Previous studies have shown that text genres can be computationally distinguished by sophisticated computational and statistical methods. The current study adds to the previous body of work by incorporating phrasal verbs as a text genre identifier. Results indicate that phrasal verbs significantly distinguish between both the spoken/written and formal/informal dimensions, with considerably less computational expense than previous studies. Phrasal verbs also indicate degree of spokenness and formality that is significantly similar to previous computationally expensive studies. The study offers useful findings for text-identification research and for materials developers in the field of English as a second language.