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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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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What Does Strike a Chord Mean?

I am not a native speaker. From my reading and verbal communication, I came to believe that striking a chord means connecting to someone at an emotional level. However, I recently used it somewhere ...
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52 views

Phrasal verbs: single entity?

I am teaching English to my cousin, but I am not sure how to explain phrasal verbs correctly. For example "take off". I explain it as two words but a single entity. When I ask her to name a verb in ...
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63 views

“Dream of” vs. “dream about”

What is the difference between the usage of dream of and dream about? For example, I dream of becoming a doctor. I dream about becoming a doctor. I dream of going to places. I dream about ...
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35 views

Is it correct to use “pointing out” in this context?

I am writing in this context I am so excited about XXXX. Thanks a lot for pointing it out to me. You are great Is point out the correct expression to use? Note: the one I am sending ...
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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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What terms should be used to mean the different states of attendance of volunteers in a clinical study?

In a clinical trail with several visits, it is common to see volunteers not attending their visits at some time point for different reasons. I have these different situations, and I would like to know ...
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92 views

Phrasal Verb request for cover in a cursory manner

Can someone suggest a phrasal verb which means "not covering something in full detail" or treating the subject in a "cursory manner". Something which implies that the details have been omitted ...
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1answer
80 views

Is the use of “Talk to something” correct by english grammar standards? [duplicate]

Is it correct to say "Can you talk to point X" when meaning "Can you talk about point X?" My co-workers are constantly using "talk to" in this context. It sounds wrong, but maybe because I've never ...
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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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1answer
86 views

“Take on responsibility” vs. “take up responsibilty”

I now have to take _ additional responsibility. Are both on and up grammatically correct? Is there a difference in meaning? When to use which one?
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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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186 views

“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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1answer
63 views

“have to” a phrasal verb

Why is "have to" not listed as a phrasal verb in the dictionary? "have" means to be in possession of something while "have to" means "obliged to". So "have to" seem to be non-compositional in terms of ...
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4answers
323 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 ...
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2answers
146 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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1answer
109 views

'Complete a confusion' — expression or confusion?

Is complete someone's confusion a popular expression that makes sense? This expression pops up so often I wonder I am missing something here. Does complete here mean to 'resolve'/ 'clarify'? ...
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1answer
73 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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“covered by” vs. “covered with”

I found this sentence in some book: Imagine a young child who already knows that creatures that live in water are fish, they have gills, and their skin is covered by scales. Saying “their skin ...
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414 views

Expression similar to 'freak out'

For usage like this: I freaked out when I saw that file was not there. Every time I talk to him, he freaks me out by his strange stories. What similar expressions can I use instead of ...
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4answers
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Is it correct to change the common structure in these phrasal verbs?

I just read a book to learn English. And the topic I read is about the phrasal verbs, but a big doubt has come up to my mind. Is it correct to change the position of the preposition (putting it with ...
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1answer
88 views

“Bring down X” vs. “bring X down” [duplicate]

I am unable to understand the difference between these two sentences: I want him to bring down the opponents. I want him to bring the opponents down. Which is right and when should each ...
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2answers
196 views

When can we change the order of the particle and the verb in a phrasal verb?

My textbook says this: Be careful with word order when using phrasal verbs. The verb and particle cannot be separated: when it is a three-part phrasal verb I caught up with Jack ...
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2answers
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“put X down to” vs. “put down X to”: subjects of verbs with two particles

I expect I would have to put down many coats to do the job. (SOURCE) One factor to distinguish phrasal verbs from prepositional verbs is particle movement. Phrasal verbs can place the particle ...
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How are (any) phrasal verbs used with nouns? [duplicate]

I was unable to find anything worthwhile, so I'm eager to ask it here. Is it fully correct to put the "it" in the middle and say "turn it down" (or any other phrasal verb)? Can I say both "He took up ...
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2answers
519 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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316 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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Adverb for a person who is not the subject

If I went home and was happy to do so, I can say that "I went home happily". If I sent somebody else home and he was happy to do so, can I say that "I sent Johnny home happily"? This doesn't sound ...
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what do you think of NP?

[i] She thinks of herself as a poet. (Collins #7) [ii] People are thinking of her for president. (Webster’s, think of #2.b) [iii] What do you think of the film? (Cambridge) It seems like verb ...
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A word meaning “To bring out of retirement” / “To bring back into use”

(Re)instate? -- Seems too specific. (Re-)employ? -- Seems to apply to both machines and people, which is useful. But re-employ seems too general. Activate? -- Seems most appropriate perhaps, although ...
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150 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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293 views

Relative clauses with prepositional verb phrase

The people ø you work with are your 'colleagues'. The people that you work with are your 'colleagues'. The people who you work with are your 'colleagues'. The people whom you work with are ...
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Developing a crush or infatuation

For "crush" in meaning: 2 informal a brief but intense infatuation for someone, especially someone unattainable What word would replace the terribly technical developing a crush? Does one only ...
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Holding off on it or Holding it off or Holding off of it?

I would like to say that I'm pausing / postponing work on something. I wasn't sure which of the following is the right way to say it: I'm holding off on it for the time being I'm holding off of ...
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Specific word/phrase/idiom for the following scenario

I have a second cousin living at the end of my street, but we hardly meet. I plan to meet her soon and tell her to come out and go out for a walk. Could anyone suggest a phrase, word, or an idiom ...
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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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166 views

“Even though none of you have yet to believe it” — grammatical?

Is the following sentence from the TV series American Horror Story correct, formal grammar? We are powerful. Even though none of you have yet to believe it. In my understanding, it would be ...
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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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What does get to mean in this sentence? [closed]

Gorilla babies and elephant babies and human babies are not so different, except that a gorilla gets to spend the day riding on his mother's back. What does get to mean in this sentence?
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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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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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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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80 views

“Take a quest” or “Take up a quest”?

If I take this quest, I shall be redeemed in her eyes. vs Take up the quest to receive a handsome reward! Which usage is semantically correct or (if both correct) better? Take or take up or ...
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2answers
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“Bite off” and “bite of” [closed]

"I take a bite off my pizza." Or "I take a bite of my pizza." Or neither or both? I am not sure how to use bite off/of correctly.
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How to use particles like 'back', 'on', 'off', 'around', 'up', 'down' or 'out' are used sometimes with phrasal verbs? Use of English [closed]

How to use particles like 'back', 'on', 'off', 'around', 'up', 'down' or 'out' are used sometimes with phrasal verbs? back - return on - continue off - travel to another place around - do ...
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Is the term “errored out” a grammatically correct phrase, or just a colloquial one?

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 ...
7
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2answers
557 views

What kind of word is “place” in “take place”?

I'm currently analyzing verbs with Stanford CoreNLP and WordNet. I'm interested in particular in verb meanings. I came across sentences like "The scene takes place on the grass." and I found the verb ...
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Usage of “stood up” to mean “set up”

I was reading this question on meta.ELU and was struck by what, to me, was a strange use of the phrasal verb to stand up: The site for English Language Learners was stood up in large part so that ...
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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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Difference between “rip on someone” and “pick on someone”?

The free dictionary gives this definition for rip on: give someone a hard time; to hassle someone and this one for pick on: to harass or bother someone or something, usually unfairly It ...