My girlfriend went away

AIM:  To understand the different patterns of verbs with adverb particles and prepositions and to use them correctly (e.g., go away, study for, get on with.)

INTRODUCTION:  Verbs followed by adverb particles (go away) and prepositions (study for) are common in English.

Verb patterns that look similar can have similar or different meanings. For example:


The local residents fought against the hospital closure but in the end they had to give up.
(admit defeat)

She couldn’t believe how difficult it was to give up smoking.


Chris used to go out every Friday night.
(socialise outside the home)

Chris used to go out with Sandy.
(have a romantic relationship with)


She gets up at seven most mornings.
(get out of bed)

She wants something to get her energy levels up.

INSTRUCTIONS:  The verbs with particles or prepositions below are used in medical contexts. Choose a verb to replace the underlined words in each of the sentences. Keep the meaning of the sentence the same – you might need to change the word order or consider the correct verb form (tense) to use.

Say your version of each sentence out loud. Listen [►] to check.

NOTE: Generally speaking, the recorded versions with the verbs from the set lists sound much more natural than the sentences with the underlined verbs, which often sound (too) formal.

Set 1

get up                   give up                 put off                  lie down

go away                               put on                                   come out in                        get over

put up with                        take off                                pick up                 cut down on


Could you remove your shirt and recline on the treatment table, please.


I’m afraid we can’t make the pain disappear, but there is some medication so you can tolerate it more easily.


You’ve got a nasty chest infection and you won’t recover from it unless you quit smoking.


I always get affected by a rash if I dress in anything made of polyester.


If you want to improve your energy levels, you should limit junk food in your diet.


I think I caught this stomach bug at the beach on Saturday. It’s discouraged me from swimming in the sea ever again.



Set 2

calm down                          lift up                    look up                 sort out

look after                      come down with                      get down               knock out

check out                            carry on                                go back                 try out


I’ve been providing care for mum since she contracted an infection last month.


Things can’t continue like this – I’m constantly stressed and don’t know how to unwind.


I’m testing some new tablets for my blood pressure – let’s hope these ones help me recover.


Flu can totally exhaust you physically, so it would be a mistake to return to work too early.


I need to examine your arm now so, first of all, could you elevate it.


Losing my job depressed me at the start, but things are beginning to improve again now.



To learn more about these verb patterns, download the multiword verb worksheet.