• The “central” types of multi-word verb — phrasal, prepositional, and phrasal-prepositional — are all constructed from a verb-word followed by one or two particles. There is, however, another group of multi-word verbs in which a verb word is followed not by a particle but by an adjective, a noun, another verb, or some more complex element. Here are some examples:
1. make sure
2. plead guilty
3. make sense
4. take place
5. take turns
6. make do with
7. get rid of
8. make it clear
9. have it in for
10.put on the spot
11. make a go of
12. read between the lines
Harry told Zack to make sure he got a good lawyer.
Harry told Zack if he pled guilty, he’d never speak to him again.
Zack’s lawyer said the judge’s comments didn’t make sense.
No one could have predicted the events that took place immediately after Zack’s trial.
Jack and Jill took turns reporting to Harry about what was happening.
When Harry refused to appear, Zack’s lawyer realized he would have to make do withhis other witness.
At the last minute, Harry decided it would be a mistake to get rid of the documents.
At the beginning of his testimony, Zack said, “I want to make it clear that Harry knew nothing about this.”
After a couple of drinks, Zack told Jack he’d always felt Harry had it in for him.
Jane put Jill on the spot by asking her whose side she was on.
Jill wrote her report as carefully as possible but Harry was still able to read between the lines
Zack was sure he could have made a go of his fortune telling business if Harry hadn’t interfered.
• In (1) and (2) the verb word is followed by an adjective; in (3)-(5) it is followed by a noun. In (6) and (7) the main verb word is followed by another verb (a base form in the first case and a past participle in the second) and a (prepositional) particle. Examples (8)-(12) exhibit syntactical complications: the eighth and ninth contain the pronoun “it,” as a stand-in for a postponed noun phrase in (8) and as a dummy in (9). Examples (10) and (11) contain prepositional-phrase adverbials. Example (12) contains a nominalized verb followed by a prepositional particle. All have a “simple” meaning and should be taught as units.