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What are Phrasal Verbs?

  • Definitions of English phrasal verbs with 'Sign'. Learn the meaning of phrasal verbs starting with 'Sign', read definitions and view examples of English phrasal verbs from
  • Phrasal verbs organized alphabetically This section includes an introduction to phrasal verbs, lists of phrasal verbs grouped alphabetically, and general phrasal verbs exercises. Phrasal verbs organized by particle This section includes phrasal verbs grouped by common particle, and phrasal verbs exercises by particle.
  • Verb plus adverb and preposition Type C phrasal verbs are a combination of the two previous kinds of verb. All the parts of a Type C phrasal verb come before the object. We are looking forward to our holiday / it. Don’t put up with bad behaviour / it. You must look out for the warning signs / them.

Phrasal Verb Meaning Example; Add up: Calculate the total amount ”Your purchases add up to 95€.”: Add up: Make sense; be logical 'Her explanation doesn't add up.' : Back up: Copy a computer document as a security measure.

Phrasal verbs are verbs with two or three words:
main verb + particle (preposition or adverb)


  • I wake up at 7:30 every day.
  • Please turn off the TV.
  • My brother and I don’t get along. We fight all the time.
  • She came up with a good idea.

Phrasal verbs are difficult because you often can’t understand the meaning of each expression from the words themselves. Also, many phrasal verbs are very similar (take up, take on, take in, take over, etc.) and a number of phrasal verbs have multiple meanings.

In this lesson, you’re going to learn 4 types of phrasal verbs and how each one functions in an English sentence.

Phrasal verbs can be transitive or intransitive.

Transitive phrasal verbs can be separable or inseparable.

Phrasal Verbs Sign Up Sheet

Phrasal verbs in English are transitive or intransitive. The transitive phrasal verbs can be separable or inseparable, but the Intransitive phrasal verbs cannot be separated.

Intransitive Phrasal Verbs

Intransitive phrasal verbs have no direct object. (A direct object is “acted upon” by the verb).


Examples of intransitive phrasal verbs:

  • I woke up at 10:30 AM.
  • You can come over to my house after school.
  • He’s going back to Russia next month.

Click here for a list of 15 intransitive phrasal verbs with example sentences.

Transitive Phrasal Verbs

Transitive phrasal verbs have a direct object.

Examples of transitive phrasal verbs (direct object is in blue):

  • You need to fill out this form to register for the course.
    (fill out = complete)
  • I’m going to cut down on fast food this year.
    (cut down on = reduce)
  • Check out that website – it’s really great!
    (check out = look at, go to)

Separable & Inseparable Phrasal Verbs

Transitive phrasal verbs can be separable or inseparable. If a phrasal verb is separable, it means you can separate the two words and put the direct object in the middle. If it is inseparable, then you can’t do this.

Separable Phrasal Verb Example: TURN OFF

  • Please turn off the TV.
  • Please turn the TV off.

Inseparable Phrasal Verb Example: LOOK AFTER

  • I’ll look after your dog while you’re on vacation.
  • I’ll look your dog after while you’re on vacation – INCORRECT

Word Order for Separable Phrasal Verbs

When the direct object is the specific name of a thing or person, it can be located after the phrasal verb or in the middle:

  • I threw away the old pizza.
  • = I threw the old pizza away.

However, when the direct object is a pronoun (me, you, him, her, us, them, it), then it MUST go in the middle:

  • I threw it away.
  • I threw away it.INCORRECT

Here’s an example with a person:

  • They’ll pick up John from the airport.
  • = They’ll pick John up from the airport.
  • = They’ll pick him up from the airport.
  • They’ll pick up him from the airport. – INCORRECT

How do you know if a phrasal verb is transitive or intransitive and separable or inseparable?

Unfortunately, there’s no “rule” for looking at a phrasal verbs and knowing what type it is! The best way is just to study each phrasal verb in context with lots of examples.

You can learn 500 phrasal verbs and how they are used in spoken English if you register for the phrasal verbs course.

30 day challenge! I challenge you to learn 30 phrasal verbs in 30 days: increase your vocabulary. Today we will learn phrasal verbs with SIGN: sign for, sign in, sign out, sign on, sign up, sign off.

Study with Rachel’s online courses in the Rachel’s English Academy. Supercharge your conversation skills!

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Video Text:

This is the Rachel’s English 30-Day Phrasal Verb Challenge! Learn 30 phrasal verbs in 30 days! Jumpstart your vocabulary in 2017. Today is Day 30 and we’re studying phrasal verbs with “sign”.

Phrasal Verbs Sign Up

Today is the final video, the final video of our 30-day challenge. Be sure to watch all the way through to the end to know what you can do to keep working on your vocabulary, American English Pronunciation, and English conversation skills.

To sign away. If you sign something away, that means you give up your right to something, usually in a contract. You signed away your right to sue them in the agreement. That means, sorry, you can’t sue them. You no longer have the right to. Sign over has the same meaning. She signed over the right to her story when she sold it to the publishing company.

When you sign for something, that means that you write your name, acknowledging that you received something. You usually have to sign for packages that are being delivered.

Sign in and sign out. These are opposites. You might do this at the security desk when you enter a building. You have to sign in at the front desk before coming up. That means, you write down your name on a list, maybe the time you entered. And then when you leave, you can sign out. Sign in at the reception desk for your doctor’s appointment.

Sign on. This is like sign in or log in with a website. Enter your username and password. At Rachel’s English Academy, you have to sign on before you can access the lessons.

It can also mean to start to do something or to agree to do something. She signed on as the new CEO in June. He signed on for another year as department chair.

Sign up: this means to agree to do something. I need volunteers for Saturday, but no one signed up. Or, I signed up for classes at the community college. Or, he signed up to join the army. Or, today, a bunch of new people signed up to Rachel’s English Academy. If you say sign me up, that means you’re excited to do something. I need people to help me move next week. I’m going to buy everyone dinner. Really? Sign me up. We also use this a lot with adding your email to a list. Be sure to sign up for the Rachel’s English mailing list.

Sign off. Well, just like you sign into a website, you can sign off of log off. If you’re working on a public computer, be sure to sign off.

If you sign off on something, that means you approve it. She signed off on the budget cuts. Or, we need a manager to sign off on the schedule change.

Phrasal Verbs Worksheet

Learn english grammar conjunction. Sign off can also mean to end something. You might here it at the end of a show or video, or a 30-day challenge. I hope you’ve enjoyed the 2017 30-day challenge, this is Rachel’s English signing off.

Except, not yet, because we have to go over how to pronounce sign. It’s not tough. The S sound. Teeth are together, ss. Tongue tip just behind the teeth. The AI as in BUY diphthong. Si-. Jaw drops for the beginning of the sound, back of tongue lifts. Then the front part of the tongue arches towards the front of the roof of the mouth while the tongue tip stays down, si-, sign. Then simply bring the tongue to the roof of the mouth. Sign n- n- n- The back of the tongue needs to be relaxed or it will sound like an NG. N– sign, sign.

Well, that’s the end of our 30-day adventure. Were you up to the challenge? Did you watch all 30 videos? If not, here’s the link to the playlist. Go back and watch them, there are so many useful phrases in these videos. Studying all the meaning will increase your vocabulary. If you liked these lessons, be sure to sign up for my mailing list. You’ll get free lessons sent to you every week. And if you’re new to my list, when you sign up, you get a 10-day mini-course in accent reduction free. It will introduce you to my style of teaching and some of my videos. And I hope that you’ll study with me for a very long time, so sign up so we can stay connected.

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If you’re not already a subscriber on YouTube, the link is in the description, along with a link to my Facebook. Be sure to go there to like the page.

And finally I want to tell you that today, February 1st, I started a new phrasal verbs course in my online school, Rachel’s English Academy. It takes some of the videos from this challenge and gives you lots of extra sample sentences to help you fully understand the meanings. There’s also audio to train with, and quizzes to test how well you know how to use this new vocabulary. Rachel’s English Academy is available by subscription only, and new lessons are added each month. I have a lot of fun making those lessons, and I’d love to see you there.

Phrasal Verbs List


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