Two-word verbs contain a verb plus another word, either a preposition or an adverb. The meaning of each word by itself is different from the meaning the two words have when they are together. Look at this example:
Sometimes Hamida runs across her sister at the park.
You might check run in the dictionary and find that it means “to move quickly.” Across means “from one side to the other.” But run across means something different:
not this: Sometimes Hamida
moves quickly from one side to the other of her sister at the park.
but this: Sometimes Hamida encounters her sister at the park.
Sometimes, another word or other words come between the words of a two-word verb:
On Friday night, I put the garbage out; the sanitation department collects it early Saturday morning.
The table below has some common two-word verbs:
|ask out||Jamal wants to ask Teresa out for dinner.|
|break down||I hope my car doesn't break down.|
|call off||You can call off the party.|
|call on||I need to call on you for help.|
|come across||I often come across bargains at thrift shops.|
|drop in||Let's drop in on Claude.|
|drop off||My father will drop the package off.|
|fill in||You can fill in your name.|
|fill out||Danny has to fill out a complaint form.|
|hand in||We have to hand in our assignments.|
|hand out||I hope the theatre hands out free passes.|
|keep on||You must keep on practising your speech.|
|look into||Jonelle will look into the situation.|
|look over||Jake needs to look the plans over.|
|look up||I had to look the word up in the dictionary.|
|pick up||Tomorrow I pick up my first pay cheque.|
|quiet down||The teacher told the class to quiet down.|
|run into||Nancy will run into Alan at the gym.|
|run out||The family has run out of money.|
|try on||Before you buy the shirt, try it on.|
|try out||She wants to try the lawnmower out.|
|turn on||Turn the television on.|
|turn down||Sal thinks Wayne should turn the job down.|
|turn up||Nick is sure to turn up at the party.|