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Blog : American teacher

Phrasal Verbs Shouldn’t Make You Scream

Phrasal Verbs Shouldn’t Make You Scream

It seems like every time I ask someone, «What is the most difficult part of English?» the answer is always the same.

«PHRASAL VERBS!» they scream.

And they are correct.

But have no fear, we are going to try our best to help you learn them. From now on, every month we will include a phrasal verb activity and/or exercise based on one of the main topics we will be focusing on during the entire month.

This month’s topic: Collaboration

But before we get there, let’s start with the basics. What is a phrasal verb?

Well it is a verb followed by a preposition that, in turn, changes the meaning of the verb.

So to turn on the light is not necessarily a phrasal verb – though some might argue with me – it is more of a colloquialism or two words that almost always appear together in a specific context. But if I say he turns me on (note the object pronoun in the middle)  I am referring to being attracted to someone. Get it?


No, where was I? Right, collaboration! What does it mean to collaborate?

Well, according to the dictionary:

Collaboration is a verb (intransitiveoften followed by on or with, to work with another or others on a joint project. In other words, to work together. (psst! That is one of the phrasal verbs!)

But what does it really mean?

For us it means to set your ego aside, to work as a team, and to capitalize on each individuals resources and skills in order to maximize your learning. This requires some prior communication about what exactly each person will bring to the table and the role they will play.

So, how can we talk about collaboration without actually using the word collaborate?

Well as I mentioned before, we can work together, or we can come together as a team or team up, we can get together on something which would mean we need to, not only work with each other but also agree. If we are talking about commerce we might do business with someone, which is more of a colloquialism than a phrasal verb but useful in this context nonetheless.

Let’s put it to practice!

If you received our last newsletter, you would have seen that we are teaming up with The English Studio for a night of Fish and Quiz! We have never worked together before, and many people have asked me, «aren’t you worried about doing business with your competitor?» To which I respond with «Collaboration is constructive. When you truly collaborate with someone, there is no room for the destruction of competition.» When you team up with someone, there is no ‘I’.

Can you use them in context? Join our Facebook group and send us your answers in the comments of the corresponding post!