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What you need to know about phrasal verbs

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Nov 16


What are phrasal verbs? Phrasal verbs are a group of words made up of a verb and a particle that could either be an adverb or preposition.

And, can you use them in business communication? Of course, you can!

The use of phrasal verbs in everyday communication shows fluency in the language. In the business context, however, the use of phrasal verbs should be limited to verbal communication alone. In a formal business email, the use of phrasal verbs is reduced.

The difficulty in using them also lies in understanding their meaning correctly. The meaning of a phrasal verb is not dependent on the individual words that make up the phrase. The phrase in its entirety connotes a certain meaning that is independent of the literal meaning of the respective words.

Let’s look at three phrases.

Call something off

If you decide that something that is planned will not happen, it means you’ve ‘called it off’. A synonym for this phrase is ‘cancel’. You can say: The meeting has been called off until further notice.

To come across

This phrase means to meet someone or find something by chance. For example, “I came across a former employee at the coffee shop today. Things haven’t changed since he was around!”

Also, if someone or something ‘comes across’ in a particular way, you form an opinion of them when you meet them. For instance, “A lot depends on how well you come across in the interview, so you must come across as very self-confident.”

Cut off someone

If you rudely interrupt someone while they are speaking then you ‘cut them off’. For example ‘It’s not good manners to cut off others when they’re trying to make a point during  a meeting’.

However, you could also cut in when you interrupt someone. For examples, you could say: “Sorry to cut in Rahul. But, I’d like to bring these new developments to your notice before we proceed.”

See the difference?


Posted by : Sharmila Gautama

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