Phrasal verbs + rhetorical tricks = copy magic

So what are phrasal verbs? These are special pairs of verbs and prepositions (or adverbs) that come together to create a whole new meaning.

For example:

“Give” means one thing. “Give into” means a very different thing. “Give off” means something else entirely. etc...

These idiomatic meanings are super common*, and already make for great conversational copywriting.

But the rhetorically minded among you might see an added opportunity.

Because many different phrasal verbs can all start with the same word, that gives us a chance to pull off some effortless anaphora.

Example: “When you can't come up with copy, phrasal verbs come through.”

And since most end with a limited number of prepositions, epistrophe also comes easy.

Example: “Got writers block? Either deal with it, or live with it.”

Prepositions also have the bonus of coming in pairs of opposites, making for some natural antithesis.

Example: “Tune in, drop out.”

The potential here is crazy. And so much great copy just leverages it instinctively.

I’m telling you. Start watching out for this stuff, and you’ll start seeing it everywhere.

*List of 390 most common phrasal verbs