A phrasal verb consists of a verb and one or more prepositions. The meaning of a phrasal verb is often different from any usual meaning of the verb or any logical meaning of the phrase. Researchers carried out an experiment. This phrasal verb means ‘perform’ or ‘conduct’. It does not describe physically carrying something and it does not describe something being ‘out’. Other examples of phrasal verbs are bring about (= cause) or put up with (= tolerate). Writing Tip Many phrasal verbs are used in informal, spoken language and are not appropriate for academic writing. Others, however, are appropriate and useful in academic writing. Make sure you know which ones to use. Informal use of phrasal verbs Read the following paragraph from a business essay, thinking about which words or phrases should be avoided in formal writing, and how you would replace them. Some small companies get by for many years by putting off difficult decisions. If a business is to thrive, however, it needs to pick out its weaknesses and face up to the challenges of operating in the modern business environment. A recession, for example, may be an ideal time to check out successful competitors and come up with new business ideas. Going for that approach is better than hanging on in the hope that something turns up and tides the company over until better conditions return.
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