Difference Between Verb Phrase & Phrasal Verb

What is a Verb Phrase?

A verb phrase consists of the main verb and additional helping words, which can indicate tense, mood, or person. In other words, a verb phrase is a multi-word verb. Auxiliary verbs and modal verbs are present in a verb phrase alongside the main verb. Auxiliary verbs help express mood, tense, and voice, while modal verbs indicate modality, such as permission, ability, and obligation.

What is a Phrasal Verb?

A phrasal verb is a verb followed by either a preposition or an adverb. This combination often changes the meaning of the verb. For instance, “count” means to determine the total sum, but when paired with the preposition “on,” it becomes “count on,” meaning to rely on something or someone. Phrasal verbs can be transitive or intransitive, and transitive phrasal verbs can be further categorized as separable or inseparable, depending on the position of their objects.

Key Takeaways

  • Verb phrases contain auxiliary and modal verbs in addition to the main verb, while phrasal verbs contain prepositions or adverbs.
  • Verb phrases help to express mood, tense, and voice, whereas phrasal verbs often change the meaning of the verb itself.
  • Examples of verb phrases include “has been” and “is going,” while examples of phrasal verbs include “turn down” and “pull over.”
Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard is an accomplished writer with expertise in creating engaging articles and content across various platforms. His dedication to research and crafting high-quality content has led to over 5 years of professional writing and editing experience. In his personal life, Gil enjoys connecting with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures. His curiosity and eagerness to learn from others fuel his passion for communication. He believes that engaging with strangers can be both enlightening and enjoyable, making it easier to strike up conversations and expand one's horizons.


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