9 really useful English three-word phrasal verbs (transitive verbs)

See some three-word English phrasal verbs in action. Yes, three-words, not two!

Most phrasal verbs are made up verb and another small word – a particle.
But some phrasal verbs have three words – a verb and two particles.

In this video lesson you’ll learn nine common ones:
look forward to
get away with
come up with
get round to
feel up to
come down with
get out of
put up with
grow out of

We’ll show you how we use them in action, look at their meanings and also explore their grammar.

These English verbs are all inseparable and transitive, so the three words always stay in the same order and they’re always followed by a noun. And if you want to follow them with a verb? No problem. We’ll show you how to transform the verb into a gerund (a noun form of a verb).

We have some special phrasal verbs for you today. They’re made up of three words, not two.
We’ll show you what they mean and how to use them in action.
And there’s some important grammar that you should know.
Most phrasal verbs are made up of a verb, and another little word – a particle. So one verb, one particle.
But there’s a smaller group of phrasal verbs that have two particles, and we’re looking at some of those today.
So let’s jump straight in and see some in a conversation.
You’ll hear 3 phrasal verbs. Can you spot them?
What time is the marketing meeting?
3 o’clock. I’m looking forward to it.
Oh, I’m not.
I’ve come up with a list of 10 great ideas for social media posts. What about you?
I haven’t thought of anything.
Nothing at all?
Mmm, mmm
Ooo. That’s embarrassing.
Perhaps I could tell everyone I left my list at home.
That’s what you said last week.
OrI could say the dog ate my list.
That’s what you said the week before.
Do you think I could get away with it again?
Not a chance!
Not a chance means there’s no possibility. It can’t happen.
And the first phrasal verb you heard was look forward to.
I’m looking forward to the meeting.
This is such a useful verb. It means ‘be excited about something that’s going to happen’.
We use it when there’s something in the future that we think we’ll enjoy. So we could look forward to our summer holidays.
Or look forward to a party.
Or look forward to the weekend.
But lots of students find it tricky. Which sentence is correct here?
I’m looking forward the party.
I’m looking forward for the party.
I’m looking forward to the party.
It was the last one, of course.
OK. I’m looking forward to seeing the next verb.
Then here it is:
I’ve come up with 10 great ideas for social media posts.
Come up with means think of something. It could be an idea or a plan.
Or a solution to a problem. This verb’s about being creative.
And here’s another verb.
I could say that the dog ate my list. Do you think I could get away with it?
No! When we get away with something, we don’t get caught.
So it’s when someone does something bad or wrong, but they escape punishment or criticism.
Notice the structure of these verbs. There’s a verb and then two particles.
And they follow a rule. Keep the three words together.
So it’s a simple rule. Just don’t separate them and move them around.
For example, we look forward to a party, but we don’t look a party forward to.
And we get away with something, but we don’t get it away with.
You have to keep the words together and in the same order.
So they might look more complicated than other phrasal verbs because they have two particles but actually they’re simpler.
Just follow the rule.
Let’s see another conversation.
OK, this time you have to spot four phrasal verbs.
Have you shoveled the snow off the steps yet?
No, I haven’t got round to it yet.
Well don’t leave it too long. Someone might slip and fall.
Do I have to?
It’s your turn. I did it last time.
Oh, I don’t feel up to it.
What’s the matter?
I think I’m coming down with something.
Stop trying to get out of it.
Ah well. It was worth a try.
OK, the first verb there was get round to.
Have you shoveled the snow off the steps yet?
No, I haven’t got round to it yet.
It’s interesting because in American English we’d say it a little differently.
I haven’t gotten around to it yet.
The verb ‘get’ has different forms in the UK and US. For me it’s get, got, got.
And for me it’s get, got, gotten.
But the meaning’s the same.
We both use this verb when there’s something we’ve been planning or intending to do but we haven’t had time to do it.
Have you done your taxes yet?
No, I haven’t gotten around to it. I’ve been too busy.
Well, the deadline’s next week, so you’d better hurry up.
Oh no!
OK, here’s the next verb: feel up to.
Of course I’d love to shovel the steps, but I just don’t feel up to it!
If we don’t feel up to something then we don’t have the strength and energy to do it.
Are you coming to the gym?
I don’t feel up to it today. Maybe tomorrow?
I have a lot of days when I don’t feel up to going to the gym.
Yeah, you might not feel up to something if you’re feeling tired. Or if you’re ill or sick.
Which leads us to the next verb.
I think I’m coming down with something.
When we’re coming down with something, we’re starting to get sick.
So it means starting an illness – an indefinite Illness. We might not say exactly what’s wrong, but it’s not serious.
We might come down with a cold or the flu but we don’t come down with something really bad like cancer.
And here’s another verb you heard: get out of.
I know what you’re doing. You’re trying to get out of shoveling the steps and it won’t work!
If we try to get out of something we try to avoid doing it.
It’s probably something we’ve promised to do or we’re supposed to do, but we don’t want to do it.
Now, let’s look at these verbs again because there’s a pattern here.
Notice they’re all followed by something – by a noun.
There’s a grammatical term for this. They’re all transitive verbs because they’re always followed by an object.
In other words, they’re all things we do to something.
So if you’re starting to feel ill, you can’t just come down with. You have to come down with something. Perhaps a cold or the flu. But it’s something.
And we can’t just feel up to. We have to feel up to something, like feel up to going to the gym or feel up to going back to work after a vacation.
All the verbs we’re looking at today follow this pattern. See if you can spot two more.
That’s great. Thanks then, Frank. I made another sale. I made another sale!
I don’t know how I put up with you!
What?
Why do you have to ring the bell every time you make a sale?
Oooo, are you jealous?
No.
You need to face the fact that I’m a better salesperson than you.
You are so childish.
I made a sale. I made a sale.
Oh grow out of it.
The first one was ‘put up with’.
When we put up with someone or something it means we accept it, even though we don’t like it.
Vicki’s so difficult to live with, I don’t know how I put up with her!
But I’m very easy to live with.
Yeah.
So put up with means tolerate.
But in spoken English we don’t normally say tolerate. We might write it, but when we’re speaking we normally say put up with.
And the other verb you heard was grow out of.
This verb has a couple of different meanings.
When children grow and get bigger, they grow out of their clothes, so clothes they had before don’t fit them anymore.
But you heard the other meaning. We also use it to talk about things we stop doing as we get older.
For example, when I was young I used to suck my thumb
But you’ve grown out of it now, I hope.
Yes. It was a habit I had that I’ve stopped now.
And that’s the meaning you heard in the conversation.
I made a sale. I made a sale.
Oh grow out of it.
You wanted me to stop my childish habit.
Exactly. Now there’s one other thing can get tricky. Have a look at this sentence. Is it correct?
It’s wrong. Grow out of is a transitive verb so you have to follow it with a noun.
And that’s true for all the verbs we’ve looked at.
If you want to follow them with a verb instead, you can but you have to turn the verb into noun. Luckily, that’s easy.
And now ladies and gentlemen, I will turn a verb into a gerund.
So you just add -ing to the verb and it turns into a gerund. A gerund is a noun form of a verb.
So let’s see if you’ve got it. What’s wrong here? And can you correct it?
It’s easy eh? You just have to add -ing and turn the verb into a gerund.
Is that it then?
Yes, now you know all about these three-word phrasal verbs.
And if you’d like to learn more English with us, make sure you subscribe to our channel.
We’ll look forward to showing you more English in action.
Bye-bye now.
Bye.

 

 

 

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