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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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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4answers
300 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
239 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
521 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? [duplicate]

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
3k 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
438 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 ...
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8answers
433 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
89 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
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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? ...
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2answers
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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
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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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2answers
554 views

What does “We don’t do anything that’s not completely up and up” mean?

I found an amusing story titled “Lobster salad, but a key ingredient was missing” in today’s (August 11)New York Times NY/Region section. The article reports that Zabar’s, the famous grocery in ...
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2answers
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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
530 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
1k 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, ...
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3answers
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“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
1k 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
2k 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
6k views

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
296 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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2answers
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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
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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
4k 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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2answers
3k views

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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6answers
15k views

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
3k 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
398 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
9k views

“try” or “try out” (difference?)

What is the difference between "try" and "try out"?
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2answers
1k 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?
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5answers
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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
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“Build out” versus “build up”

How are these two different? Build [something] out vs. Build [something] up
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4answers
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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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3answers
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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 ...
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2answers
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What do “muckraker” and “rake muck” mean?

Are they the same? What do they mean? Here is the sentence: I was one of the most experienced. All of us were judged by our ability to rake muck. The head muckraker was Frederica Jansz...
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5answers
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Usage of “filed away”

He still had the moment filed away in his memory. Is the meaning of the sentence I wrote widely understood? Should that sentence be used in a particular context (e.g., when writing a book)?
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5answers
7k views

Burn up or burn down?

What's the difference between "burn up" and "burn down"? Or is there a difference at all?
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2answers
1k views

The phrase “Check out”

"Check out this article" Where did this term come from and why those choice of words? I understand it perfectly semantically, but when you think about it it doesn't make sense, check out seems to ...
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3answers
528 views

Meaning of “run around doing something”

What does run around doing something mean? For example: I can't see any reason to run around deleting the recovery partition.
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4answers
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Usage of “track down”

I recently read (in a website) the following sentence. (I replaced the usernames with placeholders.) [username1], if this is still happening, there is a good chance your IP got blocked due to ...
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2answers
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What does “scratch below the surface” mean?

In Outlier: The Story of Success Chapter 2 Section 4, there is a sentence saying Is the ten-thousand-hour rule a general rule of success? If we scratch below the surface of every great achiever, ...
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7answers
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Why “go off”, as in “alarm went off”?

I was wondering why does something goes off, when it in fact does the opposite bomb goes off - it blows up alarm goes off - it turns on Why not goes on?
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2answers
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What's the difference between “shake up” and “shape up”?

What's the difference between these phrasal verbs? Would you say "organization shake up", "organization shape up", either depending on context and desired meaning or neither? How about "documentation" ...
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2answers
2k views

What does “urge to kill” mean?

I've got an answer to my comment at Stack Overflow, and I don't get what it means. I've googled and looked over several dictionaries with no help. Seems like it is some specific slang/phrasal verb, ...
14
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3answers
69k views

“Give up” versus “give in”

Do give up and give in imply different meanings?
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5answers
4k views

Should we say “borrow from” instead of “borrow off”?

I hear and read the term "borrow off" frequently however I say "borrow from" as that makes more sense to me. Is it grammatically incorrect to say, "may I borrow the book off your friend"? In my mind ...