How to make three-part phrasal verbs (to include an object)

Did you know that you can actually make a three-part phrasal verb using a two-part one? We do this by adding a preposition to introduce an object.

get on with

fall out with

make off with

catch up with

catch up on

keep up with

come round to

Here are some examples:

I have a friend called Ana and we get on. (no object)

I get on with Ana. (with + object 'Ana')

I didn't agree with my friend but I eventually I came round. (no object)

I didn't agree with my friend but eventually I came round to her point of view. (to + object 'her point of view')

Tyson Gay caught up with Usain Bolt at the last minute. (with + object 'Usain Bolt')

In the above sentence 'catch up with' means 'to reach someone by moving faster' (alcanzar a alguien).

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However, this phrasal verb can also mean 'to reach the same level as someone or something' (ponerse al mismo nivel que alguien/algo). For example, if you miss a class you should try to catch up or catch up with the work you missed.

We can also form the noun 'catch-up' from this phrasal verb, which means 'the process of trying to reach the same level' and collocates with the verb 'play'. For example: I've missed so many lectures that I'm playing catch-up.

There is also the phrasal verb catch up on, which means 'to do more of something you want or need' (ponerse al día/ recuperar). This phrasal verb collocates with 'work' and sleep'.

catch up on work - ponerse al día con el trabajo

catch up on sleep - recuperar el sueño‎ ‎

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So, to sum up, don't forget thatsome two-part phrasal verbs can be made into three-part ones by adding a preposition to introduce an object and that all three-part phrasal verbs are inseparable. As always, don't forget to look out for them in real contexts and practise them in your classes with your teacher.

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