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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Adverb position in “Listen carefully to what I say”

I've come across this phrase and I'm really not sure why 'carefully' has gone in the middle of 'listen' and 'to'. It doesn't happen with other phrasal verbs, you don't "switch carefully on the light", ...
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2answers
233 views

How does 'be' + 'of' combine to mean 'possess; give rise to'?

I already understand and so ask NOT about the definition, below which I want to burrow. I heed the Etymological Fallacy. 1. Which ODO definition corresponds? What does of mean here? to be of = ...
6
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2answers
383 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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1answer
72 views

Can verb 'grant' be used with preposition 'with?'

Could someone explain to me if the word 'grant' can be used with 'with' and what it means? (I checked with many dictionaries, but couldn't find an example used in that way.) example sentence in an ...
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2answers
27 views

What is the difference between the two phrases to meet you and meeting you? [closed]

Why the below one is correct? I look forward to meeting you. And why this one is wrong? I look forward to meet you. I generally do these mistakes in letter writing.
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2answers
46 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 ...
12
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3answers
3k views

Phrasal verb “be a thing”

I’m looking for the origin of the phrasal verb “to be a thing”. It means roughly “exist” or more specifically “be recognised” or “be a phenomenon”. I first noticed it around 2008–2009. Is ...
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5answers
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“Fill out a form” or “fill in a form”

Does one fill out a form or does one fill in a form? I've gotten different answers from the people I've asked. Google search results: fill in a form — 14,200,000 fill out a form — ...
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3answers
58 views

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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5answers
73k 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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1answer
221 views

How to use the verb “overload” in a passive sentence [closed]

My sentence is "Do not overload the equipment" and I want to change it into "The equipment shouldn't be ..." form. How should the verb "overload" be used in this situation? Is it "overloaded" or ...
6
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3answers
362 views

“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 those two wrong?
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3answers
47 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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5answers
9k 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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2answers
96 views

Can the element in a phrasal verb have a syntactic purpose?

I am trying to create a system for teaching ESL students phrasal verbs based on the concepts contributed by the element. (For example, "up" frequently contributes the idea of finality or completion). ...
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2answers
46 views

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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1answer
124 views

From where I was sitting … talk out of school … getting pretty chummy with the money [closed]

From the film Bad Teacher 2011: Amy Squirrel: Umm...I happened to be pedalling past the 7th Grade car wash this Saturday. Wally: Kill it! Can we talk about this later? Amy Squirrel: Later ...
2
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2answers
887 views

'Think in' expression - correct or not?

It might sound like a newbie question, but... Today on my English lessons I argued with the teacher whether you can say 'think in' or not. For me it's obvious that you can (there's even a book ...
2
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3answers
294 views

If we can fall in love, why can't we fall in anger?

Although we can look back in anger, we can't fall into it. I might argue that the phrase, to fall in love, has something to do with being helpless, of letting go and losing control. But what ...
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1answer
89 views

Could “Give in” mean “Hand over”? [closed]

Give in = hand in but does give in = hand over? and which of them are equal? and what's the differences?
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2answers
160 views

Interest ( someone ) in ( something )

This phrasal verb means to persuade someone when we try offering something. Examples : Can I interest you in coffee? Can I interest you in having a special relationship between us? Do native ...
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4answers
118 views

Word for a problem that goes away when a larger thing changes?

What is a word or expression for a problem has effectively gone away because of a larger change that makes the problem no longer a problem? I'm thinking "obviated" or "made unnecessary," but it ...
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3answers
904 views

Meaning: to back into

The title of a section of a book by Robert Nozick is: *How to Back into a State without Really Trying". I've never come across the word back as a verb, except to back up. I can't find this phrasal ...
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11answers
970 views

How to describe a person in a situation in which he does not completely know what he is doing?

How can we describe a person doing or communicating something without (really) knowing what he is doing or talking about? This could be either because of some indisposition like for example ...
0
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1answer
46 views

Keep up v. keep up with

Keep up generally means maintain a steady pace or maintain the height/production of something, but it seems sometimes keep up can appear without it's handy "with". Compare the following: 1. You need ...
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4answers
123 views

What should be the opposite of “going out”

I know it seems to be a simple answer but that's why I'm asking what should be, not what is. Going out is composed of two words, obviously. Each of these has its opposite. So if I were to take the ...
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1answer
35 views

Should we split “call together” & “gather together”?

When an organization sends invitations to companies for a planned conference, the verbs "gather together" and "call together" seem to be interchangable in this context. Should the object stay between ...
2
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1answer
117 views

A song came on tv

I'm not a native English speaker, so I wanted to ask something. How would you say that 'As i was zapping through the channels, and this song came on'. Is this a correct sentence? Basically what I ...
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3answers
204 views

What is a formal word meaning “paid off”?

I can not think of any way to say paid off in a formal way. Susan’s speech and struggle during those rough times has _______.
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6answers
28k views

“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 ...
0
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0answers
73 views

phrasal verb: 'coffee up'

I want to know what phrasal verb(s) 'coffee up' (as in 'it's good to coffee up for the day') is modelled on. What does 'up' mean in such examples? I'd appreciate your help.
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2answers
63 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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1answer
46 views

requirements about or requirements for [closed]

i try to build a phrase in the context of Master application : We said : let me know if there are further requirements for my application . or let me know if there are further ...
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4answers
514 views

Point someone to something

Is it correct to write something along the lines of "She pointed me to a book of X." in the sense of "making me aware of it", "bringing it to my attention"?
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1answer
128 views

Is a phrase 'your happy being' correct?

My friend asked me to the beach with this sentence: The beach is waiting for your happy being. Is the sentence he used correct?
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3answers
136 views

Word, expression for copying someone who inspires you

All of us have a person; our elder siblings or friends or any one who we are inspired by. For example my elder sister, I love the way she carries herself, her personality, her poise, that I try my ...
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1answer
67 views

Difference between “turns out” and “turns out to be”

I'm not a native English speaker, hence I'm a little confused here. I want to know the difference between the two and also correct me if I'm saying it wrong here "It's turns out to be a conspiracy ...
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3answers
109 views

Opposite of “to put off”

Is there any word, expression or phrasal verb I can use that has the opposite meaning of "put off"? The case I have in mind is this: The meeting would be on saturday, but a lot of things have ...
0
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2answers
104 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 ...
0
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1answer
65 views

How to construct acceptable phrasal verbs [closed]

Native speakers using Phrasal Verbs very frequently, because it can express a lot of meanings. but Is there any rule that I can follow to construct acceptable phrasal verbs?
2
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1answer
2k views

Difference between What are you up for tonight vs What are you up to tonight?

I wonder if my understanding of the meanings implied in these sentences is right. Besides, I would like to know how common they are in every day English and whether they can be used interchangeably ...
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2answers
292 views

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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4answers
71 views

To get on someone [closed]

My English is not very good as it is my second language, so I need a little help here. A cousin of mine came to my place to attend my sister's wedding. In our culture, bride to be is not supposed to ...
0
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0answers
100 views

Question about phrasal verbs

When looking up a word in my Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary recently, I noticed that there's a section for phrasal verbs at the end of the entry. The particular word was bow. When you take a ...
0
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1answer
64 views

Difference between 'get at' and 'get on at'

E.g. 'My boss is always getting on at me even if I haven't done anything wrong.' 'Her parents keep getting at her for skipping classes.' I'm wondering whether these phrasal verbs have ...
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1answer
59 views

What is the meaning of “gassed for”? [closed]

I was reading a comment on ELU and it is... ... when you've been gassed for your oral surgery. Is it an idiomatic thing to say "gassed for or gassed up"?
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1answer
75 views

allow for vs. note [closed]

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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2answers
112 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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1answer
71 views

Why it is not possible to put a noun object after the particle when the object refers to a person with some phrasal verbs ? Is there a specific rule?

For example: X pulled off the sweater or X pulled the sweater off but let someone off the hook not let off the hook someone to knock over the car or to knock the car over and to knock the child ...
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0answers
22 views

When to use -ed or not as part of objective portion of sentence

Which one of the following usage is correct and why? I would like to have the content changed to the following: ... OR I would like to have the content change to the following: ... The ...