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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Storm off vs storm out

Is there any difference between these two? Can I say: He had a row and stormed off/out?
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33 views

Call in, drop in, drop by, call on, come by, run in, step in… how and when to use them? [closed]

call in drop in drop by call on come by run in step in They all expressed the idea of visiting someone/someplace, but I want to know the nuances of the using those verbs. Would you sort/group them ...
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49 views

“replace with” vs. “replace by” in the sense of substituting strings

Given that both prepositions are acceptable in general contexts with a slight deviation in usage, meaning, and voice ("Replace with" versus "replace by" has a too wide scope), let ...
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4answers
3k views

Meaning of to “will someone on”

In the following extract from David Cameron's last speech as PM, I don't understand the last part which includes "will someone on": And the PM won applause and a standing ovation from Tories - ...
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2answers
137 views

A verb that means “to die of a broken heart”

Is there any one-word verb, a phrasal verb, or an idiom that means "to die of a broken heart" or "to die of grief/sadness"? Example: She went through a lot of adversities and grief in the past ...
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110 views

Is “He was shot in the street” ambiguous? [closed]

I'd say both of these uses of "he was shot" make sense: "How did he die?" -- "He was shot in the street" [meaning shot dead] "He was shot in the street, but luckily the bullet only hit his foot." [...
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2answers
99 views

What does “to stall around” mean? [closed]

Please, tell me the meaning of "to stall around" in the sentences, for instance: I stall around outside the cafe. He was stalling around her house two days ago. She heard a click and the fighting ...
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53 views

Does “fork out” only mean “pay unwillingly”?

I was wondering if I could use the word "fork out" in the following context, implying that a person doesn't wish to spend a lot of money. If you don't feel like forking out, we could go to a cheaper ...
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45 views

To use “Commit Suicide” [closed]

Does "commit suicide" necessarily mean that the person referred to actually died? Or, does it only mean that she tries to kill herself?
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147 views

What does Donald Trump's: …it was time to “turn them in”… mean?

The Washington Post (June 13) reports that Mr. Donald Trump told “It was time to turn them in” on Fox News in the article under the title, “Trump just faced his first big leadership test. He failed ...
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3answers
115 views

How to analyse “Shot dead” [closed]

What kind of a term is 'shot dead'? "He was shot dead." Is 'dead' an adverb here? "He shot Sam dead." This is like a phrasal verb, but 'dead' isn't a preposition or particle. Is 'shot dead' some ...
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1answer
51 views

Use of “hand in” in this sentence [closed]

I've already learned that "hand in" is a phrasal verb that means "submit". But I've also seen this sentence somewhere: "The homework is not hand in on time". I've already checked grammar by several ...
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5answers
195 views

Phrasal verbs in the passive voice

I was trying to think of some test for whether a verb/preposition combination is a phrasal verb or not, and I though of one, then immediately realised it was useless. If you turn the combination into ...
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0answers
43 views

Phrasal verb, adverb, or intransitive?

Can someone analyse this sentence for me? "Rex bit into his toy cat." (Yes, it's from 'Rex Barks'.) Is 'bit into' a phrasal verb, and 'his toy cat' the Direct Object? Or is 'into' an adverb to 'bit'...
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2answers
320 views

What is the meaning of “mess somebody up”? [closed]

A nurse is telling: There was a girl who was driving inside a tunnel and something just fell on her car and she died. That messes me up more than thinking about patients who are sick. I have a ...
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2answers
68 views

Fire off (Phrasal verb)

I've looked up the phrasal verb fire off in the major dictionaries. Although no dictionary states that the phrasal verb suggests no intention of hitting a target. All the example sort of suggest so. ...
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1answer
76 views

Does “intimate” = “imply + infer”? Or just “hint at”?

I'm not clear on how intimate (in verb form) is perceived. Until I looked it up, I never would have believed (never seen) it used with inanimate objects as subject...I thought to intimate something ...
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53 views

Should I use 'able' or 'able to' in this question, even if it means that the sentence ends with 'to'? [duplicate]

My doubt is: Which of these two sentences is correct? We are always looking for ways to reach all the learners in our classroom as effectively as we are able. OR: We are always looking ...
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143 views

what do we say when a fever or cold has subsided and it's almost over with?

We say pick up or catch a cold when we first get it. Then when it really intensifies we say smth like "it's settled /settling in", I don't know whatever else people would say.. Anyways, when it ...
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41 views

Ellipsis (Gapping) and Prepositions

A simple example of ellipsis is: Peter likes to eat apples, and Mary oranges. (Peter likes to eat apples, and Mary [likes to eat] oranges.) Recently, I've been engaged in a debate about a ...
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0answers
53 views

Subtle differences between verbs and their phrasal forms

I often read sentences that use a phrasal verb that could be replaced by the verb without the particle. As a non-native English speaker, this confuses me a lot. For example, what is the difference ...
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1answer
106 views

What is a phrase or word for 'not logged in' state?

On a website, if you log in, you're in a logged in state, if you then log out, you are in a logged out state. What do you call the state before you have ever logged in to a site? Is it correct to ...
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0answers
104 views

Phrasal verbs with synonymous opposites

There are some cases in English where one can substitute in a word that normally has an opposite meaning, but instead produces the same meaning. For examples, consider the following meanings and uses:...
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20 views

“ever in revolt” and its grammatical role in the sentence

"It freezes the water to prevent it running to the sea; it drives the sap out of the trees till they are frozen to their mighty hearts; and most ferociously and terribly of all does the Wild harry and ...
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4answers
310 views

Is “Never mind” a phrasal verb?

When we say "never mind that" to mean disregard or don't worry about, is it a verb altogether (a phrasal verb) or is "mind" the verb that's modified by the adverb never? Examples: Never mind what he ...
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1answer
37 views

“put up” meaning

This is something in the context of making appointments, taken from the book titled "W is for Wasted" by Sue Grafton. I've looked up the meaning in Merriam-Webster dictionary but it all looks ...
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1answer
50 views

How to spell “day hike” when it is used as a verb?

The compound noun "day hike" is used to describe "a hike that can be completed in a single day". It is most frequently written with a space in between the words, though you can find examples online ...
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2answers
122 views

count on me / count me on [closed]

Is there any difference between these two? For example, in reply to a message asking whether I am attending an event, what would be the right one to use? Can we use count on me / count me on ...
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1answer
67 views

“Amount to” vs “Amount for” [closed]

What is the main difference between "amounts for" and "amounts to"? As much as I know they are phrasal verbs of amount. The meaning of "amounts to" can be easily found by googling it. But no results ...
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1answer
38 views

“tracked up” verbal phrase meaning

I am getting difficulty in deducing the meaning of idiom tracked up in the given diction below, ( paragraph below is taken from the NYTimes editorials ) : ...the Boston Global to do more than ...
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0answers
66 views

Opposite of 'buckle up'

If I wanted a kid in my car to fasten his/her seatbelt, I'd say 'Buckle up!'. It is an informal expression, and I'm wondering if there is a phrasal verb with the opposite meaning (to unfasten/...
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2answers
414 views

Difference between Keep on+V-ing and Keep+V-ing

Please help me to find out the answer. Am I right if I say I keep on walking in this dark way? or I keep walking in this dark way? What is the difference between the two sentences?
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Looking for a verb that means the same as this proverb.

After black clouds, clear weather. I'm looking for a verb for 'clear weather' here. I want to comfort someone but by using a verb that carries the meaning of this. That there will be relief and ...
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0answers
125 views

What is the difference between hand in, turn in and hand over?

What is the difference between these verbs. In which context should I use which? I think that these verbs may be interchangeable, but not all the times. For example: I turned in my homework to the ...
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2answers
70 views

Can you specify the meaning of “candy over” as a phrasal verb?

As far as I know "candy" function as a noun only. However I came across this saying by Virginia Woolf "Really I don't like human nature unless all candied over with art". This phrasal verb makes me ...
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38 views

Usage of “do by”

By 'do by' :- You've did wrong/ill by me. You've done ill by him by prejudging him. You're doing ill by me. You've did me ill by by what you groundlessly accused me of. Sir, you have done me wrong ...
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59 views

Kick or kick off a discussion? [closed]

When you want to say "starting a thread to discuss something", is it more correct saying "kick a discussion" or "kick off a discussion"? Thank you.
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1answer
52 views

Phrasal verbs leftward movement

I was reading a research paper on translating multi-word items, which include phrasal verbs, and I came across a passage about phrasal verbs, by Dixon, that reads: Moreover, leftward movement will ...
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152 views

which is more correct? “of my own age” or “of my same age”

I really faced that problem a lot. So, I want to end these frustrations and make it clear for me in order to improve my English Thanks in advance.
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213 views

Turn on vs Switch on [closed]

Which one is correct between turn on or switch on an air conditioner at home?
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1answer
62 views

What does “play in” mean in this sentence? [closed]

In the book Designing for Growth: A Design Thinking Toolkit for Managers (Google Books Link) the following sentence occurs: The designers envision several futuristic worlds to prototype for and ...
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2answers
75 views

What does “exit onto” mean? [closed]

I don't understand exit onto in the following sentences: Target is east and north of you, looks like Highway 56 to 17. Will intercept him if he stays on 17. Go east on 56 off Highway 2. What? ...
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1answer
49 views

“Joy crept into his face” vs. “Joy crept onto his face” [closed]

Please see the sentence: When he saw his grade, joy crept into/onto his face. At first glance, it seems like both could be correct, but they are not exactly synonymous. In what situation should ...
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2answers
70 views

Etymology of the phrase “goof off”

It seems clear to be an American idiom with the approximate meaning, "to waste time or procrastinate." My curiosity is about its possible relation to the Goofy, the Disney cartoon character.
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1answer
72 views

What part of speech is “alight” in “set alight”?

In the clause it was set alight, is alight acting as adverb and modifying was set an adjective and modifying it; or something else entirely that I'm missing. I'm fairly certain that set ...
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1answer
66 views

What words can be paired with “wreak”?

I can think only of havoc. What other things can be wrought in the present tense?
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2answers
104 views

to almost meet someone at some place

Is there a common way to say in English that two people were in the same place but didn't know at the time about each other and eventually didn't meet? I know one can say they passed each other on ...
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55 views

Is “Step out from behind” a phrasal verb?

Look at these examples: He stepped out from behind the curtain. Step out from behind the counter. Step out from behind the blue wall. Step out from behind the veil of illusion.
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1k views

Which is correct? log in, log on, log into, log onto [duplicate]

I've seen different questions related to the same verb, but those questions implicate an imperative form (For example when you tell somebody to log in/on) which I think may vary the condition in which ...
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3answers
167 views

Is “keep off” considered a phrasal verb, as in “keep off the grass”?

Or is "off" simply a preposition in this case? If it's a phrasal verb, would it still be considered so in the phrase: Keep your hands off her.