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 verbs for stop working at the end of the day

I want to ask my friend when she will leave the office at the end of the day. I have found two phrasal verbs for this purpose. Knock off and get off What time do you knock off work? What time do ...
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Turn up vs Come up - Appear? [closed]

Turn up and Come up are able to mean "appear"? When can I use come up or turn up?
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97 views

What's the “textbook” way to write a passive sentence with a phrasal verb?

So, I understand that the prohibition against ending a sentence with a preposition was only ever a myth, and isn't a rule we need to follow. Still, it was a rule I was taught in school, so presumably ...
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304 views

The meaning of 'take over' in this sentence

I've recently watched a youtube video where a person mentioned a phrase 'It's pretty much taken over my Instragram'. I think she meant 'The pictures are taken over.' I tried to find out all of the ...
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114 views

Seem small clause

It is said that the omission of "to be" is allowed only when the adjective (phrases), noun (phrases), or prepositional phrase comes after the to be like this: a He seemed (to be) angry about the ...
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Is “to pass away” used for non-humans?

Is it OK to use pass away for an animal/pet, or it is just for human? If it doesn't sound OK, what should be used instead, died?
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Origins of the phrasal verb “to fall asleep”.

I have been googling around, searching for the origins of the phrasal verb "to fall asleep" but so far I have found no references. I was wondering specifically why we use the verb "to fall" to ...
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34 views

Dealing with “dealing with”. [closed]

I am writing an academic paper, and I don't know which of the two forms are more suitable and/or correct. "The question should be dealt with using different tools and methods." or "The question ...
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57 views

Verb groups and phrasal verbs

Here's a quick one: In the (potential) verb phrase 'had competed for [gaining control]' (I know it's not very elegant) is 'competed for' a phrasal verb or does 'for' begin a prepositional group with '...
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193 views

Preposition to use with the phrase “come to an understanding”

So, I'm to translate a sentence to English. It's something like: We've succeeded in coming to an understanding ______ all questions discussed. I suppose that I should use either about or in to ...
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treading a path

"He trod a path" This sentence seems to have two different meanings: 1. He walked (through the grass, for example) and his heavy steps shaped a path. 2. He walked along a path. I would like to know if ...
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81 views

The role of preposition “out” in relation to a verb [closed]

I am already aware that a preposition after a verb turns it to a phrasal verb, which happens to almost have a completely different meaning from the verb alone. However, I noticed a very frequent usage ...
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the meaning of “hunt for” similar to “look for” in the sentence I mentioned

If your dog were lost, would you say "I'll hunt for my puppy."? It sounds odd to me though dictionaries all say that "hunt for" is similar to "look for" in the meaning. Thanks a lot for answering me:)
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Why are we in love “with” someone?

I'd like to learn the etymology of using the preposition with in the phrase in love with somebody. For me it doesn't make much sense because with seems to imply something that is shared by two people, ...
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135 views

The Expression “Drop it.” Stop talking about it

There are some phrasal verbs with drop, such as: Drop in Drop by Drop off Drop out etc... I saw the expression "Just drop it" used in a movie to express 'stop talking about it'. I'm just curious ...
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118 views

The flexibility of phrasal verbs

1) put the phone down = put down the phone 2) put a baby down = put down a baby. 3) put an amendment down = put down an amendment. Does the preposition 'down' in those phrasal verbs have a flexible ...
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390 views

“Bring up a topic” or “bring up a subject”? [closed]

If I start speaking about something, do I "bring up the topic of [sth.]" or "bring up the subject of [sth.]"?
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140 views

Is “ran after” a phrasal verb?

I'm having some difficulty parsing this sentence: "The old beggar ran after the rich man." Is the verb "ran" (intransitive) with no object, or is it "ran after" (transitive) with the object "man"...
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337 views

Kinds of trips and their verbs

There is an exercise in a book I use which asks students to put the words for the kinds of trips in a chart, under three columns: Go, Take and Go on a/an. The problem is that after students do it, the ...
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meaning of camp down on someone

What does 'camp down' mean in the sentence: the army camped down on them with rape and murder? Does it connote something like attack or offend?
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Meaning of “get somebody back”?

Recently, I've heard that someone said "get him back". I'm not sure about the exact meaning though I can guess some. Could you please explain the meaning?
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Cold containers don't sweat—what do they do?

In warm, humid climates: If you take a container of something (say, a can of Coke or a jar of mayonnaise) and leave it at room temperature, the outside becomes wet with droplets of water— sometimes **...
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Which is correct, “be proceeded” or “be processed” (used in business letter)

Which usage (be proceed/be processed) is correct in the following sentence? (This is written in a business letter) Are there any differences between these two words? Thanks a lot! Please be noted ...
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meaning of as - as in following sentence [duplicate]

"The Plaza hotel is as near as it gets to the best shopping along New York's famous Fifth Avenue." Whats the meaning of this sentence?and what does as-as means here?
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161 views

'not fool enough to dance on the old strings', is it an idiom? This phrase is from 'The Invisible Man' by H.G Wells

In the book of 'The Invisible Man' by Wells, there is this sentence; "Kemp, you're not fool enough to dance on the old strings. Can't you see my position?" In this particular scene, Griffin(the ...
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129 views

cut / cut down * cut down on

I never know when to use "cut down on", "cut down" or just "cut". Some sentences I've come across: They are trying to cut street crime in the area. [Would "cut down on street crime" be ok?] You ...
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Can the phrasal verbs “bring about” and “bring off” be used interchangeably?

please would any one of you show me the difference between these two phrasal verbs. It is kind of nuance difference as I understood at first blush. I think that I know the meaning of bring about, it ...
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Difference between “go” and “go down” or “grill” and “grill down” [closed]

I found a phrasal verb while I was reading my book but I didn't know its meaning. Well , I am going down to the park with some friends. We are going to grill some steaks down there. Why doesn'...
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73 views

How did the postverbal prepositions originate in 'to treat of' and 'to treat on'?

[OED:] [2.] a. {intransitive} To deal with some matter in speech or writing; to discourse. (In quot. 1517 transf. of pictorial representation.) Const. of, formerly also on, upon. How did of or on ...
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105 views

Using of phrases - to catch up with [closed]

If I have got too many things to do and very little time for it. Can I say " I can not catch up with all of these".
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Is “rub on” a phrasal verb or not?

I think the following sentences are all grammatical. So I am wondering whether there is a phrasal verb "rub on" that has the same meaning as "rub"-as-a-transitive-verb. If there is no phrasal verb, ...
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47 views

How did 'of' originate in 'to conceive of'?

[OED:] [8.] d. intr. to conceive of : To form or have a conception of, think of, imagine. I'm trying to compare 'to conceive' with (the prepositional verb) 'to conceive of'. To me, both appear to ...
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347 views

'want' vs 'want for' vs 'want of'

[OED:] want {verb} = 1. a. intr. To be lacking or missing; not to exist; not to be forthcoming; to be deficient in quantity or degree. In early use const. with dative or to. rare since the 17th c., ...
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Why can't you place pronouns after a phrasal verb?

Many phrasal verbs such as look up or knock out typically allow the object to be placed between the verb and proposition or to be placed afterward. For example, You can look my brother up on ...
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214 views

What does “throw in the fact” and “the escrow” mean? [closed]

I came across the following dialogue in an American TV show, but I do not understand the parts in bold. (A is a 40-year-old divorced woman who is trying to hide her real age and pretends to be 26; ...
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75 views

Which word order produces the more suitable sentence? [closed]

Which of the following is an appropriate sentence? Only he could see through the trick. Only he could see the trick through. According to me, the first one is right. Can you explain which one is ...
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396 views

Adverb position in “Listen carefully to what I say” [closed]

I've come across the phrase "Listen carefully to what I say" and I'm really not sure why carefully has gone in between listen and to. It doesn't happen with other verbs; you don't "switch carefully on ...
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307 views

“Made of” vs. “Made with”

What do they mean? How should I use them? Which one is more appropriate to what context? I was talking to a colleague of mine and we couldn't get to a consensus about what should we say when ...
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Meaning of new sub-entry added to the Oxford English Dictionary: “to have off”

I checked out the recent updates to the OED (Oxford English Dictionary) and noticed a new verb to have off that I couldn't figure out the exact meaning of. My questions are: Is to have off have the ...
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374 views

How to use the verb “overload” in a passive sentence [closed]

My sentence is "Do not overload the equipment" and I want to change it into "The equipment shouldn't be ..." form. How should the verb "overload" be used in this situation? Is it "overloaded" or "...
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“come on as” versus “come across as”

Would you say that both sentences sound correct? On the whole, I think you came ON as sincere and credible, and your soft-spoken demeanor, laced with a dash of wry humor, was quite charming. On the ...
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75 views

Pays back or pays off? [closed]

Are these two phrasal verbs expressing the same concept or 'pays back ' has a certain negative connotation?
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357 views

From where I was sitting … talk out of school … getting pretty chummy with the money [closed]

From the film Bad Teacher 2011: Amy Squirrel: Umm...I happened to be pedalling past the 7th Grade car wash this Saturday. Wally: Kill it! Can we talk about this later? Amy Squirrel: Later we'...
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Can the element in a phrasal verb have a syntactic purpose?

I am trying to create a system for teaching ESL students phrasal verbs based on the concepts contributed by the element. (For example, "up" frequently contributes the idea of finality or completion). ...
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425 views

Could “Give in” mean “Hand over”? [closed]

Give in = hand in but does give in = hand over? and which of them are equal? and what's the differences?
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Interest ( someone ) in ( something )

This phrasal verb means to persuade someone when we try offering something. Examples : Can I interest you in coffee? Can I interest you in having a special relationship between us? Do native ...
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Word for a problem that goes away when a larger thing changes?

What is a word or expression for a problem has effectively gone away because of a larger change that makes the problem no longer a problem? I'm thinking "obviated" or "made unnecessary," but it ...
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How to describe a person in a situation in which he does not completely know what he is doing?

How can we describe a person doing or communicating something without (really) knowing what he is doing or talking about? This could be either because of some indisposition like for example ...
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140 views

Keep up v. keep up with

Keep up generally means maintain a steady pace or maintain the height/production of something, but it seems sometimes keep up can appear without it's handy "with". Compare the following: 1. You need ...
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What should be the opposite of “going out”

I know it seems to be a simple answer but that's why I'm asking what should be, not what is. Going out is composed of two words, obviously. Each of these has its opposite. So if I were to take the ...