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Phrasal Verbs - Separable or Inseparable

Phrasal verbs are either separable or inseparable. Unfortunately, there is no rule that will help you to look at a phrasal verb and always know whether it is separable or inseparable.

Separable phrasal verbs

Separable phrasal verbs can be separated by their object. When the object is a noun, it is usually entirely optional whether the object is placed between the verb and the particle or placed after the particle. Both sentences below are correct:

"I took my jacket off."
"I took off my jacket."

However, when a pronoun is used instead of a noun, the pronoun must be placed between the verb and the particle:

"I took it off." [correct]
"I took off it." [incorrect]

But in one type of sentence, separable phrasal verbs must be separated — when the phrasal verb has two objects:

"She put a dress on."
"She put on a dress."

"She put a dress on the bed." [correct]
"She put on a dress the bed." [incorrect]

Inseparable phrasal verbs

Inseparable phrasal verbs cannot be separated by their object:

"He ran into a tree."  [correct]
"He ran a tree into."  [incorrect]

We shall point out phrasal verbs that can be separated by using initial [S] for separable and [I] for inseparable - it's a good practice to have in your exercises. Talking of which, let's test your abilities in using them in sentences of your own.

Below we have a number of phrasal verbs related to spending money. They are all rather informal and shouldn't be used in formal documents. You need to find their correct meaning in a good dictionary and build a sentence with each one in the respective box. The space allocated will expand if your sentence is longer than one line, so don't worry - keep writing.

Please note that all fields followed by an asterisk must be filled in.

Thank you to the students who sent in their sentences - well done! If the rest of you were busy with the Easter celebrations, well... here's another chance for you to try your hand on another bunch of phrasal verbs related to money. 

Paying DebtsThese phrasal verbs are related to paying debts and can be used in more formal communications, as well as in informal situations.

'to pay back' - S          and          'to pay off'- S

Saving MoneyThese phrasal verbs are related to saving money and tend to be used in informal situations.

'to save up' - S          and           'to put aside' - S

Please note that all fields followed by an asterisk must be filled in.

Please enter the word that you see below.


Many thanks for your time. I hope you are becoming more and more confident in using your grammar in writing and speaking. Keep learning.

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