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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Use of 'write down' [on hold]

Can the expression write down be used in a context where I will write down my opinion or statement so that we can remember it in the future? Like a promise or statement with weight? 'The United ...
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The flexibility of phrasal verbs

1) put the phone down = put down the phone 2) put a baby down = put down a baby. 3) put an amendment down = put down an amendment. Does the preposition 'down' in those phrasal verbs have a flexible ...
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29 views

“Bring up a topic” or “bring up a subject”? [closed]

If I start speaking about something, do I "bring up the topic of [sth.]" or "bring up the subject of [sth.]"?
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38 views

Is “ran after” a phrasal verb?

I'm having some difficulty parsing this sentence: "The old beggar ran after the rich man." Is the verb "ran" (intransitive) with no object, or is it "ran after" (transitive) with the object ...
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77 views

Kinds of trips and their verbs

There is an exercise in a book I use which asks students to put the words for the kinds of trips in a chart, under three columns: Go, Take and Go on a/an. The problem is that after students do it, the ...
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2answers
24 views

meaning of camp down on someone

What does 'camp down' mean in the sentence: the army camped down on them with rape and murder? Does it connote something like attack or offend?
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4answers
86 views

Meaning of “get somebody back”?

Recently, I've heard that someone said "get him back". I'm not sure about the exact meaning though I can guess some. Could you please explain the meaning?
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6answers
113 views

Cold containers don't sweat—what do they do?

In warm, humid climates: If you take a container of something (say, a can of Coke or a jar of mayonnaise) and leave it at room temperature, the outside becomes wet with droplets of water— sometimes ...
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2answers
51 views

Which is correct, “be proceeded” or “be processed” (used in business letter)

Which usage (be proceed/be processed) is correct in the following sentence? (This is written in a business letter) Are there any differences between these two words? Thanks a lot! Please be noted ...
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meaning of as - as in following sentence [duplicate]

"The Plaza hotel is as near as it gets to the best shopping along New York's famous Fifth Avenue." Whats the meaning of this sentence?and what does as-as means here?
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44 views

'not fool enough to dance on the old strings', is it an idiom? This phrase is from 'The Invisible Man' by H.G Wells

In the book of 'The Invisible Man' by Wells, there is this sentence; "Kemp, you're not fool enough to dance on the old strings. Can't you see my position?" In this particular scene, Griffin(the ...
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2answers
35 views

cut / cut down * cut down on

I never know when to use "cut down on", "cut down" or just "cut". Some sentences I've come across: They are trying to cut street crime in the area. [Would "cut down on street crime" be ok?] You ...
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Can the phrasal verbs “bring about” and “bring off” be used interchangeably?

please would any one of you show me the difference between these two phrasal verbs. It is kind of nuance difference as I understood at first blush. I think that I know the meaning of bring about, it ...
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38 views

Difference between “go” and “go down” or “grill” and “grill down” [closed]

I found a phrasal verb while I was reading my book but I didn't know its meaning. Well , I am going down to the park with some friends. We are going to grill some steaks down there. Why ...
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1answer
29 views

How did the postverbal prepositions originate in 'to treat of' and 'to treat on'?

[OED:] [2.] a. {intransitive} To deal with some matter in speech or writing; to discourse. (In quot. 1517 transf. of pictorial representation.) Const. of, formerly also on, upon. How did of or ...
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47 views

Using of phrases - to catch up with [closed]

If I have got too many things to do and very little time for it. Can I say " I can not catch up with all of these".
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1answer
55 views

Is “rub on” a phrasal verb or not?

I think the following sentences are all grammatical. So I am wondering whether there is a phrasal verb "rub on" that has the same meaning as "rub"-as-a-transitive-verb. If there is no phrasal verb, ...
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39 views

How did 'of' originate in 'to conceive of'?

[OED:] [8.] d. intr. to conceive of : To form or have a conception of, think of, imagine. I'm trying to compare 'to conceive' with (the prepositional verb) 'to conceive of'. To me, both appear to ...
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3answers
96 views

'want' vs 'want for' vs 'want of'

[OED:] want {verb} = 1. a. intr. To be lacking or missing; not to exist; not to be forthcoming; to be deficient in quantity or degree. In early use const. with dative or to. rare since the 17th ...
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125 views

Why can't you place pronouns after a phrasal verb?

Many phrasal verbs such as look up or knock out typically allow the object to be placed between the verb and proposition or to be placed afterward. For example, You can look my brother up on ...
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2answers
106 views

What does “throw in the fact” and “the escrow” mean? [closed]

I came across the following dialogue in an American TV show, but I do not understand the parts in bold. (A is a 40-year-old divorced woman who is trying to hide her real age and pretends to be 26; ...
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1answer
50 views

Which word order produces the more suitable sentence? [closed]

Which of the following is an appropriate sentence? Only he could see through the trick. Only he could see the trick through. According to me, the first one is right. Can you explain which one is ...
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2answers
171 views

Adverb position in “Listen carefully to what I say” [closed]

I've come across the phrase "Listen carefully to what I say" and I'm really not sure why carefully has gone in between listen and to. It doesn't happen with other verbs; you don't "switch carefully on ...
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2answers
39 views

What is the difference between the two phrases to meet you and meeting you? [closed]

Why is this correct? I look forward to meeting you. And why is this one wrong? I look forward to meet you. I often make these mistakes when writing letters.
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2answers
86 views

“Made of” vs. “Made with”

What do they mean? How should I use them? Which one is more appropriate to what context? I was talking to a colleague of mine and we couldn't get to a consensus about what should we say when ...
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3answers
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Meaning of new sub-entry added to the Oxford English Dictionary: “to have off”

I checked out the recent updates to the OED (Oxford English Dictionary) and noticed a new verb to have off that I couldn't figure out the exact meaning of. My questions are: Is to have off have the ...
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273 views

How to use the verb “overload” in a passive sentence [closed]

My sentence is "Do not overload the equipment" and I want to change it into "The equipment shouldn't be ..." form. How should the verb "overload" be used in this situation? Is it "overloaded" or ...
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3answers
87 views

“come on as” versus “come across as”

Would you say that both sentences sound correct? On the whole, I think you came ON as sincere and credible, and your soft-spoken demeanor, laced with a dash of wry humor, was quite charming. On the ...
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2answers
59 views

Pays back or pays off? [closed]

Are these two phrasal verbs expressing the same concept or 'pays back ' has a certain negative connotation?
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1answer
199 views

From where I was sitting … talk out of school … getting pretty chummy with the money [closed]

From the film Bad Teacher 2011: Amy Squirrel: Umm...I happened to be pedalling past the 7th Grade car wash this Saturday. Wally: Kill it! Can we talk about this later? Amy Squirrel: Later ...
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2answers
115 views

Can the element in a phrasal verb have a syntactic purpose?

I am trying to create a system for teaching ESL students phrasal verbs based on the concepts contributed by the element. (For example, "up" frequently contributes the idea of finality or completion). ...
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1answer
141 views

Could “Give in” mean “Hand over”? [closed]

Give in = hand in but does give in = hand over? and which of them are equal? and what's the differences?
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445 views

Interest ( someone ) in ( something )

This phrasal verb means to persuade someone when we try offering something. Examples : Can I interest you in coffee? Can I interest you in having a special relationship between us? Do native ...
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Word for a problem that goes away when a larger thing changes?

What is a word or expression for a problem has effectively gone away because of a larger change that makes the problem no longer a problem? I'm thinking "obviated" or "made unnecessary," but it ...
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10answers
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How to describe a person in a situation in which he does not completely know what he is doing?

How can we describe a person doing or communicating something without (really) knowing what he is doing or talking about? This could be either because of some indisposition like for example ...
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1answer
58 views

Keep up v. keep up with

Keep up generally means maintain a steady pace or maintain the height/production of something, but it seems sometimes keep up can appear without it's handy "with". Compare the following: 1. You need ...
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4answers
283 views

What should be the opposite of “going out”

I know it seems to be a simple answer but that's why I'm asking what should be, not what is. Going out is composed of two words, obviously. Each of these has its opposite. So if I were to take the ...
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48 views

Should we split “call together” & “gather together”?

When an organization sends invitations to companies for a planned conference, the verbs "gather together" and "call together" seem to be interchangable in this context. Should the object stay between ...
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1answer
146 views

Can verb 'grant' be used with preposition 'with?'

Could someone explain to me if the word 'grant' can be used with 'with' and what it means? (I checked with many dictionaries, but couldn't find an example used in that way.) example sentence in an ...
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115 views

phrasal verb: 'coffee up'

I want to know what phrasal verb(s) 'coffee up' (as in 'it's good to coffee up for the day') is modelled on. What does 'up' mean in such examples? I'd appreciate your help.
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Is saying “back to back” an AmE or BrE usage [duplicate]

I have been often intrigued by the phrase "back-to-back". Referring to "back" is reminiscent of the rear of the human body. I usually hear- back-to-back meetings
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requirements about or requirements for [closed]

i try to build a phrase in the context of Master application : We said : let me know if there are further requirements for my application . or let me know if there are further ...
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1answer
134 views

Difference between “turns out” and “turns out to be”

I'm not a native English speaker, hence I'm a little confused here. I want to know the difference between the two and also correct me if I'm saying it wrong here "It's turns out to be a conspiracy ...
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3answers
268 views

Word, expression for copying someone who inspires you

All of us have a person; our elder siblings or friends or any one who we are inspired by. For example my elder sister, I love the way she carries herself, her personality, her poise, that I try my ...
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2answers
169 views

Expressions or phrasal verbs for very boring

In AE, how could I say something is very boring? I know teenagers would say "it sucks" but is there anything else, phrasal verbs or expressions? If it's something local, I would also ask you to say ...
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3answers
173 views

Opposite of “to put off”

Is there any word, expression or phrasal verb I can use that has the opposite meaning of "put off"? The case I have in mind is this: The meeting would be on saturday, but a lot of things have ...
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1answer
84 views

How to construct acceptable phrasal verbs [closed]

Native speakers using Phrasal Verbs very frequently, because it can express a lot of meanings. but Is there any rule that I can follow to construct acceptable phrasal verbs?
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1answer
5k views

Difference between What are you up for tonight vs What are you up to tonight?

I wonder if my understanding of the meanings implied in these sentences is right. Besides, I would like to know how common they are in every day English and whether they can be used interchangeably ...
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4answers
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Point someone to something

Is it correct to write something along the lines of "She pointed me to a book of X." in the sense of "making me aware of it", "bringing it to my attention"?
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3answers
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What is a formal word meaning “paid off”?

I can not think of any way to say paid off in a formal way. Susan’s speech and struggle during those rough times has _______.