Study the information about phrasal verbs. Type 2, verb + particle (transitive).
Let’s compare two types of phrasal verbs.
1. We can use prepositions after Type 1 verbs. We cannot separate the preposition from the verb:
I am looking at the camera.
2. We can separate the adverbs particle from a Type 2 and put it immediately after the noun object.
She gave away her books or
She gave her books away.
3. If the object is a pronoun, we cannot put the particle in front of it.
Give it away.
In the sentence ‘She gave away her books’, ‘away’ - an adverb particle, not a preposition, even if it has an object after it. Unlike a preposition, a particle is ‘mobile’.
Type 2. Particles that extend the verb.
Study the examples where a single particle can strengthen or extend the meaning of a verb.
The scarecrow frightened the birds away. (‘away’ means ‘distance’)
I was holding my hat and the wind snatched it away. (‘away’ means ‘detachment’)
I got a cloth and wiped away the coffee I had spilled. (‘away’ means ‘disappearance’)
Put these dishes away. (‘away’ means ‘tidying’)
The particle often ‘extends’ the meaning of the phrasal verbs.
Pull out, push away, wash away, move back, burn down, bring in, cut off.
We cannot relate the parts of these verbs to their literal meanings.
What brought it about? (= caused to happen)
L.G Alexander. Longman English Grammar practice for intermediate students- Harlow:Longman, 296p.