Aprendiendo "phrasal verbs" fácilmente con ejemplos

Ya hablamos en un post anterior (aquí) de cómo mejorar el aprendizaje de vocabulario añadiendo un contexto. Para los "phrasal verbs", esos verbos con preposición que tanto se nos resisten, es todavía más importante aprender con ejemplos.

Veamos una lista típica de verbo con traducción:

  • to look after: cuidar
  • to look out: tener cuidado
  • to see to: ocuparse, encargarse
  • to look for: buscar
  • to look up: buscar, mirar hacia arriba
  • to look up to: admirar, respetar
  • to look down: mirar hacia abajo
  • to look down on: mirar por encima del hombro
  • to see through: ver a través de, adivinar la intención
  • to look through: mirar a través de, ignorar, revisar

Podemos observar que algunas traducciones parecen lo mismo o que algunos verbos tienen más de un significado. Probemos entonces a buscar sinónimos o definiciones en inglés:

  • to look after: to care for or to take care of somebody/something
  • to look out: to be careful
  • to see to: to take care of
  • to look for: to search
  • to look up: to look for information in a dictionary, to raise your eyes when you are looking down
  • to look up to: to admire or to respect someone
  • to look down: to drop your eyes
  • to look down on: to think that you are better than somebody
  • to see through: ver a través de, to realize the truth about somebody/something
  • to look through: mirar a través de, to ignore by pretending not to see someone, to review something quickly

Ahora ya se puede ver (no pun intended ;-) ) que las cosas se van aclarando aunque todavía quede algo en español. ¿Y si usamos además frases de ejemplo?

  • to look after: to care for or to take care of somebody/something
    • Their aunt looked after them after their mother's death.
  • to look out: to be careful
    • Look out! or Be careful! or Watch out!
  • to see to: to take care of
    • Leave it to me. I'll see to all the arrangements.
  • to look for: to search
    • What are you looking for?
  • to look up: to look for information in a dictionary, to raise your eyes when you are looking down
    • If you don't know the meaning, look up the word in a dictionary.
    • She looked up from her book as I entered the room.
  • to look up to: to admire or to respect someone
    • All the pupils look up to their teacher.
  • to look down: to drop your eyes
    • Gary looked down in shame as the teacher told him off.
  • to look down on: to think that you are better than somebody
    • She looks down on people who haven't been to college.
  • to see through: ver a través de, to realize the truth about somebody/something
    • I can see through your blouse!
    • He said he was innocent but they saw through his story.
  • to look through: mirar a través de, to ignore by pretending not to see someone, to review something quickly
    • You can see the individual cells if you look through the microscope.
    • She just looked straight through me.
    • Before you hand your work in, look through it carefully.

Quizás pueda parecer más complicado y, desde luego, lleva tiempo buscar sinónimos y definiciones que entendamos. Pero entre ese trabajo y con las frases de ejemplo seguro que el significado y el uso se nos quedarán grabados mucho más fácilmente.

** Para los ejemplos de este post he utilizado el libro "Progress to First Certificate", el WordReference y los Oxford Learner's Dictionaries.

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