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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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?
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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?
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225 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. ...
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5answers
299 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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
145 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 ...
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2answers
154 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.
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0answers
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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 ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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3answers
464 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 ...
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3answers
271 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 ...
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1answer
234 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 ...
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1answer
3k 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 ...
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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 ...
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6answers
214 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 ...
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1answer
85 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 ...
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2answers
308 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 ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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1answer
617 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 ...
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278 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 ...
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1answer
82 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, ...
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1answer
100 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 ...
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3answers
671 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 ...
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63 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?
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1answer
87 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 ...
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1answer
165 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"? ...
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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 ...
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166 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 ...
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991 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 ...
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1answer
414 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.
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10answers
593 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 ...
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2answers
116 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.
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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 ...
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“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 ...
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1answer
291 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 ...
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3answers
271 views

word for the act of each person in a group put in some money combined to buy something

What's the verb/phrasal verb to describe the act of giving/putting in a share of money towards a total amount to buy something as a group where each of the other members in the group put in their ...
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1answer
89 views

“Bring down X” vs. “bring X down” [duplicate]

I am unable to understand the difference between these two sentences: I want him to bring down the opponents. I want him to bring the opponents down. Which is right and when should each ...
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2answers
108 views

Is “Cutting Across the Afternoon of Life” grammatical? [closed]

I'm using this for a title of short story. The title has to reflect the last line of the story, which is as follows: A long, dark shadow cuts across the countless cubicles. I've thought of ...
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2answers
454 views

Why is it “objections to moving”, not “objections to move”? [closed]

I got this sentence from the Economist: There are two primary objections to moving to the chained CPI. My question is, why have they used moving instead of move after objections to?
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4answers
289 views

break/burst into + '-ing' form

Is it possible to use a verb in the -ing form with these phrasal verbs? I mean, dictionaries I use contain only some exemplary sentences with a noun following the phrasal verb (break/burst into ...
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1answer
3k views

“is to” + verb, “was to” + verb

I've got a sentence that I can't quite well understand. My problem in the sentence is the "were to play" part. How does it change the meaning of the sentence? Does it mean that this was an action in ...
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1answer
598 views

Can one use “known from” as “known for”?

I wonder if we can use the form "known from" instead of "known for" (saving the same meaning, of course). For example: "NY is known from its beautiful Empire State Building" instead of "NY is known ...
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1answer
963 views

What does “switch off” mean? [closed]

I read a blog post which includes the following sentence: I hear many PhD students say they feel stressed because they can’t switch off. What does the term switch off mean in the sentence above? ...
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1answer
465 views

“impede” vs. “impede on”

I can’t figure out whether the following sentence needs the word on or not: It was getting crowded, impeding our ability to move around. It was getting crowded, impeding on our ability to ...
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1answer
3k views

“Take the role” vs. “take over the role” vs. “take on the role”

Is there a significant difference between the three expressions, or can they be used interchangeably? I'm trying to say that a colleague of mine succeeded to another after the latter had quit his ...
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2answers
1k views

Is there any difference between “stoop down” and “stoop”?

According to Longman, they are the same, but I wonder if this is correct or if so, which one is more common. For example: Dave stooped down to tie his shoes. Dave stooped to tie his shoes. ...
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5answers
835 views

Looking for the opposite of “drill down”

I am a programmer working on a chart component that allows to drill down on selection of a node. Drilling down will show the details of that node (like its children etc.). But I am struggling to find ...
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3answers
228 views

Topography of phrasal verbs

Is there an exhaustive list of the prepositions/adverbs/particles that can contribute to a phrasal verb? And is there any 'verb-part' that can be used with the entire list?
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Meaning of “broken off short”

What does "the handle broken off short" mean when referring to an axe? Does it mean the handle is broken off and it is a little far from the rest, or that it is broken close to the axe and there is ...
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2answers
345 views

“Wash hands of” — why not “off” instead of “of”?

The phrase "wash hands of" is supposed to mean giving up or having nothing to do with something. But why is it "of" and not "off"? Using "off" sounds more like giving it up and distancing oneself ...