2. FOCUS ON: phrasal verbs and do, does, and did


Like ordinary verbs, phrasal verbs form negatives and questions with do, does, and did.

Present tense questions

In the present tense, questions are formed with do (except when the subject is he, she, it, or the name of one person or thing):

Why do. I always fall for losers?

Do you sometimes doze off in class?

Do we ever give in to pressure?

How do these bottle tops come off?

When the subject is he, she, it, or the name of one person or thing, does is used.

Remember that the -s form of the verb is not used in questions:

Does this welding torch throw sparks up into the air?

Present tense negatives

In the present tense, negatives are formed with do not or don't (except when the subject is he, she, it, or the name of one person or thing):

/ used to doze off while driving, but I don't anymore.

I think he has the flu because you don't usually throw up when you

have a cold.

We don't usually fall for crazy stories like that.

If his dogs do not stay off our lawn, I'm going to call the dogcatcher.

When the subject is he, she, it, or the name of one person or thing, does not or doesn't is used.

Remember that the -s form of the verb is not used in negatives:

If Mark doesn't pull through, five children will be without a father.

Past tense questions

In the past tense, questions are formed with did. Remember to use the infinitive form of the verb:

I'm so embarrassed. Why did I fall for his lies?

Did the patient pull through?

How many times did he throw up?

Did we give in to their demands?

Did they hear about the explorer who was eaten by piranhas?

Past tense negatives

In the past tense, negatives are formed with did not or didn't. Remember to use the infinitive form of the verb:

/ was really sick, but I didn't. throw up.

You didn't fall for that nonsense, I hope.

He pulled and pulled, but the bowling ball did not come off.

We didn't hear about the half-price sale until it was too late.

I'm sorry. We tried everything, but she didn't pull through.

Infinitive come off

present tense come off & comes off

-ing form coming off

past tense came off

past participle come off

1. come off p.v. When something comes off, it becomes detached from what it was attached or fastened to.

Be careful with this old book. The cover's coming off.

That paint won't come off your hands unless you use turpentine.

2. come off p.v. When an event comes off, it is successful.

The party came off well. Everyone had a lot of fun.

The attack didn't come off the way the general planned it.

3. come off p.v. When you say "Come off it" to people, you are saying that you think something they have said is untrue or foolish.

It's 2:00 A.M., you come home smelling like beer, and you say you were working late at the office? Oh, come off it!

Infinitive doze off

present tense doze off & dozes off

-ing form dozing off

past tense dozed off

past participle dozed off

1. doze off p.v. When you fall into a light sleep, you doze off.

I went to a movie last night, but it was so boring I dozed off.

If I have a drink at lunch, I'm sure to doze off at my desk.

fall for

fall for & falls for

falling for

fell for

fallen for

1. fall for p.v. When someone successfully tricks or deceives you, you fall for the trick or deception or you fall for it.

I feel like an idiot. The salesman promised me it was a real diamond, not glass, and I fell for it.

Your girlfriend told you that guy she was dancing with at the party was her brother? How could you fall for a story like that?

2. fall for p.v. When you suddenly feel a strong attraction to someone or something, you fall for that person or thing.

Jim met Sam's sister last week, and now he calls her every day. I guess he really fell for her in a big way.

When I saw this house, I fell for it immediately, and I made an offer the same day.

give in

give in & gives in

giving In

gave in

given in

1. give in (to) p.v. When someone pressures or forces you to do something or allow something even though you do not want to, you give in.

My son drove me crazy asking me to buy him a new bicycle, and I finally gave in.

The strike lasted for eight months, but the company never gave in to the workers' demands.

hear about

hear about & hears about

hearing about heard about

heard about

1. hear about p.v. When you hear and learn information about someone or some¬thing, you hear about it.

Have you heard about the new Thai restaurant downtown?

I heard about the earthquake on CNN.

pull through

pull through & pulls through

pulling through

pulled through

pulled through

1. pull through p.v. When you recover from a serious illness or injury, you pull through.

The doctor didn't think his chances were very good, but he pulled through.

Erik is very sick, but he's young and strong, so I'm sure he'll pull through.

stay off

stay off & stays off

staying off

stayed off

stayed off

1. stay off p.v. When you stay off something, you don't walk or sit on it.

You kids can play in the living room, but stay off the Persian rug.

What can I do to get my cat to stay off the kitchen counter?

throw up

throw up & throws up

throwing up

threw up

thrown up

1. throw up p.v. When people throw up, they vomit.

Alex was so sick that he threw up all over my shoes.

I feel like I'm going to throw up.

1. throwup p.v. When something causes small particles of dirt, dust, or a liquid to rise into the air, it throws them up.

Be careful with that chain sawIt'll throw sawdust up in your eyes.

Don't stand too close to the fire; it's throwing up sparks.


Complete the sentences with phrasal verbs from this section. Be sure the phrasal verbs are in the correct tense.

1. Heather calls Tom every day. I have a feeling she's________ ________him.

2. I went to the shoe repair guy because the heel ________ ________ my shoe.

3. I ________ ________ ten minutes after the movie started, and I missed the whole thing.

4. The bride drank too much champagne, and she ________ _______ all over the best man.

5. I needed a car to go to the party, so I told my father I needed his car to go to the library to study, and he ________ ________ it.

6. Uncle Fred's really sick. If he _________ _________, it'll be a miracle.

7. I just shampooed the carpet in the living room, so ________ ________ it.

8. The coup ________ ________ without any bloodshed.

9. I don't care if you beg me all nightI'm not ________ ________!

10. I ________________ your brother's accident last night. Is he all right?

11. Don't get close to the fire. It's ________ ________ ashes and sparks.

12. Do you really expect me to believe a crazy story like that? ________ ________ it!


Change the sentences to questions using do, does, or did.

Example: Francisco usually dozes off after dinner.

Does Francisco usually doze off after dinner?

1. The sick boy threw up.

2. Rosa falls for every boy she meets.

3. The tops come off easily.

4. The dog stays off the bed.

5. Erik heard about the new job.


Change the sentences to negatives using do not or don't, does not or doesn't, or did not or didn't.

Example: Francisco dozes off after dinner.

Francisco doesn't doze off after dinner.

1. I always give in to her demands.

2. Mr. and Mrs. Taylor fell for the salesman's promises.

3. These machines throw up sparks.

4. The patient pulled through.

5. The plot come off as planned.


Write answers to the questions using phrasal verbs from this section. Be sure the phrasal verbs are in the correct tense.

1. My mother told me not to walk on the kitchen floor. What did my mother tell me?

2. When Dan saw that new motorcycle, he decided he had to buy it no matter how much it cost. How did Dan feel about the motorcycle?

3. The students are so tired that they are starting to sleep in class. What are the students doing?

4. Nicole learns about everything that happens in town. What does Nicole do?

5. The meeting didn't happen the way I planned it. What didn't the meeting do?

6. You had an accident after one of the wheels separated from your car. Why did you have an accident?

7. You can ask a thousand times if you want to, but I'm not agreeing to your demands. What am I not doing to your demands?

8. My cousin made a lot of promises to me, and I believed them. How did I react to her promises?

9. Dr. Wood said Ted's disease is very serious, and she doesn't think there's much hope that he'll recover. What doesn't Dr. Wood think?

10. Timmy is very sick, and he was vomiting all night. What was Timmy doing all night?


ReviewComplete the sentences with these phrasal verbs from Section 1.

Be sure the phrasal verbs are in the correct tense. To check their meanings, review Section 1.

come from give back put on show up

figure out look for run into take off

1. Look what time it is! We have to be at work in fifteen minutes. We'd better ________ ______ right now.

2. I waited for Joe for three hours, but he never ________ ________.

3. The maid ________ ________ the dirty sheets and washed them.

4. I'm ________ ________ a job closer to home.

5. Potatoes originally ________ ________ South America.

6. That's mine! ________ it ________ right now or I'm telling Mom!

7. They were killed when they ________ ________ a truck.

8. The mechanic can't ________ ________ what the problem is with my car.