
36 She pulled them~the jeans ON~OUT~UP.
37 She pulled ON~OUT~UP the jeans.
A better term would be ‘insertable preposition’; prepositions can “split” the verb+ClObj.
«Inseparable» and «intransitive phrasal verbs» involve intransitive verbs. 38 (from
Figure 3) is impossible in the sense of 39 not because the verb and preposition cannot
be split (40 shows they can), but because around the rules is a PP. 41 is a transitive
equivalent, and 42 another reflexive-intransitive. In 39 the rules are a metaphorical
barrier she gets herself around.
38 *She always gets {the rules AROUND}.
39 She always gets {AROUND the rules}.
40 She always gets into trouble {AROUND the rules}.
41 She always gets the car {AROUND the track} in good time.
42 She always gets {AROUND the track} in good time.
In «intransitive phrasal verbs», prepositional references are clear in context (43).
Prepositions show Cl-Sub pathway and/or resulting position. In 44, though drop is
idiomatic, OUT shows that the runner is no longer IN the running. As 45 shows, OUT
keeps its meaning regardless of the literal or idiomatic reading of the verb. 47 contains
the locative reference of 46, while 48 contains that of 44-45, the state that the runner
was no longer IN.
43 She climbed UP. (a ladder, a tree, a cliff)
44 After two laps, the runner dropped OUT.
45 He dropped~walked~ran~slipped~jumped~teleported OUT.
46 After I explained the maths problem, she began to catch ON.
47 She began to catch [ON {to the explanation of the maths problem}] after I
explained it.
48 The runner dropped/walked/ran/slipped/jumped/teleported [OUT {of the
In 46-47 reflexive-intransitive catch is an abstract version of the concrete 49-50,
while 51-52 are transitive examples.
49 After I gave her a hand, she managed to catch ON to the branch.
50 The branch was too high up for her, but after I gave her a hand, she managed
to catch ON.
51 After a few tries, she managed to catch the grappling hook ON to the high-up
52 She managed to catch her hands ON to the branch.
Cognitive Grammar and Syntax
«Phrasal verbs» are neither units or compounds; pull over and fall down are not the
same type of linguistic items as pullover and downfall, where the parts together have a
single reference with a clear origin. Pullovers are pulled on OVER the head; downfall
refers to a fall from a higher position: the downfall of the dictator. Being nouns, they
have noun grammatical characteristics:
the pullover, a big white pullover, pullovers
the downfall, an unexpected downfall, downfalls
The verb and preposition are in different phrases of the sentence. Catenae (O’Grady,
1998) show this, as do Aarts 1989, Kayne 1984, and Radford 1988. In pull it OVER
the head, pull OVER to the side of the road, fall DOWN the slope and fall DOWN in
her estimation, pull and fall are verbs. Pull refers to pulling, such as on steering
wheels, and fall to the falling of the subject. OVER and DOWN show a positionfunction relationship between P-Subs and P-Objs. In pull it OVER the head, OVER
shows the relationship between it and the head, and in pull OVER to the side of the
road, between the vehicle and driver and their final position at the side of the road. In
fall DOWN the slope and fall DOWN in her estimation, DOWN shows the direction
followed by its subject.
Intr-Prepositions in Linguistic Context.
Intr-prepositions in «phrasal verbs» are a subcategory of quantifying-positiondirectional phrases, where items are followed by juxtaposed phrases which show the
amount, measurement, direction, etcetera, thereof.
53 The new building is to be 25 floors high, and three below ground.
54 The plane climbed 500 feet.
55 The book is worth €35.
56 The girl at the desk handed them two vouchers each.
More examples are: five years ON, ten steps FORWARD, five paces BACK, a quick
jump SIDEWAYS, ten days AHEAD, ten years AGO, one week TOMORROW, all
night THROUGH, five times A DAY, inside OUT and upside DOWN.
Such quantifying-position-directional phrases have the same function and syntax as
«phrasal verb» intr-prepositions:
57 Chris hammered the 3-inch nail 2-inches IN/ ~IN 2-inches.
58 The girl at the desk handed them two vouchers each/ ~each two vouchers.
Clauses can have more than one intr-preposition, with the second (and following) intrpreposition(s) sharing the same subject as the first in a sequential relationship:
59 The snake slithered {OFF ALONG UP} over the log.
60 She ran {BACK OFF HOME}.
Small Clauses. Aarts 1989, refining Kayne’s (1984) Small Clause analysis, presents
evidence that «phrasal verbs» do not exist,. He analyses these as transitive verbs with
Small Clause objects. Such Small Clauses can appear on their own, showing that the
preposition goes with the NP, not the verb:
61 I switched the light off and the TV on. (Aarts 1989, p. 282)
Aarts’s analysis that «phrasal verbs» do not exist as a syntactic or semantic unit is
supported by modifier syntax, as sentences 6-8 illustrate. In contrast, in «prepositional
verbs» his analysis is that intr-prepositions are verb adjuncts (Aarts 1989, p. 277),
seeing that strings like the kids up (65-67) cannot appear on their own:
62 *The kids up is very desirable. (Aarts 1989, p. 281; < He bought the kids UP.)
63 *He sorted the problem out and the clothes out. (Aarts 1989, p. 283)
64 *Jim sold the car off to a friend; with the car off he could buy a boat. (Aarts 1989,
p. 280)
However, 61a and 63a show that the ungrammaticality of 63 stems from whether the
Small Clauses have the same preposition or not; if they do, this appears only once,
otherwise the two must logically appear.
61a I switched the light and the TV OFF.
63a He sorted the clothes and the problem OUT.
The assumption behind «prepositional verb» is that verbs like look need a preposition
to complement their transitivity. Deeper analysis shows that such verbs have causative
uses where the intr-preposition (= single-word PP) shows pathway or resulting
position; such verbs do not need a preposition; rather, a location, shown by a PP:
65 She looked him IN THE EYE.
66 She looked him THROUGH and found him wanting.
67-69 show that overt specification of location in transposed versions is often, but not
always, needed:
67 Jim sold the car OFF to a friend; with the car OFF his hands he could buy a boat.
68 The plane took OFF heading for the safety of the sky; with the plane OFF the
ground we breathed easier.
69 They called OFF the meeting; with the meeting OFF we breathed easier.
Semantic Weight. For Edmonds (1976), Kayne (1984), and Aarts (1989), the default
syntax of «phrasal~prepositional verb» transitives is: S+V+O+Prep, with
S+V+Prep+O being a transformation. When the Cl-Obj is a pronoun, S+V+O+Prep is
normally obligatory.
Aarts (1989, p. 285) highlighted the importance of semantic weight. In V+O+Prep
versus V+Prep+O transitives, the ‘weightiest’ item comes last. Normally pronouns
have less ‘weight’ because they refer to something made clear elsewhere in the
70 The light was ON, so I switched it OFF.
71 *I didn’t know the word, so I looked UP it.
However, if the pronoun is stressed, it can come last:
72 Why did you throw out HIM? (Aarts 1989, p. 286)
This includes cases where the intr-preposition is modified by an adverb (Aarts 1989,
p. 287) and where the Cl-Obj has weight:
73 *He switched completely OFF the radio.
But: He switched completely OFF the radio that had been making funny noises all the
There is no such thing as a «phrasal» or «prepositional verb». A fuller analysis
shows that «prepositional verbs» are simply verbs that often in context need location
specification. The analysis here-in is that in both «transitive phrasal» and
«prepositional verbs», the intr-preposition is a one-word PP whose subject is the ClObj, with which it forms a Small Clause.
That is, neither phrasal nor prepositional verbs exist.
The Players in the Field
In teaching prepositional usage, focus on different ‘players’ in the sentence and
context is important. Prepositions show their subject’s pathway and/or resulting
position. OFF in 74 shows that the eave ended up away from where it had been, while
in 75 the tree finished up in a DOWN position.
74 Gretel broke a piece of eave OFF and ate it.
75 He chopped a tree DOWN.
The Small Clause approach is key to analysing who and what are the players in the
field of the sentence. In intransitive 76, he is the subject of three Small Clauses, his
action: he walked; his direction: he UP; and his destination: he TO the gate.
76 He walked UP TO the gate.
In transitives the Cl-Obj also has small clauses. In 77 the dog is the subject of its
direction, UP, and its destination, TO the gate, and therefore its action: it went. The
Cl-Sub caused this to happen by sending the dog.
77 He sent the dog UP TO the gate.
Prepositional syntax depends on whether the Cl-Sub or Cl-Obj is the P-Sub and on
characteristics such as transitivity and result focus (Figure 4).
Intransitive clauses. Intransitive clauses include reflexive-intransitive, middle voice,
and stative. In A2 (Table 3), the plane was no longer ON the ground, while in A3 the
chalk ends up OFF the board. A4 shows that he was in the resulting state of the action
he had done.

Simple transitive clauses. The intr-preposition shows the pathway or resulting
position of the Cl-Obj (B1-B2); which comes last depends on semantic weight.
Simple causitive clauses. Transitives where the Cl-Sub causes the Cl-Obj to do
something. In C1 she makes the speck of dust physically, and in C2 the journalists at
least metaphorically, move away. In strongly causative examples, the intr-preposition
comes after the Cl-Obj (78-79).
78 They hunted the fugitive OUT.
They caused the fugitive to come into sight.
79 She set her boss UP for a fall.
She created a situation where the boss was ready to ‘fall’.
Intr-preposition positioning can reflect meaning differences:
80 He gave UP the ghost.
81 He gave the ghost UP.
Unstated P-Sub transitives. An interesting sub-category of causatives is where the
P-Sub is unstated. In D1, they caused the barn to be waste-free by sweeping waste
OUT. In D2, she caused lint to move OFF the coat.
Reflexive-transitive clauses. Sentences such as E1 are reflexive; he pulled the shirt
ONto himself. Often the reflexivity is a benefit. In E2 he extends his control OVER
the company, which is then UNDER his control and therefore of benefit to him. Other
examples are:
82 The kind old couple took the waif IN/ ~IN the waif.
Into their place and care, the waif benefits, and they do as well.
83 He sold his car OFF/ ~OFF his car to his friend.
He benefited from this sale.
Total effect clauses. The Cl-Obj is totally affected; the Cl-Sub causes this. The intrpreposition cannot come before the Cl-Obj; its weight dominates. The preposition has
two levels of reference, an underlying one where the verb is intransitive and the ClObj is a P-Obj (in F1 Harriet passed by Mark), and one where the Cl-Obj is the P-Sub
(Harriet did it in such as was as to deliberately ignore Mark; he was BY). 84 below
has a different structure. BY Mark is a PP; Harriet simply goes past him.
84 Harriet passed BY Mark in the street.
The passive equivalents highlight the difference:
85 Mark was passed BY in the street BY Harriet (F1).
86 Mark was passed in the street BY Harriet (84).
87 likewise shows simple pathway, constrasting with F2. F2 shows that the
archaeologists walked all over the field, resulting in a field covered by walking. In 88
the matter is discussed completely, in 89 the sleeping covered the whole night, and in
90 you are totally in trouble,
87 The archaeologists walked OVER the field with the echosounder.
88 Graham talked the matter THROUGH with the lawyer.
89 I slept the night THROUGH.
90 I’ll have you UP before the judge.
The resulting state focus is similar to that in 91-92:
91 He got his hair cut by the barber.
92 I have thee beaten, knave!
Causative instrumental P-Sub clauses. A subcategory of Total Affect where the
instrument is the P-Sub. In G1 the knight caused the sword to run through him
(compare 93); the Cl-Obj is also the P-Obj. 94 contrasts in being intransitive, and is
impossible unless the knight or him is a ghost.
93 The knight ran a sword THROUGH him.
94 The knight ran THROUGH him with a sword.
The instrumental P-Sub can also be unstated:
95 The knight ran him THROUGH.
96 Zorro looked him OVER.
Non-causative statements containing instrumental PPs allow intr-preposition
97 He filled the tank UP/ ~UP the tank [with fuel].
98 He filled the form IN/ ~IN the form [with information].
Stative Result Antipassives. These are transitives where the Cl-Obj must come after
the intr-preposition, highlighting a resulting state stemming from the action (H1-H2).
Passive equivalents do not exist (*Shop has been closed up by him; *House was set
up together by them). Neither shop nor house refer so much to a physical shop or
house, and often do not, but to a metaphorically associated result: no longer working
in H1, living together in H2. Such have a resulting ‘intransitive’ state reference like 99;
he was no longer moving rather than dead, though this is possible.
99 He pulled UP dead.
Passive clauses. In Passives the relationship of the preposition to the Cl-Sub (the
underlying Cl-Obj or P-Obj) depends on the underlying active: transitive, intransitive,
causative, unstated P-Sub, etcetera. In I1 the house is the intransitive P-Obj, in I2 the
stalls are the transitive Cl-Obj, and in I3 the object of the sweeping, the dust, is the
unstated P-Sub, the Cl-Sub being the P-Obj.
A World of Meaning
Telling students to learn «phrasal verbs» by association with a «one-word verb» and/
or in specific context can be discouraging and allows teachers to rest in uneasy peace.
There are 15,000-odd «phrasal verb» definitions in Rundell and Fox (2005). It is
impossible to learn every one by rote or context. Possibly no English speaker will ever
use or meet every possible «phrasal verb» in their lifetime. Despite this, every native
speaker from an early age can not only understand, but more importantly produce,
«phrasal verbs» not yet met.
Native speakers learn and produce «phrasal verbs» by knowing the meaning of the
verb and the meaning of the preposition, and how they work in the whole sentence
and context. They also learn how metaphor works. Evidence of this is that “new
combinations are rarely made on a random basis … Particles often have particular
meanings which they contribute to a variety of combinations. These fixed meanings
are used in order to create new combinations” (Kovács 2011, p. 157), such as the
following (Kovács 2011, p. 158):
be partied out ‘have had enough of parties because you have been to so many’,
chill out ‘relax completely’,
bliss out ‘become totally happy and relaxed’,
veg out ‘sit and relax and do nothing’,
pig out ‘eat an extremely large amount of food, much more than you need’,
google out ‘discover information by means of a thorough research’.
Identifying Meaning
To understand a word and its combinations, the range of uses and contrasts of that
word should be investigated, not individual examples in individual contexts. For
100 The car ran OVER the hare.
101 He looked the word UP in a dictionary.
Run OVER and look UP are “standard” «phrasal verbs», in that the verbs seem to
have lost their meaning. Cars don’t run – or do they? Run appears in a range of
contexts that indicate it does not mean ‘move fast using legs’, but rather ‘manage
movement along a concrete or metaphorical pathway’:
102 She ran her fingers through his hair.
103 The ship ran before the wind.
104 The petrol was running freely through the feedline.
105 The engine is running roughly.
106 They ran the horses along the ridge.
106 Who’s running the company?
108 He sat mesmerised watching his horse, an outsider, ran first past the finishing
109 They ran the car down to the garage.
110 Ms DeVille ran the company with an iron will.
OVER contrasts with other prepositions, showing that it is not randomly chosen, but
has full meaning:
111 The car ran PAST the pedestrian.
112 The car ran THROUGH the crowd.
113 The car ran UNDER the bridge.
114 The car ran DOWN the hill.
115 The car ran ALONG the ridge.
116 The car ran INTO the hedge.
OVER in a variety of contexts shows how concrete extends into metaphor:
117 The car ran OVER the finish line.
118 The race is OVER (OVER the finish line~time).
119 The meeting is OVER (OVER the finishing time).
120 The meeting ran OVER time.
Look (101) means use eyes to get information, give information through appearance;
it can be active intransitive (121-123), transitive (124-125), stative intransitive (126-
127) and stative antipassive (128-129), where the Cl-Obj is the appearance-state given
by the Cl-Sub (as with H1-H2, passive equivalents, *The part was looked by him. do
not exist).
Active Intransitive
121 He looked AT the part he had to play in the comedy.
122 She looked TO her mother FOR help.
123 Could you help me look FOR my keys?
124 Look me UP when you get to Milan.
125 The mechanic looked the engine OVER.
Stative Intransitive
126 Simone looked happy with her new gown.
127 He looked like a tough bloke.
Stative Antipassive
128 He looked the part/his best/it.
129 The Head looked a tough lady.
Note that such antipassive clauses can have an underlying PP-clause: The Head
looked like she was a tough lady.
In 101, look is transitive; the result is his metaphorically holding the word UP for all
to see.
We use verbs and prepositions to give concrete and metaphorical meanings. “[T]hese
conceptual metaphors are […] not limited to a single linguistic expression but make
themselves manifest in a large numbers of expressions” (Kövecses and Szabó 1996, p.
334). They do so because the verb and preposition have meaning that others can
decode or can be helped to decode. They are the right words with the right meanings
for the job.
Run INTO (116) is an example. Running into things is often accidental and not
necessarily harmful, though can be (130). It is the unexpectedness that comes to the
fore in sentences such as 131. Metaphorical running INTO something shows that
meeting John was unexpected.
130 Marion ran INTO the tree accidentally-on-purpose so as to claim the insurance.
131 Graham ran INTO John at the publishers’ fair last March in Berlin.
In short, the meaning content of a word must be understood to understand its use and
The Perils of Translation. Translating skews analysis by creating an impression that
«phrasal verbs» are the syntactic equivalents of «single-word verbs»:
132 I can {investigate} what happened, and get back to you later this afternoon.
133 I can {look into} what happened, and get back to you later this afternoon.
Investigate and look into differ in meaning and structure (134). INTO is a PP Head
(INTO what happened), look INTO X expresses using real or abstract eyes to see
what is inside X, while investigate shows research.
134 We’ll have to look into this, Sarge, and see if we need to investigate.
Meaning is “within” the word, as in in other words, in words of one syllable. In 28-29
take has the same meaning content, ‘transport from A to B’, with differing syntactic
readings. Figure 3 confuses contextual paraphrases with meaning. Drop OFF does not
«mean» ‘decline gradually’, ‘fall asleep’, or ‘stop and give something to someone’. In
the first, the level of the land drops away from its former height; in the second the full
phrase is drop OFF to sleep, being AT an awake level and dropping OFF that TO
sleep (compare fall asleep); the last shows that the object is dropped OFF from where
the deliverer is ON the way. Though this is metaphor, “our conceptual system is
metaphorically structured and defined. Thus the way we think, what we experience,
and what we do every day is often a matter of metaphor.” (Kovács 2011, p. 145)
Meaning and Dictionaries. Many a teacher, like any native speaker, finds it difficult
to define words. What does take mean? Set? Look? Get? Put? Up? Through? The?
Some? Unfortunately, dictionaries can be confusing, even inaccurate.
The wordreference.com English-English site (Kellogg 2021) on 29/02/2020 gave over
170 definitions for take, along with 31 «phrasal verbs», most with multiple
definitions, totalling 179 «phrasal verb meanings». Set had 29 definitions, 14
«phrasal verb» entries, most with two or more «meanings», making 47 definitions.
The first definition of set (“to put (something or someone) in a particular place or
posture: to set a vase on a table”) states what is commonly and etymologically
considered to be the basic meaning. However, an analysis of the various definitions of
set shows that it actually covers ‘start a process or state’:
135 He set the dog ONTO the intruder (start an attack).
136 Winter has set IN (Winter has started).
137 The techie set all the computers UP (they were prepared for use).
138 They set OFF on their voyage of discovery (the voyage started).
As for take, the core meaning (transport from A to B) does not appear until definitions
17-21, covering 5 definitions, with the core concept being 18:
17 to carry with one:
Are you taking an umbrella?
18 to carry from one place to another; convey or transport:
Can you take the kids to school?
19 to use as a means of transportation:
We took the number 15 bus.
20 to serve as a means of conducting; to go in the direction of:
Fifth Avenue takes you right through the midtown area.
21 to go into or enter:
Take the road to the left.
Definitions 17 and 19-20 are contextual paraphrases of 18, while 21 illustrates
misanalysis. Arguably, take in the sample sentence does not refer to entering the road;
rather, it is an example of 20.
In short, dictionary definitions are often contextual paraphrases, not meanings;
moreover, the core meaning is often not made clear. Dictionaries give us definitions
of the uses of words in given contexts, and unfortunately, as 21 shows, can be
Idiom and «Phrasal Verbs»
The term «phrasal verb» strictly speaking only refers to idiomatic uses, with the
assumption that figurative is detached from concrete meaning. The Cognitive view,
however, is that the meaning of any idiosyncratic expression made of words is
composed by the words used and sources their literal meanings (e.g. Brala 2002a,
Kovács 2011, Lakoff 1987, Lindner 1981, Rudzka-Ostyn 2003, Vyvyan and Tyler
Fed up illustrates this. Evidence shows that fed and UP link to their literal meanings,
starting from the active use. People feed animals WITH food until the feeding comes
UP to the point of ‘enough’, for example ready for slaughter, and no more is needed
or wanted. Other cognitive links to literal meaning are:
A: Accompanying gestures like down-facing palm with backward-pointing fingers
going up to the top of the neck, showing ‘filled UP’.
B: reinforcing words showing metaphorical eating to the top:
139 I am fed up to the teeth~gills~brim~overflowing with that.
C: eating words have a semantic field of give X to Y for consumption, or Y takes X for
feed: feed-line, they fed enough information to the press to keep the story alive,
feed a fire with sticks, the children were feeding on every word with excitement
dancing in their eyes
eat: the press ate up every piece of information, they were eating into their
gobble: the story was so well set up that the press gobbled it up.
D: reaching that upper limit where X is no longer needed or wanted. 140 is very close
in sense to 141-142.
140 I am fed up with all this.
141 I have had enough of all this.
142 I can’t take any more of this.
E: Related idioms have the same metaphor field:
143 I’ve had a belly-full of all this.
144 I’ve had it up to the eyeballs with all this.
F: Similar concepts appear in idioms in some other languages:
estar harto de X be full/stuffed with X
hasta acá de X up to here with X
hasta la coronilla de X up to the crown (of the head) with X
die Nase voll haben von etwas have a nose full of something
en avoir ras le bol de X have a bowl-full of X
en avoir ras la casquette de X have a cap (headwear) full of X (be totally fed up)
essere stuffo di X be stuffed with X
Idiom and structure. Idiom is context-dependent; the same wording can appear in
literal and idiomatic contexts.
145a The pigs were fed up with corn [for market].
146a The wrestlers are fed up with bulk-building food [for competition].
145b The pigs were fed up with corn [and wouldn’t take any more].
146b The wrestlers are fed up with bulk-building food [and want bacon and eggs].
Empirical evidence that idioms are transparent include Gibbs 1987 and word-play in
comedy. 147-148 are examples of how idioms need concrete reference for their full
impact. The physical activities describe the states of mind of the doers – even if they
do not actually do the physical action.
147 We’ve got to get down to the park. The kids are bouncing off the walls.
148 If you give me a cup of coffee, you’ll be scraping me off the ceiling.
(Janet Shimmin, EFL teacher, at a friend’s place after dinner, 2014)
The imagery of idioms such as fed up, stop pulling my leg, run into X and get by X
refers to the concreteness of being fed up, pulling legs, running into things and getting
by obstacles. The concept of getting by difficulties (149) transfers very easily to
abstracts such as the difficulties of poverty (150).
149 She managed to get BY the slavering dogs.
150 She managed to get BY on very little
Idioms gain their humour or whatever feeling they arouse through their metaphorical
link to the literal, from the concrete semantics of the words and their extra-linguistic
associations. Their value as idioms would fail otherwise.
Teaching Verbs and Prepositions
Originally, verbs and prepositions were taught as separate words. There was no hangup about «phrasal verbs»; the lack of a term meant that these did not enter into
anyone’s awareness. The development of teaching materials based on Formal
Structural and Functional methodologies brought the term «phrasal verb» and its later
followers into prominence.
Structural-Functional and Text-Context Approaches. The Structural-Functional
concept of «phrasal verbs» being syntactic-semantic units led to associating «phrasal
verbs» with contextual «one-word verb» paraphrases. For many, this simply meant
(and still does) producing reference lists of «phrasal verbs», sometimes based around
a verb. However, the belief that verbs change their meaning according to context led
to some criticism that “this approach can do more harm than good. The lists of the
same verbs with different particles can make learners confused because these groups
of verbs can help nothing, except providing unrelated meaning (Norman, 2010, cited
in Imrose, 2013, p.115).
Gardner and Davis (2007) found that exposure to «phrasal verbs» and the
incorporation of a preposition-focused approach is a key factor for students’
acquisition of these. Thornbury (2002) argues that “a focus on particles aims to
sensitize learners to the shared meanings of a group such as carry on, drive on, go on,
and come on” (p. 124). Marks (2006) also considered preposition focus as being more
beneficial, seeing the preposition carries more consistent meaning-function content
(e.g., sentences 44-45 above).
Systemic Functional Linguistics helped clarify the realisation that the StructuralFunctional “translation approach” is inadequate and inaccurate. Language functions in
context and is best taught through context. Understanding develops through exposure
in a variety of meaningful contexts followed by practice: “phrasal verbs are best
learned on an item-by-item basis, and preferably in short contexts that demonstrate
their syntactic behaviour” (Thornbury, 2002, p. 125). By doing this “students are able
to acquire phrasal verbs better because it is more productive and easier to learn
phrasal verbs from a context … Students are able to pick up the meaning of a phrasal
verb from its context even though they have never seen it before” (Dainty, 1992, in
Tugrul, 2012, p. 115). Context-based teaching calls on how native speakers
themselves learn: naturally, through context, and with explanation rarely needed.
However, the Formal Structural Linguistics delegation of meaning to the
«interpretational» basket allowed the retention of the belief that EITHER the
preposition changes the meaning of the verb, which is «delexicalised», OR the
preposition is a relatively meaningless clitic-particle that complements the meaning of
the somewhat «delexicalised» verb, OR both. For some, this has translated to the
concept that neither verbs or prepositions really have meaning; rather, their meanings
come from the context. The illogicalities of this are rarely questioned. Take appears in
hundreds of contexts; «logically» it has hundreds of potential «meanings». TO
likewise «logically» has many a context-derived «meaning».
If this were the case, it would be impossible to learn language.
Explicit teaching through context has been seen as effective for learning individual
«phrasal verbs». However researchers such as Chévez Herra (2013) found that
explicit, in-context teaching is less effective than assumed, and works best when the
combined meaning is clear from the parts. As discussed earlier, one problem is the
belief that each contextual use is a different «meaning», rather than a contextual use
of the word’s inherent meaning. We learn language because each individual building
block has its individual meaning field, which extends across all contexts the word can
appear in.
Word Meaning Approaches. Cognitive Linguistics in the early 2000s brought a
focus on word meaning-function; verbs and prepositions are meaningful and Head
Words in their own right. In practical teaching terms, this means focusing on the verb
and the preposition separately as meaning-bearing parts within the whole sentence.
Analytical awareness development comes to the fore. In class, the teacher in a TBL
approach supplies, or students find, lots of contextual examples of a verb, for example
look, and the students work out what it means. This not only identifies the meaning
the verb bears across all contexts, but moreover the process itself makes memorisation
easier, as we notice, process, analyse and recycle. The same can be done with
prepositions, for example through, or any other piece of language, such as the, any,
and if.
Given that the preposition is less likely to be idiomatic than the verb, it is more stable
for teaching purposes. A complex example is a very successful one this writer
developed in 1997 for students doing Cambridge Proficiency coursework, and which
proved successful in a range of courses and levels. The textbook used presented
«phrsasal verbs» in study boxes as lists with equivalent «single-word verbs» to be
memorised. Students (and teachers) made it clear in various ways that this made
learning very difficult.
The exercise focuses first on prepositions. By taking every example in the study boxes
and adding some more, along with nouns, adjectives, and adverbs, around 200 slips of
paper were produced, each with one word on it. The study boxes covered 15
prepositions, each also placed on individual slips in larger type as column headers.
Students put the verbs, nouns, adjectives, and adverbs under an appropriate
preposition. The teacher stays in the background, and only comes forward to first
remove all the mistaken allocations for the students to rethink, and then to help with
the difficult ones. The next step is to get the students in small groups to analyse one
preposition each plus its word set, with teacher guidance, to answer the question;
“Why do these words go with this prepostion?”. The final part is walking through
analysing and describing the meaning field of each preposition, and how this is
compatible with the meaning field of each verb, noun, adjective or adverb. This
activity has worked again and again and again.
Such activities highlight the importance of understanding the individual meaning
fields of prepositions and verbs, of all words in fact. Neither a verb-focus or a
preposition-focus approach are sufficient in themselves. The meaning and function of
each and every word must be understood.
A definitive teaching approach? Applied Cognitive Linguistics appears to be the
most effective and certainly the most up-to-date approach to teaching and learning
language in general, by including all the best of preceding approaches while bringing
improved concepts. That prepositions have meaning, are Heads, and form semantic
‘particle-centered networks’ (Perdek, 2010, p. 1396) had come to full flowering by
2005. Dirven (2001) used a Cognitive teaching-learning approach “in creating
semantic networks to be used as learning instruments”, refined by Rudzka-Ostyn
(2003) in their Cognitive teaching-learning application to «phrasal verbs» (Perdek,
2010, p.1395). Macmillan Phrasal Verbs Plus (Rundell & Fox, 2005) uses the
approach (Figure 5) in their guide to learning through metaphorical linking

A common theme across studies into the teaching and learning of «phrasal verbs» is
that students readily learn and use transparent forms; when the verb and preposition
have clear meaning and contribute individually to the sentence as a whole, they do not
form a «phrasal verb», however this knowledge helps to understand idiomatic uses. In
28 (The bird took OFF from the branch) took simply states that the bird transported
itself, while OFF shows that it moved away from where it had been. “Take OFF” is
not a «phrasal verb».
As with all teaching and learning, it is important to start from the clear and then work
out to the less clear, as summarised below (from Errey 2013, Para 4):
1. transparent, in context uses
2. avoid saying that a translation or paraphrase is a meaning of the item
3. avoid using one-word synonyms
4. elicit meaning – get the students to analyse, guide them in doing this
5. grouping by verb or preposition can be useful – but only if meanings are made clear
6. grouping by semantic field (e.g. combinations used to refer to beginning (set up,
step out), to ending (end up, finish off)) can help to develop cognitive semantic
7. “use quizzes, gap-fill exercises, matching exercises, etcetra, to test your students’
understanding” (ibid., Para 4).
The most important tool for learning to communicate any piece of language is
practice, practice, pratice. Do not assume that there is any magic bullet. It takes native
speakers 4 to 6 years to absorb the semantic-syntactic networks of their language,
including how verbs and prepositions work. It can take L2 learners as long, if not
Developing Awareness. It is important to do awareness sessions. Verbs like get, look,
set and take are good starting points. It is important to start from the simplest, clearest
and most physical examples to start getting the students (and teachers in training
sessions) used to the concept of treating the verb and preposition as the separate items
they are. Using get as an example:
Step 1: Get the participants to compare get in the car, get out of the car, get on the
bus, get off the bus, get under the table, get over the fence. Act out or ask them to
visualise the actions. Then ask: “What does get mean?” The answer they sooner or
later come up with, with false starts and help, should be change to a position from its
opposite. The prepositon shows the specific resulting position.
Step 2. Get the students to think about get married, get divorced, get sick, get well,
get dressed, get undressed. Draw two biggish circles. In one put single and the other
married. Ask the question “Where in this diagram is ‘get married’?” Sooner or later,
the answer comes that get married goes from ‘single’ to ‘married’ (Figure 6). Another
focusing question is: “How long does it take to get married? 10 minutes, 20 minutes,
an hour, a week?”. The next question is “How can we modify the meaning of get from
before?” The answer is: change to a state from its opposite; position is a type of state.

Step 3. Next to I got a letter, She got a beer. If get shows change to a state from its
opposite, how do these sentences fit in? The answer is that the specific state is that of
possession: She didn’t have a beer, she got the beer (it entered into her possession),
then she had the beer.
Step 4 is then on to other examples like I got my car fixed this morning, which
likewise draws attention to changing the state of the unfixed car to being fixed.
Step 5: The preposition can then be seen to be independent in meaning from the verb.
In learning and teaching prepositions, the focus is on preposition meaning and the
part(s) of the clause the preposition refers to, which is not the verb. In intransitives,
the preposition refers to the Cl-Sub, its subject. In simple transitives it refers to the ClObj, its subject. Passives, Reflexive Transitives, Total Effect Clauses, Instrumental PSub Clauses, Unstated P-Sub Transitives and Stative Result Antipassives show the
necessity of paying analytical attention to the players in the sentence. Verb meaning
equally must be understood. It is important to analyse the full meaning properties of
each word in the clause to fully understand the message content, be it idiomatic or
literal. Idiomacity of many a «phrasal verb» creates difficulty; however, this is true for
all idioms.
Syntax being the same in concrete and metaphorical contexts as well as other clues
show that the term «phrasal verb» has no structural, let alone semantic, validity. The
intr-preposition is independent, as are all PPs, and supplies pathway and/or resulting
position~state information about its subject. In basic syntax it follows the S-V unit in
intransitives, and the Cl-Obj in transitives. Intr-prepositions can also come before the
referent, given criteria such as relative weight, Cl-Obj phrase ‘size’, the linking of
intr-prepositions to following pathway or result positioning, and linking between the
clause and preceding or following clauses.
Verbs and prepositions are meaningful words with their own sentence-level roles in
communication. This realisation allows us to jettison terms such as «phrasal verb»,
avoiding unnecessary complication, particularly for learners and teachers of English.
We can thereby focus on the meaning content of verbs and prepositions as part of
whole-language in developing communicative proficiency. If text book activities or
the like have sections on «phrasal verbs», make sure the students understand the verb
and the preposition separately from each other. By learning the meaning domain of
each, students develop tools to understanding both in other contexts. Treating verb
and preposition combinations as semantic-structural units is limiting. Realising that
there is no such thing as a «phrasal verb» is liberating.
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Figure 3. Retrieved from http:-macmillandictionaries.com/wpcontent/uploads/2011/03/verbs-Common-Particles-Away-Diagram.pdf



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