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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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
242 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
75 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
63 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
2k 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
142 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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1answer
46 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
811 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
140 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
156 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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1answer
426 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
741 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
301 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
523 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
4k 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
11k 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
154 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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1answer
388 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
753 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
65 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
699 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
545 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
687 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
3k 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
300 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
258 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
69 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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2answers
86 views

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
130 views

Is a phrase 'your happy being' correct?

My friend asked me to the beach with this sentence: The beach is waiting for your happy being. Is the sentence he used correct?
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4answers
4k 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
192 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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1answer
2k 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 ...
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2answers
12k views

“Dream of” vs. “dream about”

What is the difference between the usage of dream of and dream about? For example, I dream of becoming a doctor. I dream about becoming a doctor. I dream of going to places. I dream about ...
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2answers
25 views

What terms should be used to mean the different states of attendance of volunteers in a clinical study?

In a clinical trail with several visits, it is common to see volunteers not attending their visits at some time point for different reasons. I have these different situations, and I would like to know ...
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3answers
287 views

Phrasal Verb request for cover in a cursory manner

Can someone suggest a phrasal verb which means "not covering something in full detail" or treating the subject in a "cursory manner". Something which implies that the details have been omitted ...
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1answer
461 views

Is “aware of” used correctly in this sentence?

Is there a better way to write the following sentence: After you called me at home – angry about a request I did not make, nor was aware of – I cried in front of my family. Second, is of a ...
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2answers
954 views

'Think in' expression - correct or not?

It might sound like a newbie question, but... Today on my English lessons I argued with the teacher whether you can say 'think in' or not. For me it's obvious that you can (there's even a book ...
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1answer
3k views

“Take on responsibility” vs. “take up responsibilty”

I now have to take _ additional responsibility. Are both on and up grammatically correct? Is there a difference in meaning? When to use which one?
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But you got to make me change my mind. - what usage of “get” is this?

I am trying to understand the usage of the "get" in the sentence: But you got to make me change my mind. I guess it is not "have got".
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1answer
2k views

“Back it up” meaning [closed]

What does back it up mean in this context? He can be cocky, but he's got stuff to back it up.
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1answer
426 views

“have to” a phrasal verb

Why is "have to" not listed as a phrasal verb in the dictionary? "have" means to be in possession of something while "have to" means "obliged to". So "have to" seem to be non-compositional in terms of ...
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6answers
31k 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 ...
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2answers
352 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 ...
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1answer
458 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'? ...
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3answers
976 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 ...
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3answers
282 views

Difference between 'lie' and 'lie down'

What is difference between lie and lie down? Please explain with some examples.
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3answers
179 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 ...
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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 ...
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3answers
3k 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 ...
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3answers
155 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 ...