Even native speakers get this one wrong….

There’s a common problem in English and I think it’s contagious because I see it everywhere – even when I’m back in the States! It’s using the noun form of a phrasal verb correctly. SAY WHAT, BUFFI? WHAT THE HELL IS A PHRASAL VERB AND WHAT IS THE NOUN FORM?

Let me explain. A phrasal verb is a verb plus a preposition which creates a new verb. For example, ‘look out’, ‘take back’ and ‘give away’ are all phrasal verbs. ‘Take back’ means something different than ‘to take’. And if we combine the verb and the preposition and make one word from it, we can make a noun that way. Isn’t that exciting? (In Buffiland, we get very excited about these things. I’m still cleaning up the confetti from the last grammar discovery we made!) Some people use the noun form when they mean the verb, and the other way around.

Let’s put an end to that right now!
Here are some examples to follow:

Before you work out, you might have a warmup,  but don’t forget to warm up your car before you drive to the gym in the winter!

It was such a letdown to hear that he started drinking again. I think he really let his family down this time.

Please hand out this useful handout to your fellow students.

It was a dead giveaway when he refused to give away his sister’s identity.

See what I mean? These are pretty confusing, even for native speakers! I hope now you’ll think twice about whether you need the noun or the verb form the next time you’re out with your friends phrasal verbing it!

If you found this helpful, dear buffi, well….there’s more where this came from! This is discussed in more detail in my new e-book, WORK IT!, which just launched last week!  You can find out all about it hier. It’s only 9.95E for 80+ pages of exercises, Business English vocabulary, writing tips and so much more! It’s a great way to keep you ACTIVE in English! Use it or lose it, honey!

That’s all for now, I’m off to hang out with my friends at our favorite hangout! 😉

With love!
X Buffi

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