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Phrasal Verbs Using To Come Posted by on Jan 13, 2022 in English Grammar, English Language

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If you combine a common verb with a preposition or an adverb, you create a verbal phrase. Many of the most typical expressions in English are verbal phrases, and you hear them all the time. We’ve devoted a lot of time to this subject, such as this blog by Carol. But a review of our blog’s history finds no reference to the many examples of phrasal verbs using the verb to come – and there are a lot of them!

The simple verb to come means to move forward or toward a space or place. Along can be a preposition meaning to proceed in a direction, or as an adverb meaning to accompany another. Combined, the phrasal verb come along means to accompany someone (the speaker) to a particular place or direction.

Conjugation and Phrasal Verbs

You conjugate phrasal verbs just like other verbs, so let’s continue with our example of the phrasal verb come along:

Simple Present Tense: I/You/We/They come along – He/She/It comes along

Simple Past Tense: I/You/We/They/He/She/It came along

Simple Present Perfect: I/You/We/They have come along – He/She/It has come along

Simple Past Perfect: I/You/We/They/He/She/It had come along

And so on…

Come along, therefore, can be used like any normal verb, in any form or tense.

Here are some quick examples:

Simple past tense: I came along with my friends to the movie just to have something to do. 

Present Perfect: I have been coming along just fine with my English grammar lessons.  

Conditional Past: I would have come along with my brother to the library if he had only asked. 

Notice that the verb come changes, but the word along remains the same. Whenever a phrasal verb is used as the main verb of a sentence, conjugate the verb part and leave the other words unchanged.

The Many Phrasal Verb Forms of To Come

  • Come across – To find something by accident

“I keep coming across old bookmarks whenever I help my mother clean her apartment.”

“I hope you don’t come across any wild animals when you walk in the woods.”

  • Come away – To retreat

“He came away from that lecture with a new respect for the speaker.”

“Come away with me for the weekend, it’ll be fun!”

  • Come back – To return

“We were late coming back from work because there was an accident on the highway.”

“It comes back to the same question every time I think about changing jobs – what do I really want to do with my life?

  • Come out – To emerge, go to, or become known

“She came out as soon as she heard the fire alarm go off.”

“I’ve been coming out to this same restaurant since it opened last summer.”

  • Come over – To approach or go to

“If he comes over this way, ask him for his autograph.”

“They’ve been coming over to visit me ever since I broke my leg.”

  • Come through – To achieve a result

“He’s the one player on the team who consistently comes through in the clutch.”

“Ashley is always coming through with great marketing ideas in meetings.”

  • Come up – To appear with something suddenly

“I knew he’d come up with a way to improve the situation.”

“Whenever I suggest going out together, something always comes up.”

Others include: Come apart, Come back, Come before, Come between, Come down, Come for, Come in, Come into, Come together

It’s a long list. Can you think of some others? Please share them in the comments box below.

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About the Author: Gary Locke

Gary is a semi-professional hyphenate.