Spotting Preposition from Phrasal Verb

GMAT Preposition vs Phrasal VerbGMAT Sentence correction tests the use of a preposition at the end of the sentence. From our school days, we are taught that this is a violation of Basic English grammar. But a common mistake that we make while spotting prepositions at the end of the sentence is our inability to differentiate between proposition & a phrasal verb.


Preposition as the name suggests is pre-position. It comes before a noun or a pronoun and connects to another word. However, there are exceptions where preposition comes after a noun or a pronoun.

Before we go into the usage of a preposition and how it changes the definition of these words from ‘preposition’ to ‘Phrasal Verb’, here is a list of some of the common Preposition:

• Against
• Above
• Away
• Across
• About
• Along
• Among
• At
• Around
• Between
• Before
• Beyond
• Below
• Beside
• During
• Except
• From
• For
• In
• Into
• Like
• Of
• Off
• On
• To
• Through
• Until
• Up
• Under
• Upon
• With
• Within

Phrasal Verbs

When you cannot use a verb without a preposition, the combination of these two is termed as a Phrasal Verb.

Here, the preposition cannot be evaluated in isolation.

For example, in “I would like to chip in” if you look at “in” as a preposition, then you are mistaken.

 “Chip in” is a Phrasal Verb because the verb “Chip” cannot exist in isolation in this sentence

Try “I would like to chip”

Sounds Awkward!

Before you wear your sentence correction hat, pay close attention to this crucial difference.

Most Phrasal Verbs are part of idioms. For non-native speakers spotting idioms can be tricky. We recommend that you memorize the list of common idioms for GMAT Exam. Familiarize the common ones, and understand that phrasal verbs that have the preposition at the end of the sentence are correct.

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