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Is it more common to say that way written on the left rather than those written on the right? If so, please let me know why.

give him a hug       hug him
give him a smile     smile at him
give him a cheer     cheer him up    
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closed as off-topic by user49727, JSBձոգչ, cornbread ninja 麵包忍者, TrevorD, MετάEd Oct 12 '13 at 21:07

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LOL: Give him a chop - chop him up – mplungjan Oct 9 '13 at 9:54
How is this off-topic?! – Kris Oct 9 '13 at 14:40
Ha, ha. Thank you. (^○^) – banksiae Oct 12 '13 at 13:01

Give him a cheer and cheer him up mean different things. The first means ‘give him a shout of encouragement’. The second means ‘do something to make him feel happier’.

There’s not the same difference with your other examples, but they would be used in different contexts.

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Thank you. Then, do you mean that give him a hug is different from hug him? – banksiae Oct 9 '13 at 9:50
No, that is the same - it is also not hug him up – mplungjan Oct 9 '13 at 9:53
Thank you, Barrie. That was helpful. – banksiae Oct 9 '13 at 9:59
Give him a hug and hug him describe the same action, but I would not like to say that they were interchangeable in all contexts. – Barrie England Oct 9 '13 at 10:43
Thank you very much. Now it is clear. That was a big help. – banksiae Oct 10 '13 at 8:20

The first two examples are equivalent. The third may or may not, but this is because the word "cheer" as a noun has multiple meanings, which differ depending upon context

  • "to hug" as a verb means "to give a hug"
  • "to smile" as a verb means "to give a smile"
  • "to cheer" may mean "to give a cheer" but it may also mean "to cheer up"

See the various meanings of "cheer" at Dictionary.com.

  1. a shout of encouragement, approval, congratulation, etc.: The cheers of the fans filled the stadium.
  2. a set or traditional form of shout used by spectators to encourage or show enthusiasm for an athletic team, contestant, etc., as rah! rah! rah!
  3. something that gives joy or gladness; encouragement; comfort: words of cheer.
  4. a state of feeling or spirits: Their good cheer overcame his depression.
  5. gladness, gaiety, or animation: full of cheer and good spirits.

Thus, to give a cheer might cheer someone up, but it might not. If you give a cheer for your team, it might cheer your team up, but it will not cheer up your team's opponents! If you shout the cheer "Hip, hip hooray!" to a depressed person it may not cheer him up at all.

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Thank you very much, Cyberherbalist. That was very helpful. – banksiae Oct 10 '13 at 8:21

The pairs are different in what the author means to convey, though in the examples the actions may be the same. Each of the two structures has its uses in appropriate contexts. For one, it is the controlling verb that gets the focus of the statement.

give him a hug
hug him

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Thank you, Kris. – banksiae Oct 10 '13 at 8:21

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