Phrasal verbs are verbs that have a preposition that changes the meaning of the verb from its base form. If the verb is inseparable, it means that the verb and the preposition must be together in the sentence.
If you use a pronoun to replace the object, the pronoun must go after the verb and preposition.
Unfortunately, there is not surefire way to tell if a phrasal verb is separable or inseparable. It just takes a bit of memorization.
Here is a list of some inseparable phrasal verbs.
Act up – to behave poorly or act incorrectly
The child always acts up in public.
Back out – to break an agreement
He backed out of the contract just before signing it.
Call for – require
This recipe calls for butter. / This recipe calls for it.
Do without – to manage even when missing something, to function without
The show cannot do without the lead actor. / The show cannot do without him.
Eat away (at) – to erode or slowly destroy
The rust is eating away at the bottom of the car. / The rust is eating away at it.
Fall through – fail to happen
Our plans for tonight fell through, so we are going to stay home instead.
Give up – to quit, to refuse to try anymore
Phrasal verbs are tricky, but you can’t give up!
Hang out – to stay somewhere for fun
Let’s go hang out at your house.
Jump to – to make a quick reaction, or to skip over quickly
He jumped to the wrong conclusion.
Keep at – to continue to try, persevere
She kept at practicing, even though it was difficult. / She kept at it, even though it was difficult.
Look for – to search for
They looked for the lost dog all night. / They looked for it all night.
Make up for – to compensate or try to undo the harm of an error
I will make up for the homework I missed. / I will make up for it.
Occur to – have a sudden thought
It occurred to the girl that it might be a bad idea. / It occurred to her that it might be a bad idea.
Pass on – to not accept an invitation
Sorry, but I am going to have to pass on the party tonight. / Sorry, but I am going to have to pass on it.
Run away from – to try to escape
You cannot run away from your destiny. / You cannot run away from it.
See to – take care of, to make sure something is done
Please see to this solution that it is done correctly. / Please see to it that it is done correctly.
Take after – to resemble or look and behave like
They say pets take after their owners. / They say pets take after them.
Veer away from – to avoid
She veered away from the dessert aisle in the supermarket, because she was on a diet. / She veered away from it, because she was on a diet.
Wait on – to serve
The man waited on the Queen. / The man waited on her.
Ask me in the Comments Form or book a class with me to practice!