Está en la página 1de 8

MultiwordVerbs

ATeachingGuide
BethDove

ProblemsinEnglishGrammar
UniversityofNorthernIowa
Dr.Roberts
Fall,2014

ContextualandUsageVariables
Multiwordverbsaremoreinformalandcanbefoundininformaltextsaswellasinspoken
language.Theseverbscanbefoundinavarietyofmaterialincluding:
Audio/Videoclips
Everydayconversation
Newspapers/ComicStrips
Novels
Poetry

Multiwordverbscannotbedirectlytranslatedintolearnersfirstlanguages.Multiwordverbscan
betaughttoalllevelsofEnglishlearners.

DefinitionandMainIdea
Multiwordverbsconsistofacombinationofaverbandoneortwootherelements.Thereare
threemaincategories:
1. phrasalverbs
:thesecondwordbehavesasanadverb(getup,takeoff,put(it)in)
2. prepositionalverbs
:thesecondwordbehavesasapreposition(lookafter,decideon,
standfor)
3. phrasalprepositionalverbs
:thesecondwordbehavesasanadverbandthethirdword
asapreposition(putupwith,sendinfor)

Themainidea:verbswillpairupwithanotherwordthatisessentialtothemeaningofthe
multiwordverb.

1
Forexample,twoofthefollowingsentencescontainmultiwordverbs,onedoesnot
.

Shewentintothestore.
Shedecidedonchocolateicecream.
Shealsopickedupatoothbrush.

Thefirstsentencedoesnotcontainamultiwordverbbecause
went
canstandalongand
into
is
onlyapreposition.

[She][went][intothestore.]

1Shepard,N.(2007)

VariousMeanings

Multiwordverbscanhavevariousmeanings.Itisrecommendedtofocusonthesalientmeaning
ofamultiwordverbwhenitcomesupinatext/conversationandtoteachthatmeaningrather
2
thantoteachotherpossibilities.Forexample
:
Heturneddowntheradio.
Themeaninghereistolowerthevolume.Anotherpossible
meaningcouldbetorejectasin,
Heturnedherdown.

Tohelpstudentsbecomeaccustomedtothevariousmeaningsofmultiwordverbs,providethem
withrichtextrichcontainingmultiwordverbs.Forexample,givestudentsasegmentofa
newspaperarticleorcomicstrip(asshownbelow)inwhichtheyidentifymultiwordverbs.In
doingso,theywillbeabletodeducethemeaningofmultiwordverbsfromcontext.

2Steele,V.(2007)

GrammaticalDetails
I.

II.

III.

PhrasalVerbs:averbfollowingaparticlethatfunctionsasaprepositionoranadverbin
othercontexts.Phrasalverbscannotbeunderstoodbythemeaningoftheindividual
elements.Contextisveryimportant.
A. Examples:
1. Jennymadeupastorytoexcuseherlatehomework.
2. Stevenhandedinhisreportearly.
B. TherearetwotypesofPhrasalVerbs:
transitiveandintransitive
.
1. TransitivePhrasalVerbs(theverbtakestheobject)
a) Separable:Partsofthephrasalverbmaybeseparated.
(1) JakelookedtherecipeupontheInternet.
(2) Katiepickedsomedonutsupthismorning.
b) Inseparable:Particlemovementisnotpossible.
(1) Dontstayuplate.vs.Dontstaylateup.
c) PermanentlySeparated:Phrasalverbparticlesarealways
separated.
(1) Janetalwaysseestheprojectthrough.
2. IntransitiveVerbs(theverbdoesnottakeobject)
a. PureIntransitiveVerbs
i.
Usedprimarilyinconversationandfiction.
ii.
Followedbyapreposition.
iii.
Shesatdownveryslowly.
b. ErgativePhrasalVerbs
i. Describeanactionexperiencedbythesubject.
ii. Afteranhour,thestormbegantodiedown.

PrepositionalVerbs:atransitiveverbfollowedbyaprepositionthatiscloselyrelated.
A. Examples:
decideon,stareat,carefor,standfor,dependon,applyfor
B. Prepositionalverbstransitive(theverbtakestheobject).
C. Meaningcanusuallybededucedfromfromtheverbalone.
a. standfor=represent,callon=visit
D. Inseperable.
a. Heappliedforthejob.vs.Heappliedthejobfor.

PhrasalPrepositionalVerbs:verbsfollowedbytwoelements,aprepositionanda
prepositionalphrase
A. Allphrasalprepositionalphrasesarefollowedbyanobjectandthustransitive.
B. Examples:
doawaywith,lookupto,putupwith,runupagainst,lookforwardto,
comeupwith,comedownwith,lookdownon
C. Mostphrasalprepositionalverbshaveonewordequivalents.

Hereisa
link
toawebsitethatprovidesanextensivelistofmutliwordverbs(forthesake
ofateachersknowledge.Itisnotrecommendedtogivesuchalisttostudents)

SuggestionsforTeachingMultiwordVerbs

TeachingMethod

Definition

Example

Explicitdeductiveinstruction

Presentdifferentmultiwordforms
andpracticewithinstructured
activities

Teacherprovidesstudentswith
multiwordverbs,explainsthe
meaning,thengivesstudentsa
worksheettopractice.

Explicitinductiveinstruction

Formulaterulesfromthe
languagespokeninclass

Teacherasksstudentstohand
intheirhomework.Teacher
pausestoexplainmeaningand
useofhandin.

Implicitinstruction

Providemanyexamplesof
multiwordverbsandallow
studentstocometotheruleon
theirown

Teacherprovidesstudentswitha
textpassagewithmany
multiwordverbs.Studentsfind
theverbsanddeducemeaning
basedoncontextofthetext.

Itisgenerallyagreeduponthatitisunrealisticforteacherstoexpectlearnerstolearn
all
multiwordverbs.Itissuggestedthatthebestmethodtoteachmultiwordverbs,however,is
throughextensiveauthenticreadingandlisteningexercises.Thismethodisreferredtoasthe
Text/ContextMethod
.Itgivesstudentsaccesstomultiwordverbsinmanydifferentreal
contextsandenablesthemtodeducetheexactmeaningoftheverbsandtoseewhetherthey
aretransitiveorintransitive,separableorinseparable(Mart,2012).Inaddition,itis
recommendedthatteachers
avoid
teachingmutiwordverbsbypresentingstudentswithlong
listsortofocusonmultiwordverbsinasingleunit.Instead,teachthemeaningofsuchverbsas
theycomeupinclass.Itisonethingtomemorizeaphrasalverbanditsmeaning,butquite
anothertobringthephrasalverbintoyouractive,everydayspeakingandlistening.(Mart,
2012).
AVOID:
1. Presentinghugelistsofmultiwordverbsandteachingtheverbsinanisolatedunit
a. longlistscanseemdauntingtostudents
b. longlistsareuncontextualizedandunmeaningful
2. Focussingexclusivelyontheverb
a. Forexample,donotteacheverymultiwordverbwiththewordgetinone
lesson.Theseverbstypicallyhavenothingmoreincommonthantheverbin
them.Meaningwillvary.
FOCUSON:
1. Teachingmeaningofmultiwordverbsastheycomeupinclassusenaturallanguage
2. Understandingverbmeaningfromcontextofspokenorwrittenlanguage
3. UsingtheText/ContextMethod

PracticeActivities
1. Read,Read,Read!
Presentstudentswithatextinwhichmultiwordverbscanbespotted.Nearlyany
newspaper/magazinearticlecanbeused.BooksbyShelSilversteinarefuntousetoo
(
SomethingMissing,TheGivingTree,TheNailbiter,JumpingRope
).

2. IntroduceTransitiveandIntransitivePhrasalVerbs3
Introduceasetofverbsthatcanbeexplainedthroughactionsstandup,sitdown,speakup
(intransitives)andasetofverbsthatcanbeexplainedwithclassroomobjectspickup,put
down,handout,handit(transitives).Useactionstoillustratemeaning.

3. WriteaLetter
Studentswritealettertotheirfriendstalkingaboutaparticulartopic.Whilewritingtheletter,
studentsmustusethemultiwordverbspresentedinapredeterminedlist.
Forexample:Writealettertoafriendaboutatopicofyourchoice.Youmustincludethe
followingmultiwordverbsinyourletter:getdownto,keeponwith,takedown,fallbehind,put
off,getthrough,catchupwith.

4. SingaSong!
Usesonglyricsrichinmultiwordverbs.Playthesongforstudentsandinstructthemtolistenfor
multiwordverbs.Afterplayingthesongonce,writetheverbsontheboardwhichstudentheard.
Next,givestudentsacopyofthelyricswiththemultiwordverbsdeleted.Playthesongagain
andencouragestudentstofillintheblanks.(Anotheroptionwouldbetoprovidestudentswitha
multiplechoiceinwhichtheycircletheanswertheybelievetobecorrect)Possiblesongsare:
a. SomebodyThatIUsedtoKnowbyGotye
b. YouCanLeaveYourHatOnbyJoeCocker
c. HardToSayImSorrybyChicago

5. MultiwordCardGame 4
Studentsworkinsmallgroupsthataredividedintotwoteams.Eachteamisgivenadeckof
cards.Oneteamisgivenadeckwithmultiwordverbswrittenoneachcard.Theotherteams
deckhasthemeaningofthemultiwordverboneachcard.Theteamwiththemeaningsofthe
wordshowtheotherteamacardandthatteammustselectthecorrectmultiwordverbfromtheir
decktomatchthemeaning.Beforetheyreceiveapoint,theymustcorrectlyusethewordina
fullsentence.

3
4

Cowan,R.(2008)
Cowan,R.(2008)

Assessment
Becauseitisnotrecommendedtoteachmultiwordverbsinisolatedcontexts,itisbetterto
assessusageofsuchverbsthroughoutthedurationofacourse,notinoneunitalone.Todoso,
highlightmultiwordverbsastheycomeupinclass.Forexample,ifthetopicofthedayis
clothing,takesometimetofocusonthemutliwordverbs:tryon,takeoffandputon.Toassess
studentsmasteryoftheusageoftheseverbs,havestudentsworkinpairstowriteadialog
usingmultiwordverbs.Whengroupsarefinished,theyactouttheirdialogs.

Alternateoptions:
1. Afterthedialogsarefinished,studentsreplacethemultiwordverbswithaverbthathas
thesamemeaning(ifpossible).
2. Havestudentsexchangedialogsandworktoreplacethemultiverbwordsinthedialogof
theirpeers.

OtherAlternativeAssessmentIdeas
1. Roleplayanewscast
2. Createacomicstrip

References
Cowan,R.(2008).
TheTeachersGrammarofEnglish:Acoursebookandreferenceguide.
NewYork,NewYork:CambridgeUniversityPress.

Cirocki,A.(n.d.)TheWeeklyColumn:TeachingPhrasalVerbsmy[sic]MeansofConstructing
Texts.Retrievedfrom
Clandfield,L.(n.d.).Phrasalverbs:Introduction.Retrievedfrom
http://www.onestopenglish.com/skills/vocabulary/phrasalverbs/phrasalverbsintroductionarticle
/144986.article

EnglishClub. (2014). Phrasal Verb List. Retreived from


https://www.englishclub.com/vocabulary/phrasalverbslist.htm

Mart,C.T.(2012).HowtoTeachPhrasalVerbs.
EnglishLanguageTeaching,(5)6
,114118.
http://www.ccsenet.org/journal/index.php/elt/article/viewFile/17472/11644

Pesce,C.(n.d.).
HowtoTeachPhrasalVerbs.Retrievedfrom
http://busyteacher.org/8138howtoteachphrasalverbs.html

Steele,V.(2007)Multiwordverbs:Learnerproblems.Retrievedfrom
https://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/article/multiwordverbslearnerproblems

Shepard,N.(2010).Theidiot'sguidetobiggrammaritemsSeries2:multiwordverbspart1.
ModernEnglishTeacher,(19)
4,1620.