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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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 ...
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71 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 ...
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2answers
240 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 ...
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427 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 ...
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2answers
471 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 ...
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2answers
209 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 ...
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1answer
298 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"?
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50 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?
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195 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?
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2answers
257 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
309 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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373 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 ...
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1answer
163 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
170 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
756 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 ...
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3answers
521 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
310 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
264 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
222 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
86 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
320 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
234 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 ...
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1answer
665 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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1answer
293 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
89 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
103 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
750 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
90 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
167 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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1answer
170 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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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
448 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
628 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
120 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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408 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 ...
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1k 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 ...
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1answer
303 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
277 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
110 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
504 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
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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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“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
655 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
1k 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? ...