Syntactically pv's can be categorized thus:
2.a. SEPARABLE OBLIGATORY =(-1)*1.
2.b. SEPARABLE OPTIONAL
3. INTRANSITIVE (no object)
There are two sub-categories for separable pv's (2.):
2.a. SEPARABLE OBLIGATORY: verb and particle are always to be separated.
Get in with the meaning "to arrange for someone to do a job in your home" is separable obligatory:
We must get a plumber in to fix the pipe.
We must get him in to...
We must get in a plumber to fix the pipe.
We must get in him to fix the pipe.
2.b. SEPARABLE OPTIONAL PHRASAL VERBS:
I say "with the meaning" because "get in" with another meaning: "to bring sg, sy inside a place" is separable optional. It means the separation is OPTIONAL when the object is NOT a pronoun:
Get the kids in
Get in the kids
Get in the clothes
Get the clothes in
However, if the object of the pv is a long noun phrase, NEVER split the pv:
I throw away "everything that's on the floor."("" = long noun phrase, object of pv)
I throw everything that is on the floor away.
If the object is a pronoun, always separate!
Get them in (them=clothes)
get in them
pick them up (them = the guys)
pick up them
1. INSEPARABLE PV'S: DO NOT EVER separate them:
I come across this gold watch accidentally.
I come this gold watch across accidentally.
I come it across accidentally.
Besides 1. (inseparable pv's) there is another category of pv's that is outside the separable set:
3. INTRANSITIVE PHRASAL VERBS
"get in" = "to arrive" (yet another meaning) is an INTRANSITIVE PHRASAL VERB with no object, thus no separation:
The train got in at 10.
I hope this helps.
Phrasal verbs... What a minefield!
There are no rules for which category a phrasal verb belongs. How sad. You have to play it by ear.
Let "x" be the verb and "y" the particle.
Let "Op" be the object (pronoun) of the pv.
Is it possible that both are right? No!
xOpy means the pv is either Sep oblig. or Sep. opt, right?
If the former is the case, xyOp can't be correct, because of the definition (obligatory). If the latter is true, it means the pronoun have to split the pv into two parts. Thus, xyOp is incorrect again.
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