This morning I was preparing a presentation for one of my classes on separable and not separable phrasal verbs and suddenly an interesting pattern appeared. It seems that the fact that the particle is separable can be guessed according to the particle that is used. I am not sure whether it works all the time, but it certainly worked for all the phrasal verbs I had to cover with my lower intermediate class.
The rule is quite simple: If the phrasal verb is transitive, it is not separable if there are two particles or the particles AFTER and WITH are used. If there are other particles, the phrasal verbs are separable.
It might seem really complicated but if you have a look at the mind map bellow, it is quite easy.
Phrasal verbs – mind map
Phrasal verbs – games
I am glad if you feel that you can understand the grammar now. However, it is more important to be able to use the grammar correctly than to understand it. That is why I have prepared two games for you to check your understanding.
The first game is called Darts. Your task is to choose a correct (or incorrect) option and click on it at the moment you think that you will get most points.
The second game is called On target. Once again, your task is to choose the correct or incorrect option and then shoot as many bad ducks as you can.
Phrasal verbs – Conclusion
If you are more interested in the meaning and usage of phrasal verbs you should certainly try our other post on phrasal verbs. It is a short story about Fred and Betty and you will certainly learn some of the verbs there too.
Please, let us know what you think about this new rule.