A phrasal verb is a combination of a verb and a preposition, a verb and an adverb, or a verb with both an adverb and a preposition.

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Question about phrasal verbs

When looking up a word in my Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary recently, I noticed that there's a section for phrasal verbs at the end of the entry. The particular word was bow. When you take a ...
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Difference between 'get at' and 'get on at'

E.g. 'My boss is always getting on at me even if I haven't done anything wrong.' 'Her parents keep getting at her for skipping classes.' I'm wondering whether these phrasal verbs have ...
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40 views

What is the meaning of “gassed for”? [closed]

I was reading a comment on ELU and it is... ... when you've been gassed for your oral surgery. Is it an idiomatic thing to say "gassed for or gassed up"?
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63 views

A song came on tv

I'm not a native English speaker, so I wanted to ask something. How would you say that 'As i was zapping through the channels, and this song came on'. Is this a correct sentence? Basically what I ...
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1answer
58 views

Why it is not possible to put a noun object after the particle when the object refers to a person with some phrasal verbs ? Is there a specific rule?

For example: X pulled off the sweater or X pulled the sweater off but let someone off the hook not let off the hook someone to knock over the car or to knock the car over and to knock the child ...
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When to use -ed or not as part of objective portion of sentence

Which one of the following usage is correct and why? I would like to have the content changed to the following: ... OR I would like to have the content change to the following: ... The ...
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96 views

What does “Back on for today” mean?

I received the following email from a colleague, who is a native speaker of American English: Back on for today. Starting at [10:00]. What does "back on for today" mean?
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1answer
56 views

What does “the take-up” mean?

I couldn't find the proper meaning in the dictionaries. Could anyone explain to me what does the author mean by "the take-up" here in this excerpt? There has been a trend towards setting the ...
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1answer
24 views

Brush up on as a Tri-Part

Is "brush up on" technically a tri-part phrasal verb?
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2answers
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Sit v. sit down

I seriously cannot find any good, thorough responses to this question, and I'm trying to help out a non-native friend. Sit down implies motion. I understand that because of the preposition "down". ...
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1answer
110 views

“Don't fall in anger”, I heard you say

If the phrase rang a bell, it's because the actual Oasis song lyric is "Don't look back in anger", I heard you say. But did my question title sound very strange or only slightly off? I might argue ...
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Is *to see something through* a productive phrasal verb?

Some verbs in English make the use of additional particles, often called prepositions, due to the fact that they are always homophonous. I do not call them adverbs because I claim they are not always ...
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3answers
42 views

Throw a ball up versus Throw up a ball

For the phrasal verb to throw something up, as it to toss an object in the air, is this sentence OK, or is it interpreted as John vomiting out a ball? (I) John threw up a ball My intuition is that ...
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7answers
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Is “to boil down” formal enough to be used in scientific writing? [closed]

The phrase to boil down to something can be found in most dictionaries. However, to me, it sounds colloquial to write Finding an exact solution to Eq. 1 boils down to ... A real-life ...
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2answers
206 views

“Start to Inf.” vs. “start V-ing” [duplicate]

I want to know about usage of "start + action" and "stop + action". Which one of followin are correct or preferred? For ex. When shall I start working? When shall I stop working? Or ...
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3answers
50 views

Use of Phrasal Verb 'Yearn for'

I'd like to ask if the following sentence is grammatically correct: It is a rare luxury yearned for by even those who have it all. I am especially concerned with the usage of the phrasal verb ...
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17 views

"The experience remained stamped on her memory for many years

"The experience remained stamped on her memory for many years. Could that be possible to use a phrasal verb after a verb just like this sentence above?
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1answer
90 views

Is the phrasal verb “sober up” interchangeable with “sober down”

I understand that phrasal verbs are extremely idiosyncratic. If I have to replace -Sober up or calm down, would sober down be an appropriate choice, and a formal alternative. Edit: Or can i ...
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2answers
116 views

Are “bear someone out” and “back someone up” sometimes interchangeable?

Back up - v.tr - to support Bear out - v.tr - to prove right or justified, confirm, corroborate. In the following sentences, are "bear someone out" and "back someone up" perfectly ...
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1answer
100 views

Meaning of “cross-reference against” [closed]

What does it mean if one thing is "cross referenced against" the other? Like the following example: Each story is cross-referenced against the other.
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1answer
65 views

allow for vs. note [closed]

Take account of in Collins American Dictionary: ​1. to take into consideration; allow for ​2. to take notice of; note Would you simply tell me what the difference is between 1 and 2?
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1answer
52 views

“Stands for” direction?

In the song YOLO I heard the lyric "You oughta look out also stands for YOLO." I thought that the correct usage of "stands for" with acronyms was only the "[acronym] stands for [meaning]" direction. ...
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1answer
278 views

Lights go out or go off? [duplicate]

I don't understand why they say "One by one, the street lights went out leaving us in total darkness." Why there can't be "...the street lights went off..."? I have looked it up in dictionary; "go ...
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4answers
107 views

Can a symmetry be “broken down” (to a lower symmetry)?

Background Symmetries are a key concept in physics, and describe the invariance of a system under certain operations (for example, rotation). Breaking a symmetry refers to modifying the system in a ...
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26 views

precede versus take precedence of

I would like to describe the relationship between two start dates. I have been repeatedly using "start date of A precede the start date of B." I am wondering if an alternative expression "start date ...
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4answers
321 views

Do we hang up a telephone call, or just “hang up”? [closed]

I have to announce a message on a call that is like this Alert!! There is an alarm from the system,to disarm the system, press 5, to ignore this call , hang up!! Is this OK? should I use hang ...
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2answers
121 views

What preposition should be used with “cache”?

Which is most grammatical? It's still cached to your phone. It's still cached in your phone. It's still cached on your phone. I find myself gravitating towards "to" but I'm not sure - ...
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2answers
82 views

“Blinds us to” or “blinds us from”?

I see these phrases sometimes: "blinds us from" and "blinds us to". Which form is correct? The whole sentence would be something like "blinds us from the truth".
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236 views

What does “take out your book” mean? [closed]

What does this phrase mean? "take out your book" Because I have found no relevant meaning of take+out as a phrasal verb in the online dictionaries. Can any one help me?
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2answers
446 views

Tidy up - put things in order

According to English WordNet, tidy up has a meaning: put (things or places) in order: "Tidy up your room!" I feel comfortable with the use of "Tidy up your room!" However, what is the exact ...
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3answers
165 views

Finish off your meal, or finish up your meal?

In the situation where you want to tell a kid about the expected order of activities, which phrasal verb is correct? You have to finish off your meal before you may watch the movie. or You have to ...
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2answers
95 views

What can replace “consists of”?

For reasons I cannot explain, I hate the phrase consists of. Does anyone have an alternative? An example is: Testing consists of continual operation, alternating between random writes and random ...
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3answers
1k views

Why can’t you say “I fell the stairs”?

The verb to fall strongly implies the direction down, but in some circumstances it is obligatory (in StdAmEng) to include the word “down.” The example I have in mind right now is I fall down the ...
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1answer
5k views

“Contribute for” or “Contribute to” or “Contribute on” or “Contribute in”

We said : I do want to thank Mr. Foulen and Mr. Felten who contribute for server hosting . or I do want to thank Mr. Foulen and Mr. Felten who contribute to server hosting . or I ...
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1answer
103 views

Two verbal nouns with one/two prepositional phrases

I have a question on English style. Take the following sentence: Following the Candidate Shabbat, all participants are mailed an official letter of acceptance to or rejection from the program. ...
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140 views

“I will call you back” instead of “I will call back you” Why? [duplicate]

Why "I will call you back" instead of "I will call back you"? Here "call back" is a phrasal verb, and "back" is a particle. Then why are we separating the particle? Is there any rule for it?
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3answers
393 views

“Sit down” vs. “sit up”

When someone is lying down, you say sit up. When someone is standing in an upright position, you say sit down. What in the situation when you want to ask a very small kid to sit down to a chair, but ...
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3answers
50 views

The structure of “come on in”

Why do two adverbs follow come in the phrase, come on in? I know come in, come on, go away, but when I hear "Come on in" in American movies, I can't figure out its grammatical structure.
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1answer
404 views

What does it mean to step up for something? [closed]

Here's an example sentence. Thanks for stepping up for my project.
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8answers
342 views

What is the difference between “fill” and “fill in”?

I am confused by fill and fill in. I checked online, and both forms are used in fill a hole fill in a hole So I am wondering is there any difference in meaning between them? If not, what's the ...
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4answers
684 views

“They slipped from my hands the moment I picked them [up]”

They were like puzzle pieces that slipped from my hands the moment I picked them [up]. Is the up necessary? Why or why not?
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3answers
1k views

Is “out” a preposition or an adverb in these sentences?

Is out a preposition or an adverb in these sentences? "We need to get the hell out of this place." "We need to get out and leave this place."
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2answers
175 views

Are “Creep up” and “Climb up” phrasal verb?

In the phrases "Creeping up the backstairs" or "Climbing up the wall", is up only a preposition, or is it part of a phrasal verb?
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2answers
138 views

What is the difference between “Come on home” and “Come home”?

What is the difference between "Come on home" and "Come home"? In this case "Come on" is a phrasal verb?
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1answer
59 views

Using 'stand for' in reference to persons

Can in the following sentence ... 'I know Christian would want to be here, but I'm here in his place.' ... 'I'm here in his place' be replaced with 'I stand here for him'? I.e.: 'I know Christian ...
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Using 'stand for' in reference to acronyms

I read that 'stand for' means 'To represent; symbolize,' and now I'm wondering whether it can be used in reference to an acronym. For example, is it proper English the following question ... 'Can ...
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1answer
78 views

Is a phrase 'your happy being' correct?

My friend asked me to the beach by a sentence; 'The beach is waiting for your happy being.' Is the sentence he used correct?
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4answers
2k views

What Does Strike a Chord Mean?

I am not a native speaker. From my reading and verbal communication, I came to believe that striking a chord means connecting to someone at an emotional level. However, I recently used it somewhere ...
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2answers
157 views

Phrasal verbs: single entity?

I am teaching English to my cousin, but I am not sure how to explain phrasal verbs correctly. For example "take off". I explain it as two words but a single entity. When I ask her to name a verb in ...
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967 views

Is it correct to use “pointing out” in this context?

I am writing in this context I am so excited about XXXX. Thanks a lot for pointing it out to me. You are great Is point out the correct expression to use? Note: the one I am sending ...