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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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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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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Cold containers don't sweat—what do they do?

In warm, humid climates: If you take a container of something (say, a can of Coke or a jar of mayonnaise) and leave it at room temperature, the outside becomes wet with droplets of water— sometimes ...
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28 views

How did the postverbal prepositions originate in 'to treat of' and 'to treat on'?

[OED:] [2.] a. {intransitive} To deal with some matter in speech or writing; to discourse. (In quot. 1517 transf. of pictorial representation.) Const. of, formerly also on, upon. How did of or ...
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Which is correct, “be proceeded” or “be processed” (used in business letter)

Which usage (be proceed/be processed) is correct in the following sentence? (This is written in a business letter) Are there any differences between these two words? Thanks a lot! Please be noted ...
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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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3answers
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'want' vs 'want for' vs 'want of'

[OED:] want {verb} = 1. a. intr. To be lacking or missing; not to exist; not to be forthcoming; to be deficient in quantity or degree. In early use const. with dative or to. rare since the 17th ...
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'not fool enough to dance on the old strings', is it an idiom? This phrase is from 'The Invisible Man' by H.G Wells

In the book of 'The Invisible Man' by Wells, there is this sentence; "Kemp, you're not fool enough to dance on the old strings. Can't you see my position?" In this particular scene, Griffin(the ...
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Does “turning down the air conditioning” make it warmer or colder?

As the title says, I've heard two possible meanings for turning down the air conditioning: It could mean set the target temperature lower (i.e. colder) or make it work less (i.e. warmer). Turning ...
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3answers
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Origin of phrasal verb “love on”

Lately I've been hearing friends talk about loving on people. Here's an example of the sort of thing they'll say: We should be working in the streets and loving on the homeless. Forge ...
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2answers
28 views

cut / cut down * cut down on

I never know when to use "cut down on", "cut down" or just "cut". Some sentences I've come across: They are trying to cut street crime in the area. [Would "cut down on street crime" be ok?] You ...
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Is there any rule about splitting phrasal verbs?

I thought of this question right after I posted a tweet about a service upgrading me to a free student account since I am in college. I said "That really helps a broke college student out." I actually ...
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Can the phrasal verbs “bring about” and “bring off” be used interchangeably?

please would any one of you show me the difference between these two phrasal verbs. It is kind of nuance difference as I understood at first blush. I think that I know the meaning of bring about, it ...
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2answers
33 views

Difference between “go” and “go down” or “grill” and “grill down” [closed]

I found a phrasal verb while I was reading my book but I didn't know its meaning. Well , I am going down to the park with some friends. We are going to grill some steaks down there. Why ...
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1answer
44 views

Using of phrases - to catch up with [closed]

If I have got too many things to do and very little time for it. Can I say " I can not catch up with all of these".
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1answer
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Is “rub on” a phrasal verb or not?

I think the following sentences are all grammatical. So I am wondering whether there is a phrasal verb "rub on" that has the same meaning as "rub"-as-a-transitive-verb. If there is no phrasal verb, ...
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How did 'of' originate in 'to conceive of'?

[OED:] [8.] d. intr. to conceive of : To form or have a conception of, think of, imagine. I'm trying to compare 'to conceive' with (the prepositional verb) 'to conceive of'. To me, both appear to ...
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Why can't you place pronouns after a phrasal verb?

Many phrasal verbs such as look up or knock out typically allow the object to be placed between the verb and proposition or to be placed afterward. For example, You can look my brother up on ...
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“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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Adverb position in “Listen carefully to what I say” [closed]

I've come across the phrase "Listen carefully to what I say" and I'm really not sure why carefully has gone in between listen and to. It doesn't happen with other verbs; you don't "switch carefully on ...
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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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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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Which word order produces the more suitable sentence? [closed]

Which of the following is an appropriate sentence? Only he could see through the trick. Only he could see the trick through. According to me, the first one is right. Can you explain which one is ...
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2answers
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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 = ...
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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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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
77 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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3answers
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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
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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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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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256 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 ...
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398 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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“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
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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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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
55 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
181 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 ...
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2answers
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'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 ...
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3answers
367 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
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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
367 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
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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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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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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 ...
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1answer
55 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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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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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
156 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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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 _______.