Phrasal verbs are everywhere in English. Some people suggest that about 80% of verbs used in spoken English are phrasal verbs. Getting your phrasal verbs right in general English is important. Getting your phrasal verbs right in legal English is not just important – it’s vital!

So, as it’s Friday, we thought we would do a short quiz on phrasal verbs, and prepositions, in legal English. Below, are some sentences which contain a phrasal verb. We have left a gap where the ‘particle’ (the short word, often a preposition) should be. Can you complete the sentence using the appropriate particle?

If you need help, we have given you some possible choices underneath the sentences. But see if you can complete the sentences first, without looking at the choices! Good luck!

1. If we can negotiate a contract, how do you propose to pay ……. the goods?

2. We propose to pay ……./…… instalments. [There are two possibilities here!]

3. We took ……. a loan with the bank last year.

4. Unfortunately, I lost my job and I was not able to pay ……… the loan.

5. We would like to use our money to invest …… some company shares.

6. We would like to see a good return ….. our investment.

7. We would like to enter …….. a contract with you.

8. We will not be liable ……. any loss or damage to the goods.

9. We are not able to advise you on your employment law problem. We only specialise …… tax law.

10. You need to comply …….. the health and safety regulations.

If you need them, here are the choices! Remember, there are two possible appropriate answers to 2, so you will need to choose two of the prepositions to complete the sentence. [The answers to the quiz are underneath]

1. in/by/for

2. by/at/in/from [two of these are correct!]

3. from/out/in

4. back/to/for

5. on/in/for

6. to/in/on

7. into/in/on

8. in/for/on

9. for/to/in

10. to/with/in


1. for

2. ‘by’ and ‘in’

3. out

4. back

5. in

6. on

7. into

8. for

9. in

10. with

© Cambridge Legal English Academy 2021

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