is it correct using preposition (on) for the verb (tie)? when it is used with? And do we use it when we want to use it for ( fastening to another thing)? For example in this case: " more and more travels; I tie on my sandals"

  • “I tie on my sandals” is not English, no. I’m not sure what it’s supposed to mean, even—do you mean that you put on your sandals, or that you tie your sandals (on)to something else, like a backpack? Commented Oct 16, 2014 at 21:40
  • You might want to check out English Language Learners. More here.
    – J.R.
    Commented Jan 26, 2015 at 19:31
  • "I tie on my sandals" is valid -- what is it? -- present perfect (?) English. Doesn't particularly fit with "more and more travels", though.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Nov 11, 2015 at 17:40

2 Answers 2


Please read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phrasal_verb.

Transitive use of verbs do not require being coupled to the subject via a preposition.

  1. I killed the bug.
  2. I eat dinner.
  3. I am milking a cow.
  4. I stopped to tie my shoes.

Potentially transitive verbs could of course be used non-transitively.

  1. I am shooting the deer
    I am shooting at the deer
  2. She is eating her dog
    She is eating with her dog
  3. They like eating chopsticks
    They like eating with chopsticks

Do not mistake prepositional phrasal verbs with verb-preposition and verb-adverb phrases.

Words that are used as prepositions can also be used as adverbs. Do not mistake the prepositional use of a word with its adverbial use

Prepositional phrasal verbs

  • She takes after her father.
    = She behaves or is similar to her father.
  • Did you eat up all the biscuits?
  • You need to tie up your shoes.
  • We shall put on some eye shadow.
  • We need to go over the notes of the meeting.

Verb-adverb phrases

  • Please don't bring the matter up.
  • He has turned the lights off.
  • When will that kid put her toys away?

Pidginization of verb-adverb phrases

into pseudo prepositional phrasal verbs
  • Please don't bring up the matter.
  • He has turned off the lights.
  • When will that kid put away her toys?

Usual verb-preposition-subject coupling

due to intransitive use of a verb - and can be separated.
  • She is staying at the hotel.
    At which hotel is she staying?
  • These are the biscuits she has been eating with her dog.
    Which dog is she eating the biscuits with?
  • Where is the meeting, to which I will be going with you?
    With whom am I going to the meeting?

Prepositional phrasal verbs-preposition-subject coupling

causing the confusion you are facing.
  • She is putting up at the hotel.
    At which hotel is she putting up?
  • These are the biscuits she has been eating up with her dog.
    With whose dog has she been eating up the biscuits?
  • Where are the notes of the meeting that I will be going over with you?
    With whom should I go over the notes?

That is alright as far as it goes.

But in different contexts tie can take to, with, by, in, from, up and I have no doubt others.

The rope was tied to posts to form a boundary.

The parcel was tied with strong string.

The prisoners were tied by their wrists.

The participants in the three-legged race were tied in pairs

The equipment was tied from the rafters when not in use.

The bundle was tied up securely

  • 1
    Some naughty person might add The scores were tied after seven rounds. Commented Oct 16, 2014 at 22:26
  • Or "tied as before"!
    – WS2
    Commented Jul 20, 2020 at 8:42

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