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.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

9
votes
5answers
8k views

“Replace with” versus “replace by”

I often see "replace with" and "replace by" used interchangeably, but this doesn't sound right to me: I replaced that component by this one. I would use "with" in such a sentence. "By" only ...
1
vote
2answers
270 views

Phrasal verbs with “go”

I'm doing the Cambridge Upper-intermediate English course and there is a lection on "go xxx" phrasal verbs. Go ahead - to start to do something Go on - to start operating / to continue or ...
4
votes
1answer
315 views

'Complete a confusion' — expression or confusion?

Is complete someone's confusion a popular expression that makes sense? This expression pops up so often I wonder I am missing something here. Does complete here mean to 'resolve'/ 'clarify'? ...
1
vote
1answer
453 views

Meaning: to back into

The title of a section of a book by Robert Nozick is: *How to Back into a State without Really Trying". I've never come across the word back as a verb, except to back up. I can't find this phrasal ...
2
votes
3answers
188 views

Difference between 'lie' and 'lie down'

What is difference between lie and lie down? Please explain with some examples.
3
votes
3answers
143 views

“covered by” vs. “covered with”

I found this sentence in some book: Imagine a young child who already knows that creatures that live in water are fish, they have gills, and their skin is covered by scales. Saying “their skin ...
0
votes
0answers
25 views

How are (any) phrasal verbs used with nouns? [duplicate]

I was unable to find anything worthwhile, so I'm eager to ask it here. Is it fully correct to put the "it" in the middle and say "turn it down" (or any other phrasal verb)? Can I say both "He took up ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

Phrasal verb “be a thing”

I’m looking for the origin of the phrasal verb “to be a thing”. It means roughly “exist” or more specifically “be recognised” or “be a phenomenon”. I first noticed it around 2008–2009. Is ...
3
votes
3answers
140 views

Adverb for a person who is not the subject

If I went home and was happy to do so, I can say that "I went home happily". If I sent somebody else home and he was happy to do so, can I say that "I sent Johnny home happily"? This doesn't sound ...
0
votes
1answer
73 views

what do you think of NP?

[i] She thinks of herself as a poet. (Collins #7) [ii] People are thinking of her for president. (Webster’s, think of #2.b) [iii] What do you think of the film? (Cambridge) It seems like verb ...
2
votes
2answers
291 views

A word meaning “To bring out of retirement” / “To bring back into use”

(Re)instate? -- Seems too specific. (Re-)employ? -- Seems to apply to both machines and people, which is useful. But re-employ seems too general. Activate? -- Seems most appropriate perhaps, although ...
1
vote
2answers
447 views

Relative clauses with prepositional verb phrase

The people ø you work with are your 'colleagues'. The people that you work with are your 'colleagues'. The people who you work with are your 'colleagues'. The people whom you work with are ...
0
votes
2answers
598 views

Holding off on it or Holding it off or Holding off of it?

I would like to say that I'm pausing / postponing work on something. I wasn't sure which of the following is the right way to say it: I'm holding off on it for the time being I'm holding off of ...
0
votes
2answers
225 views

“Even though none of you have yet to believe it” — grammatical?

Is the following sentence from the TV series American Horror Story correct, formal grammar? We are powerful. Even though none of you have yet to believe it. In my understanding, it would be ...
1
vote
1answer
368 views

What is the difference between “start off” and “start”?

For me they both seem interchangeable, but I suspect there should be at least subtle difference in meaning. When it's more appropriate to use "start off" instead of just "start"?
0
votes
2answers
51 views

Phrasal Usage of called on

Consider the sentence: "America's respected Institute of Medicine called for/on nurses to play a greater role in primary care." Which is more appropriate on or for?
0
votes
1answer
232 views

What does get to mean in this sentence? [closed]

Gorilla babies and elephant babies and human babies are not so different, except that a gorilla gets to spend the day riding on his mother's back. What does get to mean in this sentence?
1
vote
2answers
318 views

Use of the word 'mete' without using the word 'out'

NOAD defines mete as: dispense or allot justice, a punishment, or harsh treatment When talking about this sense of the word, we normally hear the verb mete used in verbal phrase mete out. ...
-1
votes
5answers
329 views

Specific word/phrase/idiom for the following scenario

I have a second cousin living at the end of my street, but we hardly meet. I plan to meet her soon and tell her to come out and go out for a walk. Could anyone suggest a phrase, word, or an idiom ...
6
votes
3answers
440 views

Come to (regain consciousness) and pull to (shut)

I don't know if it's part of my regional dialect, but around these parts we use the phrase "pull to" to mean 'close the door all the way.' It wasn't until last week that it struck me as odd. Pull the ...
0
votes
1answer
194 views

“Take a quest” or “Take up a quest”?

If I take this quest, I shall be redeemed in her eyes. vs Take up the quest to receive a handsome reward! Which usage is semantically correct or (if both correct) better? Take or take up or ...
0
votes
2answers
197 views

“Bite off” and “bite of” [closed]

"I take a bite off my pizza." Or "I take a bite of my pizza." Or neither or both? I am not sure how to use bite off/of correctly.
1
vote
0answers
3k views

How to use particles like 'back', 'on', 'off', 'around', 'up', 'down' or 'out' are used sometimes with phrasal verbs? Use of English [closed]

How to use particles like 'back', 'on', 'off', 'around', 'up', 'down' or 'out' are used sometimes with phrasal verbs? back - return on - continue off - travel to another place around - do ...
7
votes
2answers
857 views

What kind of word is “place” in “take place”?

I'm currently analyzing verbs with Stanford CoreNLP and WordNet. I'm interested in particular in verb meanings. I came across sentences like "The scene takes place on the grass." and I found the verb ...
7
votes
3answers
621 views

Usage of “stood up” to mean “set up”

I was reading this question on meta.ELU and was struck by what, to me, was a strange use of the phrasal verb to stand up: The site for English Language Learners was stood up in large part so that ...
3
votes
3answers
394 views

Difference between “rip on someone” and “pick on someone”?

The free dictionary gives this definition for rip on: give someone a hard time; to hassle someone and this one for pick on: to harass or bother someone or something, usually unfairly It ...
1
vote
1answer
305 views

What is the difference between “brush aside” and “brush off”?

He brushed her ideas / accusations aside He brushed her ideas / accusations off She brushed him off / aside after breaking up What's the difference between brush off and brush aside? I looked the ...
-2
votes
1answer
4k views

“Get up” vs. “wake up” [closed]

I am not a native English speaker. Whet I get up late in the morning, I get to inform my office that I am late for that particular day. And I am always confused if I should use "I just got up" or "I ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Meaning of the phrase “Lean in” [closed]

There's a book entitled Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead. It's not clear what exactly phrasal verb Lean in in it's title means. Does its meaning differ from the meaning of the verb to lean ...
5
votes
6answers
236 views

Can you “sound up a room” the same way you can light it up?

I'm trying to say that a certain individual adds noise to any place he goes. When someone, figuratively, enhances the mood of a room he enters we say "he lights up the room". Is there any way to use ...
0
votes
1answer
90 views

What's the meaning of “drag” in this context?

This is a comment from a forum discussion: This is OT. You must cook every meal to perfect macros. You then must buy tupperware and drag it into work the next day. That is all you are allowed to ...
2
votes
2answers
338 views

Can “take fruit in” something mean you enjoy it?

Consider to take fruit in something For example: I take fruit in my life. I feel like I have heard this term used before, but because I couldn't find an example with Google, I wanted to ...
2
votes
2answers
251 views

When can we change the order of the particle and the verb in a phrasal verb?

My textbook says this: Be careful with word order when using phrasal verbs. The verb and particle cannot be separated: when it is a three-part phrasal verb I caught up with Jack ...
-2
votes
1answer
733 views

What are the main differences between AmE and BrE phrasal verbs? [closed]

What are the main differences between AmE and BrE phrasal verbs? It seems to me that BrE uses more phrasal verbs than AmE and that the particle of the phrasal verb changes sometimes from AmE to BrE ...
3
votes
1answer
320 views

Origin of phrasal verb “love on”

Lately I've been hearing friends talk about loving on people. Here's an example of the sort of thing they'll say: We should be working in the streets and loving on the homeless. Forge ...
0
votes
1answer
94 views

Using the proper particle in: “Spirit, we are going to call you [x]!”

Suppose we want to talk to a spirit of a deceased person and so, using magic, we want to make the spirit appear. Surely, first of all, we should "call" for their presence in the place where we are, ...
2
votes
1answer
108 views

Meaning of “ He still wandered on, out of the little high valley, over its edge, and down the slopes beyond”

What does this phrase: "He still wandered on, out of the little high valley, over its edge, and down the slopes beyond" mean exactly? The doubt is about the path defined. It's clear that he ...
-1
votes
3answers
876 views

Meaning of “dance out” [closed]

What does the following phrase mean? Robert danced his way out the prison. Does it mean that Robert succeeded in leaving the prison? Or that Robert danced while leaving the prison? A similar ...
1
vote
1answer
66 views

Meaning of “jump his way”

What does jump his way in the following phrase mean? Who watched "Fearless Felix" jump his way into the record books?
-5
votes
1answer
92 views

Shred off heat? [closed]

I heard a phrase which I'm not sure it's this but I liked it. It was a classical radio station in Southern California. It was a hot day and radio was playing a song about ice and snow, and the ...
-3
votes
1answer
175 views

Meaning of the phrasal verb “to dart at”

There was the poor bear, spluttering away in the water, and trying his hardest to swim whilst the goldfish darted at him in fury. What does to dart at mean in this context? Does it mean "attack"? ...
3
votes
3answers
7k views

made of vs made up of

I'd really value your thoughts on this one. I'm familiar with the following use of 'made of': The shirt is made of silk. But I'd like to know if anyone thinks using this phrasal verb as a ...
1
vote
1answer
179 views

'Take after' usage with abstract concepts

Can I use phrasal verb take after with things and abstract concepts when I want to emphasise similarity and inheritance? For example, is it correct to say either of these: Idea A takes after ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Term for verb+adverb with distinct meaning

There are verbs that, when paired with certain adverbs, can have a distinctly different meaning. For example, I looked up the word in the dictionary. The phrase looked up functions as a verb ...
-1
votes
1answer
556 views

A formal phrasal verb for “continue to stick to their belief”

How do I rewrite the following sentence so it is more formal, using a phrasal verb in place of the part in bold? Despite mounting evidence, they continue to stick to their belief.
2
votes
10answers
673 views

“To dress less attractive/flashy” to not “make yourself stand out as being more important than someone else”

I'm looking for (phrasal) verbs that describe these two actions. Imagine in a music concert, if yor're a guest singer that is invited by the main singer, you're usually going to want to dress less ...
1
vote
2answers
134 views

Usage of “voted in”

Is it correct to write voted in in the following sentences? Members may vote in a new leader. Board members will be nominated and voted in by the team.
2
votes
2answers
444 views

Why are prepositions out of place with many phrasal verbs?

Please, restrict your answers to etymological info. I browsed some other questions and found some good info here: Is it correct to change the common structure in these phrasal verbs?, which is more ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

“Sent” vs “sent off” vs “sent out”

When do we use one over another? I sent a letter. I sent off a letter. I sent out a letter. Here I found a similar topic but I am still confused. sent = sent to one or more people ...
1
vote
1answer
332 views

How should I use the phrasal verb “to d**k around”?

To waste time Stop dicking me around and get to the point. Would you please stop dicking around with her? To take advantage of You're dicking him around, you know? Don't ...