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What are phrasal verbs?

The easiest way to define phrasal verbs is to describe them as "main verbs that contain two (or more) words." 

One of the words in the verb can be recognized as a one-word verb in its own right. 
The other words can be recognized as prepositions. These are sometimes called particles by linguists.
The meaning of phrasal verbs is not complete without the addition of a preposition, or particle.
Instructors and students should be able to recognize the combination of a verb and a preposition.  

Although native speakers of English have no difficulty using and understanding phrasal verbs, they create difficulties for ESL students.