Where do phrasal verbs come from? Learn about the history of phrasal verbs and what to do if you’re not using your advanced grammar.
A voice message from Eduardo from Venezuela
‘I’ve been listening to your podcast X
for 8 month agoX – I’ve been listening to your podcast for 8 months.
http://www.inglespodcast.com/55 (linking words: but, even though/although, however, in spite of/despite)
http://www.inglespodcast.com/32 (Although / even though / despite / in spite of)
http://www.inglespodcast.com/133 (Adverbial clauses, linkers and conjunctions)
Voice message from David from Colombia
Travel back in time, what would you change?
Voice message from Denise from Brazil. She’s not using her advanced grammar!
Voice message from Dominique from France
carry on – continue
pop in – visit (also pop round, pop over)
A Brief History of phrasal verbs
Old English didn’t really have phrasal verbs. It had prefix verbs.
The particle was attached to the beginning of the verb. For example, burn up – bærnan (to burn).
Forbærnan (to burn up). ‘The rocket burned up as it entered the earth’s atmosphere’) Old English was the language of the Anglo-Saxons (5th – 10th century – http://www.inglespodcast.com/320
When English started to borrow French words, the growth of phrasal verbs slowed down. French gave us Romance verbs that substituted many of the Old English prefixed verbs.
For example, English took “destroy” from French (détruire) which substituted the meaning of Old English forbrecan (break up).
Class played a role, too. French was considered the language of status in high society after 1066. Phrasal verbs were informal.
Phrasal verbs exploded (blew up) in Early Modern English (16th century). Shakespeare used them a lot. 5744 phrasal verbs have been identified in all of his plays.
Phrasal verbs have become more complex over time. We have three-part phrasal-prepositional verbs such as ‘put up with’ and ‘do away with’ (tolerate and abolish)
Here are a few more phrasal verbs that have a replacement verb:
Put back – postpone
Call of – cancel
Set up – arrange
Work out – calculate
Give up – stop/surrender
Find out – discover
Put up with – tolerate
Pass on – transmit
Turn down – reject
Cut down on – reduce
Leave out – omit
Come up with – invent
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On next week’s episode: Greetings: saying hello and goodbye
The music in this podcast is by Pitx. The track is called ‘See You Later’