In English, there are many verbs that consist of two parts: the verb plus either a preposition or an adverb.
The difference between prepositions and adverbs is that prepositions are linked with nouns or pronouns, while adverbs are part of and dependent on the verb. Below we can see the difference between these two types with the example, “live down” which can act as a prepositional verb or an adverbial verb.
|He lives down the street.|
|I couldn’t live down that incident.|
Compound verbs can be transitive or intransitive depending on whether or not they have an object. This will depend on the order of the sentence.
We are not going to concentrate on the different types of compound verbs. For now, it’s most important to keep in mind that phrasal verbs and prepositional verbs are verbs and generally have a different meaning than the principal verb that forms them.
For example, the verb “give” means “to put in the possession of another”, but when we add the preposition “up”, the meaning changes. “Give up” means “*to abandon” or “to surrender*”. Therefore the verbs “give” and “give up” are two distinct verbs.