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  1. #1
    worcester is offline Member
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    Default turn it on/look after it/ Phrasal verbs object pronoun position

    Hello everyone,

    Please help me with this one:


    R.Murphy English Grammar In Use says:

    "Sometimes a phrasal verb has an object. Usually there are two possible positions for the object. So you can say:

    I turned on the light. I turned the light on.

    If the object is a pronoun (it/them/me/him etc.), only one position is possible.

    I turned it on.


    But how about this sentence:

    She is looking after it.

    We can't say "She is looking him after."

    So, if "look after" is a phrasal verb, then why don't we put personal pronoun "it" in the middle as it says in the above mentioned rule?

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: turn it on/look after it/ Phrasal verbs object pronoun position

    Unfortunately for learners, there are many different types of what are loosely called 'phrasal verbs'. Here are some of the patterns:

    Verb + Preposition
    Verb + particle
    √ He went into the room.
    √ He went into it.
    He went into it and other things.
    * He went the room into.
    * He went it into.
    √ He put down the book.
    * He put down it.
    √ He put down it and his glasses
    √ He put the book down.
    √ He put it down.
    Prepositional Verb
    Phrasal Verb
    √ She got over her illness.
    √ She got over it.
    √ She got over it and losing her job.
    * She got her illness over.
    * She got it over.
    √ They blew up the house.
    * They blew up it.
    They blew up it and the nearby factory.
    √ They blew the house up.
    √ They blew it up.


    Intransitive verbs followed by a particle/adverb
    Intransitive phrasal verbs
    √ Mike walked past.
    √ Mike walked quickly past.
    √ Mike walked past quickly.
    √ The plane took off.
    *The plane took slowly off.
    The plane took off slowly.

    Possible
    Not Possible
    √ He caught up with Jim (and us).

    √ He caught up with him.
    * He caught Jim (and us) up with.* He caught up Jim(and us)with.
    * He caught up Jim and us with. * He caught Jim and us up with.
    * He caught him up with. * He caught up him with.
    Last edited by 5jj; 28-Nov-2013 at 22:17. Reason: typo
    Please do not edit your question after it has received a response. Such editing can make the response hard for others to understand.


  3. #3
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    Default Re: turn it on/look after it/ Phrasal verbs object pronoun position

    I have just remembered. I posted the full article here.
    Please do not edit your question after it has received a response. Such editing can make the response hard for others to understand.


  4. #4
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    panglossa is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: turn it on/look after it/ Phrasal verbs object pronoun position

    Can't quite see they consider to be the difference between what they call 'verb+particle' and 'phrasal verb' To me both types are simply 'adverbial phrasal verbs'.

  5. #5
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: turn it on/look after it/ Phrasal verbs object pronoun position

    Did you read sections 1.3 and 1.4 in the full article?
    Please do not edit your question after it has received a response. Such editing can make the response hard for others to understand.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: turn it on/look after it/ Phrasal verbs object pronoun position

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    Did you read sections 1.3 and 1.4 in the full article?
    OK, a semantic distinction. Fair enough. (Not sure how vital that really is to a learner struggling with the basic word-order issues, but I'm probably a nit-picker!)

  7. #7
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: turn it on/look after it/ Phrasal verbs object pronoun position

    I wrote it originally for my trainees, who were getting themselves and their students into quite a mess when they dealt with what they called 'phrasal verbs'. The actual labels used aren't important, but I feel that some awareness of the different word order patterns possible is.
    Please do not edit your question after it has received a response. Such editing can make the response hard for others to understand.


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