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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What exactly does “sweep me off my feet” mean? (And why?)

Although the phrase "sweep me off my feet" probably means, "make me fall in love with you in a short time", what does it exactly mean, because "sweeping" can be difficult to be associated with "love". ...
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The difference between “to think about” and “to think of” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Difference between “think of” and “think about” What is the difference between "to think about" and "to think of", when we can mix them and when ...
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What does 'sucker for' mean?

I recently came across a couple usages of 'sucker for' which indicates that it means 'crazy about', 'enthusiastic for', or 'interested in'. For example, 'I am a sucker for sports.', seems to say, 'I ...
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Is it correct to change the common structure in these phrasal verbs?

I just read a book to learn English. And the topic I read is about the phrasal verbs, but a big doubt has come up to my mind. Is it correct to change the position of the preposition (putting it with ...
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What's the meaning of “throw out”

Ultimate fist pumping workout. My friend threw out her shoulder by fist pumping at a club once. The comment was made from a gif. In this gif, it shows a man doing a workout holding a barbell ...
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1answer
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“To be in use” vs “to be at use” vs ”to be of use”

What’s the difference between “to be in use” and “to be at use”? I have impression that former states that something is being used, while the latter means something proves to be useful — the same as ...
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1answer
290 views

Does “end up” have a negative connotation? [closed]

Maybe not, as some of the example usages in here, but it still has a negative feel to me. Is there some positive way that can be used instead?
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4answers
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Another verb for “to skate by” or “to skirt by”

People sometimes use the phrases to skate by x and to skirt by x with the meaning: to do x with ease or to do x with minimal effort. Is there another verb that sounds like to skate or to skirt that is ...
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usage of the phrasal verb “ stand by”

How is the phrasal verb stand by used in a sentence? It should convey the meaning, "to be available and ready to act if needed or called upon".
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Is there any rule about splitting phrasal verbs?

I thought of this question right after I posted a tweet about a service upgrading me to a free student account since I am in college. I said "That really helps a broke college student out." I actually ...
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Distinguishing whether “up” is a preposition or a part of a phrasal verb in this case

In the sentences below, “bill” and “hill” are both nouns. He ran up a big hill. He ran up a big bill. Can someone explain how one distinguishes whether “up” is a preposition or a part of a ...
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Meaning of “take over”

What's the meaning of take over in this context? Does it mean Mexico's population is becoming bigger than the US? P1: World population doubled in just 36 years, that is f-king unreal. The worst ...
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2answers
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Meaning and origin of “rally peters out”

Positive reactions from stock markets can be described as the markets "rallying peters out". See this guardian article for an example of this usage. I don't quite understand this proverb. Where does ...
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“put X down to” vs. “put down X to”: subjects of verbs with two particles

I expect I would have to put down many coats to do the job. (SOURCE) One factor to distinguish phrasal verbs from prepositional verbs is particle movement. Phrasal verbs can place the particle ...
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What is the difference between “check something” and “check on something”

For example if in answer to the question, "what time does the shop close?" a tourist information officer might say, "I'll check on that for you." Why wouldn't they say, "I'll check that for you."?
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“Went” vs. “went along”

At work, he made up lies as he went along. At work, he made up lies as he went. Is one of the above wrong?
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Does 'throttle up' mean accelerate?

Can one say 'throttle up'? The OED only lists 'throttle down': (throttle back or down) reduce the power of an engine or vehicle by use of the throttle.
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Meaning of “pull up”

What's the meaning of pull up? Tried pulling up on my cell(video), wouldn't work. Will watch when I get home.
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“Listen to music” or “listen for music”

Which of the following sentences is grammatically correct? The music for which we heard last night at the concert was exceptionally good. The music to which we listened at the concert last night ...
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What's the meaning of “dummy up”?

What does "dummy up" mean here? The cops wouldn't tell me who the owner was, but we're a military town, so I took a chance. Called my insurance (USAA) and as luck would have it, that was the other ...
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1answer
333 views

Is “trained up” grammatically correct?

When I hear expressions like "you need to get trained up", I think the up is, at best, superfluous and probably grammatically incorrect. Is that the case, or does the up serve a purpose?
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Meaning of “go down” [closed]

What's the meaning of go down? Little did anyone know, the 47-year-old Silicon Valley executive was actually engaged in a giant scam...He was finally caught by Target security on May 8, and he was ...
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Meaning of “ball off ”? [closed]

How do you get a good job without a college degree?? Claim unemployment, ballin off the state bro.
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Meaning of “lay down”

What does lay down mean? One of my closest friends is 24 and clears $100k welding stainless. No degree, loves his job, but he worked his balls off to get there. Hardly unskilled labor. He ...
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Difference between “she cut her hair” and “she cut her hair off”?

Why are we using off here? What additional meaning does it add? The meaning of off from http://tfd.com/off that suits this sentence is: "away (from a place, time etc.)".
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“… is about to …” vs. “… is going to …”

I found that is about to is used in the following sentence of the news article titled “Tech belt sees hiring surge” in The Boston Globe. “The company is about to go on a hiring spree, from ...
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“Climbed up over …” vs. “climbed over …”

I found that climbed up over is used in the following sentence of the 'excerpt' “The Amber Spyglass” in The New York Times. “Ama and her daemon climbed up over the rock shelves and around ...
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“Talk with” vs “talk live with”

What is the difference between talk with people and talk live with people? I think all kinds of talk is live. If so, why we would say talk live with people?
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“Pick up something” or “pick something up”?

I have difficulties with word order: I have picked up the pencil from the floor. [says my dictionary] ?I have picked the pencil up from the floor. [could be?] ?I will pick up it. [sounds ...
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Phrasal verbs (formal and informal use) [closed]

I'm not always comfortable with phrasal verbs. I find that Americans use a lot of phrasal verbs than say people from UK -- I might be completely wrong though. What I find most difficult with phrasal ...
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Should “in” be used with “aiding and abetting”?

Aiding and abetting, also sometimes aiding or abetting, is often found in legal definitions of accessorial liability for crimes, for example "aiding or abetting a felony." Is it proper to use "in" ...
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“Writing things down” vs. “writing things up”

Is there any difference in the usage of "writing things down" vs. "writing things up"? Are they both correct?
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What is the origin and earliest recorded usage of 'cock-up'

In informal British English, the expression 'cock-up' (c.f. the US English 'fuck-up') is used to indicate an error or problem in a situation. What is the origin of this expression and its etymology? ...
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Difference between “run into”, “come upon” and “come across”

These phrasal verbs have a similar meaning (please correct me if not): run into come across come upon Are there any nuances to choose between them? For example, I might be wrong but I mostly see ...
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Fell out of the car

The following is taken from a website: Sir, do you realize your wife fell out of the car several miles back? The expression fell out here, as I checked in the dictionary, doesn't make any sense. ...
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Past tense of “backup”

Which is the past tense of backup? backuped backup-ed backed up backed-up The context is the following: Due to the advent of cloud-based storage solutions, the data is backed up in different ...
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What's the meaning of 'out' when it comes after a verb ?

What's the difference between a verb like read and read out or shout and shout out and so on? How does "out" change the meaning of verbs?
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“nibble” vs. “nibble on”

I've been told by a native speaker that the verb "to nibble" can be used both with and without a preposition. So, is there a difference between I would definitely like to nibble on one of those ...
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Stabbing and running, how are they related?

When you literally run through some where, e.g. I have run through the streets of London it is quite clear what is meant. At a slightly more figurative level one might say, I will run ...
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Difficult and rare words/expressions that never show up in vocabulary lists

I've come quite far in my studies of the English language; ask me what "eleemosynary," "perspicacious" or "rambunctious" means and I'll give you an instant definition. But I'm still not on a native ...
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To retroactively create?

Is there a verb that means "retroactively create"? For example: John wanted to retroactively create a relationship with his estranged father. I'm not looking for a word that means ...
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Contextual meaning of “run out of” [closed]

This is from CSI NY. Two investigators are examining a victim's body. Joe: Well, I almost ran out of here. Any idea who she is? Mic: No. Definitely doesn't work in the lab.
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Do you use “pore over”?

As in, I spent all night poring over those legal documents. Or, do you use pore through? Not to be confused with pour (some sugar).
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Is the term “errored out” a grammatically correct phrase, or just a colloquial one?

I was wondering whether it is OK to use "errored out" as part of a status message in my code — is it grammatically correct to use it, or is there a better choice of words that I can use in its ...
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What’s the meaning of ‘go on’ here?

‘Go on’ has a lot of meanings in dictionaries, which makes me confused. What’s the omitted words and meanings of ‘go on’ in the following scene? (They are gambling on a sport in the magical world.) ...
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2answers
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What does “come away” mean here, in reference to a memorial?

Does come away here mean "you come away from home"? From a CNN article: Robert Henry, a former U.S. appeals judge whose office was across the street from the federal building, says the memorial ...
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8answers
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How to express misusing a tool

I am not a native English speaker. I was wondering how to express the situation in which one uses a tool for something other than what it was meant to be, and in a bad way so that you are not doing ...
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What does “turn off” mean here?

Could it be a typo for "and one by one they will be turned off"? CNN: Many of the existing space telescopes, Hubble included, are nearing the end of their lifetimes, and one by one they will turn ...
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“Heat up” or “heat”

It seems they have same meaning but why are we using the phrasal verb? Or they have same meaning?
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Does the phrase “who's in?” or “I'm in!” exist in (informal) English?

I really think I've heard it in some American sitcom/sitcoms, meaning something like participating in. "I want to play football. Who's in?" — "Great idea, I'm in!" Does it really exist, or am I wrong? ...