I intend to devise some tests meant to help my students practise tenses.I thought of making them interesting and tried to "exploit" some jokes in order to make this type of exercise more appealing.
My problem is that I don't know how to write the infinitive form of certain phrasal verbs.
In:"He MADE UP a plausible excuse."
the infinitive is obviously "to make up" = "invent" - a phrasal verb which, according to L.G.Alexander, has an idiomatic meaning.
There are cases when, according to the same author, the verb+preposition combination has a non-idiomatic meaning, e.g.:"consist of", "consist in", etc.
In the "Longman Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs", by Rosemary Courtney one may find common combinations such as: "go to"- v. prep. = to move or travel to (someone or a place); "come to" - v. prep. = to move near (something or someone).
In L. G. Alexander's book "Longman English Grammar", Longman, 1988, the author lists such verbs as those mentioned above under "Non-phrasal verbs compared with phrasal verbs", stating that in these cases we are dealing with "free combinations":go to, come out, etc.
In short, what infinitive form should I bracket in the following sentences:
1. He WENT TO the door only to find out that the stranger had gone.("go to" or "go"?)
2. While I was waiting for the bus, a man CAME UP and started asking questions.("come up" or "come"?)
Looking forward to your reply,
I prefer the definition: any verb that is composed of two or three words that act as a unit to create an idiomatic meaning. Some people see any verb followed by a preposition as a phrasal verb. Others say that phrasal verbs can only be verb + adverb, because verb + peposition is a prepositional verb. By my definition "go to" is not a phrasal verb.
When it comes to infinitives, you have to use the base form of a verb.
If you want past tense, you have to indicate it another way. The infinitive form of "went to" is "to go to".
Pope of the Dictionary.com Forum