Three-word phrasal verbs

By | April 13, 2019

Three-word phrasal verbs

Three-word phrasal verbs

A phrasal verb can be a combination of three words. The three-word phrasal verbs are made up of verb + particle + preposition, and they are non-separable. The phrasal verb is transitive because the third word, usually a preposition, must take a noun or pronoun object.


  • The members came out with a set of proposals on reform of the club.

(Come out with = say or express something)

  • The police are following up on leads pointing to the whereabouts of the kidnapped victim.

(Follow up on = discover more or take further action connected with something.)

  • He’s wondering aloud how he could get out of meeting his mother-in-law this weekend.

(Get out of = avoid doing something)

  • He spends the weekends hanging out with a bunch of kids at the shopping centre.

(Hang out with = spend a lot of time with someone)

  • He often listened in on her phone conversations without her knowledge.

(Listen in on = listen secretly to a private conversation)

  • We always looked up to him for his courage.

(Look up to = respect or admire [someone])

  • I’m saving more this month to make up for a withdrawal last month.

(Make up for = compensate; or have something to correct or take the place of something else)

  • She shopped the whole day at the sales and never seemed to run out of money.

(Run out of = use up something so that none is left)

  • We have to stand up for ourselves.

(Stand up for = defend or support [someone or something] against attack or criticism)

  • Someone walked off with my bag of groceries when I wasn’t looking.

(Walk off with = steal or take something without asking for permission)

Non-separable Intransitive Phrasal Verb