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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“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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2answers
318 views

“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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2answers
2k views

“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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2answers
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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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3answers
5k views

difference between “engage with someone” and “engage someone”?

What is the difference between "engaging with someone" and "engaging someone"? For example, what is the difference between these two expressions: How do you engage with your employees? How do you ...
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2answers
249 views

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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5answers
3k views

“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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5answers
4k views

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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6answers
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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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2answers
150 views

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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4answers
7k views

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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3answers
2k views

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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2answers
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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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1answer
90 views

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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2answers
2k views

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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4answers
240 views

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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1answer
217 views

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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2answers
367 views

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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1answer
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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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2answers
1k views

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
268 views

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 ...
4
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8answers
407 views

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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5answers
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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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1answer
79 views

“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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4answers
41k views

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? ...
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2answers
653 views

What's the meaning of “delivering up” here?

Context (Abraham Lincoln's Inaugural Address), There is much controversy about the delivering up of fugitives from service or labor. The clause I now read is as plainly written in the Constitution ...
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1answer
558 views

Meaning of “press upon”

In Abraham Lincoln's Inaugural Address, I now reiterate these sentiments, and in doing so I only press upon the public attention the most conclusive evidence of which the case is susceptible that ...
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What is the phrasal verb or idiom that says about something that came is too late

I can't remember a phrasal verb or an idiom that describes something that came too late, i.e. i bought this book to solve this mathematical problem, however as it only came a week later it was xxxxxx. ...
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2answers
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What is the past tense of this phrasal verb (double down)?

Blackjack players can "double down" after receiving their initial two cards. What is the past tense of 'Double Down'?
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1answer
370 views

What does “fly against” mean?

http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/2008/11/stop-me-if-you-think-youve-seen-this-word-before.html: I'm not sure this kind of experiment would fly against today's Google, but it worked in 2004. ...
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4answers
671 views

Is this a correct usage of “wait on”? [closed]

I've written the following phrase in a technical document: ... the Task is exposed, so it can be waited on In this context (.NET development), Task is an object instance, and by "waiting on" it, ...
3
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3answers
6k views

“Cover off” meaning “cover”

I've noticed that some business people (generally management types) have started to use the expression "cover off" to mean "cover". E.g. Can you cover off agenda item 3 for me? or Not ...
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2answers
598 views

“Open” vs. “open up”

Which of the following two variants is correct with reference to some email attachments? I am unable to open them. I am unable to open up them.
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2answers
972 views

Phrasal verb/expression for “bring people together somewhere”

Is there a phrasal verb or expression to express the idea of bringing people together somewhere, other than explicitly using "people" in the sentence? I am looking for something that already implies ...
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3answers
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What is the difference among ‘In you come’, ‘Come on in’, and ‘Do come in’?

Bagman suddenly spotted Harry, got up quickly, and bounded forward. “Ah, here he is! Champion number four! In you come, Harry, in you come … nothing to worry about, it's just the wand weighing ...
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4answers
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Throw away/in/out for rubbish?

Is it best to use "throw away" or "throw in" for an expression when you ask someone not to throw something, like "Don't throw them away/in/out (the rubbish bin)." Specifically, if one doesn't know ...
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2answers
243 views

Meaning of “the body soon learns to stand down in the face of fat”

The following is from the transcript of a podcast. Dieters can choose from an array of snacktackular options in which sugars and fats are replaced by artificial, low-calorie substitutes. That ...
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Does “filling out” equal to “filling in”?

I quoted the following from a pamphlet: Please read the instructions carefully before filling out the application form. The application will be returned to you and the registration may be ...
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2answers
787 views

The phrase, “It's on tonight.”

Is the sentence, "It's on tonight," grammatically correct? What about "It's on for tonight?" Are they both correct? Is there any difference at all?
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2answers
1k views

What's the difference between “call off” vs. “cancel”?

You have to get Chang to call off some of this homework.
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Etymology of “end up” and “wind up”

What is the etymology of the phrase "end up", and of the meaning of "wind up" that means essentially the same thing? To clarify, I mean the specific meaning of "wind up" that means the same as "end ...
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3answers
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Phrasal Verbs. Rules and Tricks

Are there any rules or tricks that might explain how phrasal verbs are formed to understand their meanings?
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6answers
1k views

What is the origin of the phrase “turns out”?

What is the origin of "turns out" as it appears in the phrases below: It turns out As it turns out Let me know how it turns out What is turning, what is coming out, and from where? I can't find ...
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1answer
343 views

Did “breaking news” originate from the phrasal verb “break in?” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why is news said to be “breaking”? Studying phrasal verbs I found break in meaning as interruption. My teacher suggested that it can be also used in news as ...
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2answers
3k views

“try” or “try out” (difference?)

What is the difference between "try" and "try out"?
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2answers
597 views

“Plugging in X” vs. “plugging X in”

Does one say Plugging in that value into the previous equation... or Plugging that value in the previous equation... or something else?
4
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4answers
49k views

What does the phrase “I’m down with” mean?

I was wondering about the meaning of: I am down with something. Also, I was wondering whether people say: I am up with something. If so, what does it mean?
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3answers
2k views

“Build out” versus “build up”

How are these two different? Build [something] out vs. Build [something] up
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4answers
3k views

Why use 'step down' instead of 'resign'? Is there any difference?

Ozzie announced his plans to step down from his role at Microsoft on October 18, 2010
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Correct use of “wake up”

English isn't my native language (Spanish is), so this question may be very basic, but it is worse not to ask. Which of these two phrases is the correct one? I'm trying to wake and get up from ...