Multi-word verb

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Multi-word verbs are verbs that consist of more than one word,[1] e.g. had better, used to, be going to, ought to. Although they can be synonymous with phrasal verbs, in the strict sense there is a distinction between the two, where multi-word verbs is a term that covers both phrasal verbs (verbs + adverbs) and prepositional verbs (verbs + prepositions).[2] They are used as modals, but they are semi-modal rather than modal verbs. This is an example of periphrasis.


  1. ^ "Multi-word verbs". British Council. Retrieved 2011-11-24. 
  2. ^ Beate Haba (2011), Between Heads and Phrases: Particles in English Phrasal Verbs, GRIN Verlag, pp. 6–10, ISBN 978-3-640-83275-0 

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