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ESL Reading Passages for Prepositional Verbs and Phrasal Verbs

written by: Heather Marie Kosur • edited by: Rebecca Scudder • updated: 2/14/2012

The following short ESL reading passages can be used by ESL language learners to practice identifying prepositional verbs and phrasal verbs in conjunction with the "Teaching ESL Students about Prepositional Verbs and Phrasal Verbs" ESL lesson plan.

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    After teaching the "Teaching ESL Students about Prepositional Verbs and Phrasal Verbs" English language learning lesson plan in the ESL classroom, use the following reading passages to allow students to practice identifying the new verb forms.

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    Prepositional Verbs

    Identify the prepositional verbs in the following ESL reading passage:

    Although she admits to sometimes watching her favorite reality shows before attending to her homework, Mary objects to procrastination. She insists on completing her assignments before the assigned due dates. She cares about her education and has confessed to wanting good grades. Mary also believes in working hard because she relies on grade-based scholarships for financial aid. She often argues about quiet time with her roommate because her roommate listens to music loudly while Mary is studying. But, Mary secretly gloats at her own success when her roommate worries about upcoming tests.

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    Phrasal Verbs

    Identify the phrasal verbs in the following ESL reading passage:

    When Scott woke up this morning, he discovered that his toddler had thrown up in her crib last night. He, therefore, cleaned her bedding up before he chowed down on breakfast. While he was tucking into his food, however, his daughter started acting up. She just suddenly broke down and threw a tantrum on the kitchen floor. After falling apart for only a few minutes, the tantrum blew over and his daughter calmed down. Scott then finished eating and logged onto his computer. But, before he could access the Internet, the computer blew up. Scott looked the phone number up, called for technical help, and told the IT technician off. He only eased up when the tech threatened to put him on hold.

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    Prepositional Verbs and Phrasal Verbs

    Identify the prepositional verbs and the phrasal verbs in the following ESL reading passage:

    The situation did not add up. Espen depended on Julia to pick him up but she had not shown up. He worried about what might have happened to her. Perhaps she had been taken away by a notoriously bad band of ninjas. Espen hoped Julia would fight against such evildoers. Or, perhaps she had just forgotten about him. Could she let him down like that? If she had simply failed to remember him, he promised that he would lay in on her when he saw her next. But, then again, what if Julia had been knocked out by conniving bank robbers? What if she had refused to give them her car for a getaway vehicle? What if she had passed out in her attempts to get to him? Just then, when Espen had decided not to give up on her, Julie pulled up to the curb. She was just running late. She gazed at Espen, and Espen blushed, thinking about his unfounded anger. He got into the car, but, before he could apologize, she started yammering on about how bad traffic had been. Espen silently vowed to wait patiently for her tomorrow.

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    Answers

    The prepositional verbs are underlined in the following ESL reading passage:

    Although she admits to sometimes watching her favorite reality shows before attending to her homework, Mary objects to procrastination. She insists on completing her assignments before the assigned due dates. She cares about her education and has confessed to wanting good grades. Mary also believes in working hard because she relies on grade-based scholarships for financial aid. She often argues about quiet time with her roommate because her roommate listens to music loudly while Mary is studying. But, Mary secretly gloats at her own success when her roommate worries about upcoming tests.

    The phrasal verbs are underlined in the following ESL reading passage:

    When Scott woke up this morning, he discovered that his toddler had thrown up in her crib last night. He, therefore, cleaned her bedding up before he chowed down on breakfast. While he was tucking into his food, however, his daughter started acting up. She just suddenly broke down and threw a tantrum on the kitchen floor. After falling apart for only a few minutes, the tantrum blew over and his daughter calmed down. Scott then finished eating and logged onto his computer. But, before he could access the Internet, the computer blew up. Scott looked the phone number up, called for technical help, and told the IT technician off. He only eased up when the tech threatened to put him on hold.

    The prepositional verbs are underlined and the phrasal verbs are bolded in the following ESL reading passage:

    The situation did not add up. Espen depended on Julia to pick him up but she had not shown up. He worried about what might have happened to her. Perhaps she had been taken away by a notoriously bad band of ninjas. Espen hoped Julia would fight against such evildoers. Or, perhaps she had just forgotten about him. Could she let him down like that? If she had simply failed to remember him, he promised that he would lay in on her when he saw her next. But, then again, what if Julia had been knocked out by conniving bank robbers? What if she had refused to give them her car for a getaway vehicle? What if she had passed out in her attempts to get to him? Just then, when Espen had decided to not give up on her, Julie pulled up to the curb. She was just running late. She gazed at Espen, and Espen blushed, thinking about his unfounded anger. He got into the car, but, before he could apologize, she started yammering on about how bad traffic had been. Espen silently vowed to wait patiently for her tomorrow.

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    Printable Download

    For a printable worksheet of the previous ESL reading passage, please download the Printable ESL Reading Passages: Prepositional Verbs and Phrasal Verbs worksheet.

Prepositional Verbs and Phrasal Verbs for ESL Students

The following two part ESL series includes a lesson plan and reading passages for teaching ESL students the difference between prepositional verbs and phrasal verbs in the English language.
  1. Difference Between Prepositional Verbs and Phrasal Verbs
  2. ESL Reading Passages for Prepositional Verbs and Phrasal Verbs

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