The Key to English Two-word Verbs
The Key to English Two-word Verbs (Key to English Series)
This manual is intended to help the student, either in a class or working alone, to master a troublesome matter in English verb patterning, namely, the combination verb + adverb (or preposition), with or without a following noun object. These combinations are variously called “two-word verbs” (as in this book), “merged verbs,” “compound verbs,” “verb-adverb combinations,” and so forth. We are dealing, of course, with structures like put it on, call up Mr. Smith, take this information down, in which a verb and a function word (adverb) work closely together to express a meaning. In addition, when an object is present, these words may be separated by noun objects and must be separated by unstressed pronoun objects. Such combinations are usually called “separable” two-word verbs. We also have combinations like get on the bus, look for the money, wait on the customers, which are inseparable – we say get on it, look for it, wait on them – but which nevertheless are more intimately connected than a mere intransitive verb followed by a prepositional phrase. In identifying the inseparable two-word verbs, we have relied almost entirely on meaning. There is some overlapping with The Key to English Prepositions 2, since that book treats combinations of verbs and prepositional phrases. Our criterion is this: if the meaning of a combination can be predicted on the basis of the meaning of the individual parts (listen to, insist on), it is called a verb followed by a preposition; if not (look for, call on), it is called a two-word verb. Some students may need to use a bilingual dictionary along with this book, as the vocabulary has not been restricted. The Glossary at the end of the book lists about 400 combinations, with definitions. It is indicative of the productivity of the two-word verb in English that only 120 full verbs occur in the list; differences in meaning are expressed by changing the function word. The Glossary is not exhaustive; new combinations are readily coined, and new meanings of existing combinations are constantly being created. Nevertheless the Glossary contains most of the meanings of most of the combination that the student is likely to encounter in reading and in informal conversation, and if he masters all those presented in this book he should have little difficulty in the future with two-word verbs. It was intended that the material in the book be studied in sequence, since each lesson is based to a degree on preceding material. Nevertheless, individual exercises can be used at any time to teach a point if desired.