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  1. #1
    worcester is offline Member
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    Default turn on the light/turn the light on/look after the baby/look the baby after

    Hello everyone,
    I have a problem explaining to my friend the difference between the following 2 examples with phrasal verbs:

    Ex. 1. "He turned off the light." or "He turned the light off." (this is possible to say both ways)
    Ex. 2. "He looked after the baby." "He looked the baby after."I understand that the second sentence in the example N2 is wrong and he also pointed out the fact that "turn off" is a phrasal verb and we can put the object in the middle of the phrasal verb and "look after" is also a phrasal verb, so how come we cannot put an object in the middle of "look after"?
    I just didn't know what to answer.

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: turn on the light/turn the light on/look after the baby/look the baby after

    Some phrasal verbs are 'separable' - eg. 'turn off' - you can separate the elements.
    Others are 'inseperable' - eg. 'look after'
    There's no simple rule to tell which is which.
    Have a look here:
    https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/630/01/ (and following pages)

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