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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Brush up on as a Tri-Part

Is "brush up on" technically a tri-part phrasal verb?
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Sit v. sit down

I seriously cannot find any good, thorough responses to this question, and I'm trying to help out a non-native friend. Sit down implies motion. I understand that because of the preposition "down". ...
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84 views

“Don't fall in anger”, I heard you say

If the phrase rang a bell, it's because the actual Oasis song lyric is "Don't look back in anger", I heard you say. But did my question title sound very strange or only slightly off? I might argue ...
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31 views

Is *to see something through* a productive phrasal verb?

Some verbs in English make the use of additional particles, often called prepositions, due to the fact that they are always homophonous. I do not call them adverbs because I claim they are not always ...
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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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59 views

allow for vs. note

Take account of in Collins American Dictionary: ​1. to take into consideration; allow for ​2. to take notice of; note Would you simply tell me what the difference is between 1 and 2?
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Difference between 'lie' and 'lie down'

What is difference between lie and lie down? Please explain with some examples.
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Is “to boil down” formal enough to be used in scientific writing? [closed]

The phrase to boil down to something can be found in most dictionaries. However, to me, it sounds colloquial to write Finding an exact solution to Eq. 1 boils down to ... A real-life ...
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2answers
116 views

What preposition should be used with “cache”?

Which is most grammatical? It's still cached to your phone. It's still cached in your phone. It's still cached on your phone. I find myself gravitating towards "to" but I'm not sure - ...
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“Meet up” vs. “meet” vs. “hook up”

What's the difference between meet up, meet and hook up as a synonym of meet up? The Free Dictionary has the following definitions: to meet up: to see and talk to someone familiar or someone ...
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87 views

“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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44 views

Use of Phrasal Verb 'Yearn for'

I'd like to ask if the following sentence is grammatically correct: It is a rare luxury yearned for by even those who have it all. I am especially concerned with the usage of the phrasal verb ...
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"The experience remained stamped on her memory for many years

"The experience remained stamped on her memory for many years. Could that be possible to use a phrasal verb after a verb just like this sentence above?
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Are “bear someone out” and “back someone up” sometimes interchangeable?

Back up - v.tr - to support Bear out - v.tr - to prove right or justified, confirm, corroborate. In the following sentences, are "bear someone out" and "back someone up" perfectly ...
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64 views

Is the phrasal verb “sober up” interchangeable with “sober down”

I understand that phrasal verbs are extremely idiosyncratic. If I have to replace -Sober up or calm down, would sober down be an appropriate choice, and a formal alternative. Edit: Or can i ...
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1answer
78 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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“Give up” versus “give in”

Do give up and give in imply different meanings?
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made of vs made up of

I'd really value your thoughts on this one. I'm familiar with the following use of 'made of': The shirt is made of silk. But I'd like to know if anyone thinks using this phrasal verb as a ...
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1answer
47 views

“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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329 views

“Sit down” vs. “sit up”

When someone is lying down, you say sit up. When someone is standing in an upright position, you say sit down. What in the situation when you want to ask a very small kid to sit down to a chair, but ...
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1answer
164 views

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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Can a symmetry be “broken down” (to a lower symmetry)?

Background Symmetries are a key concept in physics, and describe the invariance of a system under certain operations (for example, rotation). Breaking a symmetry refers to modifying the system in a ...
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1answer
24 views

precede versus take precedence of

I would like to describe the relationship between two start dates. I have been repeatedly using "start date of A precede the start date of B." I am wondering if an alternative expression "start date ...
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“Replace with” versus “replace by”

I often see "replace with" and "replace by" used interchangeably, but this doesn't sound right to me: I replaced that component by this one. I would use "with" in such a sentence. "By" only ...
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266 views

Do we hang up a telephone call, or just “hang up”? [closed]

I have to announce a message on a call that is like this Alert!! There is an alarm from the system,to disarm the system, press 5, to ignore this call , hang up!! Is this OK? should I use hang ...
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2answers
70 views

“Blinds us to” or “blinds us from”?

I see these phrases sometimes: "blinds us from" and "blinds us to". Which form is correct? The whole sentence would be something like "blinds us from the truth".
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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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What does “take out your book” mean? [closed]

What does this phrase mean? "take out your book" Because I have found no relevant meaning of take+out as a phrasal verb in the online dictionaries. Can any one help me?
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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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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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2answers
382 views

Tidy up - put things in order

According to English WordNet, tidy up has a meaning: put (things or places) in order: "Tidy up your room!" I feel comfortable with the use of "Tidy up your room!" However, what is the exact ...
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82 views

What can replace “consists of”?

For reasons I cannot explain, I hate the phrase consists of. Does anyone have an alternative? An example is: Testing consists of continual operation, alternating between random writes and random ...
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37k views

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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1answer
247 views

Is “aware of” used correctly in this sentence?

Is there a better way to write the following sentence: After you called me at home – angry about a request I did not make, nor was aware of – I cried in front of my family. Second, is of a ...
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Why can’t you say “I fell the stairs”?

The verb to fall strongly implies the direction down, but in some circumstances it is obligatory (in StdAmEng) to include the word “down.” The example I have in mind right now is I fall down the ...
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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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“Contribute for” or “Contribute to” or “Contribute on” or “Contribute in”

We said : I do want to thank Mr. Foulen and Mr. Felten who contribute for server hosting . or I do want to thank Mr. Foulen and Mr. Felten who contribute to server hosting . or I ...
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Two verbal nouns with one/two prepositional phrases

I have a question on English style. Take the following sentence: Following the Candidate Shabbat, all participants are mailed an official letter of acceptance to or rejection from the program. ...
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“I will call you back” instead of “I will call back you” Why? [duplicate]

Why "I will call you back" instead of "I will call back you"? Here "call back" is a phrasal verb, and "back" is a particle. Then why are we separating the particle? Is there any rule for it?
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What is the difference between “fill” and “fill in”?

I am confused by fill and fill in. I checked online, and both forms are used in fill a hole fill in a hole So I am wondering is there any difference in meaning between them? If not, what's the ...
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3answers
48 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 “out” a preposition or an adverb in these sentences?

Is out a preposition or an adverb in these sentences? "We need to get the hell out of this place." "We need to get out and leave this place."
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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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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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684 views

“They slipped from my hands the moment I picked them [up]”

They were like puzzle pieces that slipped from my hands the moment I picked them [up]. Is the up necessary? Why or why not?
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441 views

Come to (regain consciousness) and pull to (shut)

I don't know if it's part of my regional dialect, but around these parts we use the phrase "pull to" to mean 'close the door all the way.' It wasn't until last week that it struck me as odd. Pull the ...
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2answers
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Are “Creep up” and “Climb up” phrasal verb?

In the phrases "Creeping up the backstairs" or "Climbing up the wall", is up only a preposition, or is it part of a phrasal verb?
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111 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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58 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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Using 'stand for' in reference to acronyms

I read that 'stand for' means 'To represent; symbolize,' and now I'm wondering whether it can be used in reference to an acronym. For example, is it proper English the following question ... 'Can ...