Although most Brazilians might be aware of the fact that using English phrasal verbs in an everyday conversation or in a piece of writing makes language more natural, the thing is that many of them have trouble in this area. In order to cope, they struggle with lists of phrasal verbs found in grammar books or the bits found in course books or turn to specialized dictionaries.
Intended to be comprehensive, there is now something new in the Brazilian ELT market being added to those resources: Phrasal Verbs – Como falar inglês como um americano! written by Jonathan T. Hogan, originally from New York, and José Roberto A. Igreja, who defines himself as ‘passionate’ about English language, has just come out.
Published by Disal Editora, with a foreword by well-known Professor Dr. John Milton, from the University of São Paulo, the book presents 450 phrasal verbs in a quite practical way. Actually, not only does the book present two- and three-word verbs but also nouns and adjectives derived from them (a dropout, a grown-up, a letdown, (an) outstanding (professor), (pages of computer) printout, (to experience) a setback, (a complete) rip-off and some frequent collocations (to be up to someone, to go down in history, to make up one’s mind).
Inserted in the middle, there are ten sets of exercises as a way of making effective use of the expressions and consolidating them. Users can also count on the key to the exercises, which is excellent for self-study. Presented in alphabetical order – which makes it easy to look them up – the phrasal verbs are followed by examples in meaningful context. Translation into Portuguese is also provided. The past tense, past participle and -ing forms of the verbs come in parentheses in front of each one. Also, an interesting feature of the book is the ‘how to express 130 essential ideas in English using phrasal verbs’ section, arranged in alphabetical order in Portuguese. There are few illustrations, though.
The book is recommended for students of English at large, from the pre-intermediate level on, for teachers of English or teachers-to-be, or any person who wishes to make his spoken or written language production more natural. It can be beneficial to students who are preparing for proficiency exams too. In a nutshell, ‘Phrasal Verbs’ is for those seeking a practical book on the topic.
José Olavo de Amorim, Head of the English Language Department, Colégio Bandeirantes, São Paulo – SP.