Sentence patterns with adverb particles

Some verbs are followed by adverb particles. In grammars these are often called phrasal verbs. Examples are: put on, take off, give away, bring up, call in etc.

Phrasal verbs made with adverb particles are separable. That means the particle can be separated from the verb and put after the object. The particle is thus put after the object, when the object is a personal pronoun or when it is comparatively short.

Subject + verb + object + adverb particle

He put his coat on.

They called the visitor in.

He threw the bag away.

His grandmother brought him up.

You must send them back.

When the object is long or when it has to be made prominent, the particle goes before the object.

Subject + verb + participle + object

The chief guest gave away the prizes.

He put on an air of innocence.

We must not throw away anything useful.

The poor widow had to bring up all the four children.

He brushed aside all the plans I had carefully formulated.


The same word can be used both as a particle and as a preposition. Examples are: on, off, in, up, down, to, from etc. There are several exceptions to this. The following are only used as particles and never as prepositions – away, back, out, backward, forward, upward, downward.