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Teaching multi-word (phrasal/prepositional) verbs.

A corpus is an easy way of making exercises to help your students with multi-word verbs.
Type look into the search box, and youll get a concordance screen which can be
downloaded as a table. Then you can pick out the phrasal verbs like this:
It will be amazing! ! I am
with it! After several days which I spend
to prepare the article well, please? I am
above show that sport is still something
the International Students' sports club. I
I passed my degree in Tourism, I am now
qualities will give me a positive answer. I am
Sales Manager for Europe are for example to
We have also asked our soliticors to
want me for an interview at any time. I
suggestions for this year's programme. I have
travelling. First, I went out the house and I
she told me and gave me a dictionary to
future, plan to have kids I will try to
reacted very nervously but Mark and Angela
expensive for me - in this shop I started to
has done in our company for that. May you
Economics for four years. So, I started
to be very close to their grandchildren,
want to read at the begining but when I
clock. If you need more informations you can
company. I also as I wrote earlier want you to
They're so pretty! I


I am old enough to
In this essay, I will
that time. Now, I'm twenty-three and when I


forward to see everybody.

at all these colourful things - animals
forward to your reply. Yours sincerely,
for by young people. Videos and computer
forward to hearing from you shortly, Yours
for a job where all my qualities can be
forward to hearing from you shortly. Yours
after the sales activities, sales figures
into the penalty clauses of our contract
forward to hear from you until then Yours
over last year's one and taken some notes
up the sky then I saw a bright light coming
up the words. I have met many friends already
back and think what they would have done
at each other and started to laugh
for it in other shops, and finally I bought
for a hotel room for Mr ... for the following
for a job on this subject. I bought a newspaper
after them when parents are at work. Spanish
over it I read Congratulations, you passed
up the things in my agenda.
over my employment deal, and see if we
up to them, and hopefully, one day I'll be like
after myself.
at both arguments
back I realise that I've learned most of

Now it is easy to create a simple matching exercise:

Match the beginning of the sentences to the correct ending.

1. Mark and Angela looked

a) after them when their parents are at


2. Now Im 23, and when I look

b) into the details of the contract

3. It will be amazing! Im really looking

c) up to them. I hope that one day Ill be like


4. After my studies, I started looking

d) at each other and started to laugh.

5. Their grandparents look

e) for a job.

6. Theyre so pretty! I look

f) forward to seeing everybody.

7. We have asked our lawyers to look

g) back, Ive learned a lot in the last 3 years

You could also show your students the concordance, and ask them
(a) to discover what sort of words you use look forward and look up with. They will
notice the way look forward is used in the phrase looking forward to hearing from
you, and that look up is used when you are literally looking up (eg at the sky), or
when youre finding information (in an agenda, or dictionary) as well as in the sense
of admire.
(b) whether they can find any errors in any of the concordance lines (the concordance
above is taken from a corpus of learner data, like the Cambridge English Profile
Corpus; so there are errors in it). This can be a way of preventing students from
making certain types of common errors, by raising their awareness of the things that
learners can get wrong!
Finally if your students have access to the internet, they could follow this up by trying to find
their own examples of multi-word verbs involving look (or a different word, like put) in a
corpus or online.