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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“Stands for” direction?

In the song YOLO I heard the lyric "You oughta look out also stands for YOLO." I thought that the correct usage of "stands for" with acronyms was only the "[acronym] stands for [meaning]" direction. ...
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432 views

What is the difference between “Come on home” and “Come home”?

What is the difference between "Come on home" and "Come home"? In this case "Come on" is a phrasal verb?
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552 views

Phrasal verbs with “go”

I'm doing the Cambridge Upper-intermediate English course and there is a lection on "go xxx" phrasal verbs. Go ahead - to start to do something Go on - to start operating / to continue or ...
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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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What does “play in” mean in this sentence? [closed]

In the book Designing for Growth: A Design Thinking Toolkit for Managers (Google Books Link) the following sentence occurs: The designers envision several futuristic worlds to prototype for and ...
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39 views

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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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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88 views

Is saying “back to back” an AmE or BrE usage [duplicate]

I have been often intrigued by the phrase "back-to-back". Referring to "back" is reminiscent of the rear of the human body. I usually hear- back-to-back meetings
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Brush up on as a Tri-Part

Is "brush up on" technically a tri-part phrasal verb?
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“Start to Inf.” vs. “start V-ing” [duplicate]

I want to know about usage of "start + action" and "stop + action". Which one of followin are correct or preferred? For ex. When shall I start working? When shall I stop working? Or ...
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578 views

Meaning of “cross-reference against” [closed]

What does it mean if one thing is "cross referenced against" the other? Like the following example: Each story is cross-referenced against the other.
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1k views

What does it mean to step up for something? [closed]

Here's an example sentence. Thanks for stepping up for my project.
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92 views

Using 'stand for' in reference to persons

Can in the following sentence ... 'I know Christian would want to be here, but I'm here in his place.' ... 'I'm here in his place' be replaced with 'I stand here for him'? I.e.: 'I know Christian ...
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But you got to make me change my mind. - what usage of “get” is this?

I am trying to understand the usage of the "get" in the sentence: But you got to make me change my mind. I guess it is not "have got".
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“Back it up” meaning [closed]

What does back it up mean in this context? He can be cocky, but he's got stuff to back it up.
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1k 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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949 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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'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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4k 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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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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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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40 views

“Joy crept into his face” vs. “Joy crept onto his face” [closed]

Please see the sentence: When he saw his grade, joy crept into/onto his face. At first glance, it seems like both could be correct, but they are not exactly synonymous. In what situation should ...
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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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94 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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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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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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Lights go out or go off? [duplicate]

I don't understand why they say "One by one, the street lights went out leaving us in total darkness." Why there can't be "...the street lights went off..."? I have looked it up in dictionary; "go ...
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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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239 views

What does “Back on for today” mean?

I received the following email from a colleague, who is a native speaker of American English: Back on for today. Starting at [10:00]. What does "back on for today" mean?
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Can you specify the meaning of “candy over” as a phrasal verb?

As far as I know "candy" function as a noun only. However I came across this saying by Virginia Woolf "Really I don't like human nature unless all candied over with art". This phrasal verb makes me ...
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Finish off your meal, or finish up your meal?

In the situation where you want to tell a kid about the expected order of activities, which phrasal verb is correct? You have to finish off your meal before you may watch the movie. or You have to ...
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552 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 ...
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623 views

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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174 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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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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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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174 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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163 views

“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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228 views

Expressions or phrasal verbs for very boring

In AE, how could I say something is very boring? I know teenagers would say "it sucks" but is there anything else, phrasal verbs or expressions? If it's something local, I would also ask you to say ...
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Throw a ball up versus Throw up a ball

For the phrasal verb to throw something up, as it to toss an object in the air, is this sentence OK, or is it interpreted as John vomiting out a ball? (I) John threw up a ball My intuition is that ...
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84 views

The structure of “come on in”

Why do two adverbs follow come in the phrase, come on in? I know come in, come on, go away, but when I hear "Come on in" in American movies, I can't figure out its grammatical structure.
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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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What does “back-slap” mean? [closed]

What does back-slap mean in this sentence? Back-slap someone in Korea and they will be offended.