Phrasal Verbs – Professional Development Session

Off2Class recently held a Professional Development Session for the itaki teacher community covering:

“Phrasal Verbs: Teaching Strategies for Online ESL Tutors”.

The webinar session was very well received by a group of 50 online ESL Teachers from various corners of the world. We covered the key grammar that teachers need around phrasal verbs (and other multiword verbs). You can find a recording of the session below.


If you’d like a similar professional development webinar run for your school, startup or team, please feel free to get in touch and we’ll see if we can organize a session!

In the meantime, enjoy our Phrasal Verbs webinar recording. Please share the recording with colleagues who would like to brush on their own ESL teaching strategies!


The Off2Class lesson library has over 30 teacher-led lessons covering multiword verbs. Each teacher-led lesson comes with an adjoining set of self-study exercises that follow directly on from the lessons. If you haven’t yet, register for your free trial Off2Class account!

Finally, you can also download a copy of the PPT presentation we used during the webinar, here!

Happy Teaching!

the Off2Class team


  • Ekaterina says:

    May 24, 2016 at 12:33 pm

    Thanks for the webinar!
    I got a question, why do you say “up” for example, is a particle, while dictionaries give it as an adverb or an adjective?

    • James Heywood (Off2Class) says:

      May 24, 2016 at 3:21 pm

      Hi Ekaterina,
      You asked a great question…
      The reason that the word particle is used instead of preposition or adverbs, when referring to multiword verbs, is as follows:

      Phrasal verbs are made up of a verb and a following particle. The term particles is used to refer to words that function as preposition or adverbs in other contexts, but do not function as adverbs or prepositions when part of a phrasal verb. (Cowan, The Teacher’s Grammar of English, Cambridge, 2008)

      For example:
      He looked up the word.
      She checked out the new movie.
      He gave up eating chocolate.
      In these sentences, up and out look like prepositions and adverbs, but they do not function like this.
      As you know, prepositions and adverbs can take an object. And so can multiword verbs:
      1. He look up the word.
      2. He looked at the cat.
      However, different multiword verbs have different properties, meaning you must say:
      3. He looked it up. (You cannot say He looked up it)
      4. He looked at it. (You cannot say He looked it at)
      In examples 1 and 3, we have a separable transitive phrasal verb, and the pronoun must appear between the verb and the particle.
      In examples 2 and 4, we have a prepositional verb, and the pronoun must appear after the preposition.
      There is of course disagreement about how to teach multiword verbs in English, and other grammarians say other things.
      However, if you find a copy of the above book, I highly recommend Reading Chapter 9, Multiword Verbs, and as a teacher, slowly doing all the exercises in the chapter. It really changed the way I look at these verbs in English and it allowed me to teach students better without confusing them with words like preposition and adverbs, especially when explaining the grammatical properties of such verbs.
      I am sure that other users will have different opinions. It would be great to hear from someone who disagrees with me about this.
      Best wishes,

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