Learn about Separable Phrasal Verbs – Advanced

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We have already covered Separable Phrasal Verbs in another article. They are: Verb + Object + Preposition

They are based on simple Phrasal Verbs:

Verb + Preposition

An example of a Separable Phrasal Verb is “turn down,” the topic of today’s lesson.

Separable Phrasal Verbs

Turn The Volume Down

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The Separable Phrasal Verb “turn down” can either refer to an idiom, meaning to reject something or the act of turning down the volume on a radio. Either way, this Phrasal Verb is split up by the Sentence’s Object.

You may ask, how do I know when this phrase is used as an idiom? It’s easy to tell when the Separable Phrasal Verb “turn down” is an idiom, it’s split by the word “me,” or another Pronoun.

The Narrative

Situations in which I might encounter Separable Phrasal Verbs

You may hear a native English speaker say:

“Turn down the volume.” 

By saying this, the Speaker is telling the Listener that they want the music’s loudness reduced. In reaction, you may protest and say something like “It’s fine to me. I can really hear the beat.” 

Now for “turn me down” as an idiom. You may  hear someone say: 

“The baseball team never turns me down to play outfield.” 

By saying this, the Speaker is telling the Listener that they are never rejected for playing the position of an outfielder in the game of baseball.

Examples of the Separable Phrasal Verb Turn Down

Richie turned down the job offer because the terms included a relocation. 

The board turned down the proposal to expand the business abroad. 

My best friend never turns me down when I ask for help. 

Let’s practice 

Q1: Try making your own sentence.

Q2: Have you ever had to turn down a friend’s request? What happened? 

Q3: What would make you turn down a job offer? 

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