Look at these examples:

He stepped out from behind the curtain.
Step out from behind the counter.
Step out from behind the blue wall.
Step out from behind the veil of illusion. 
  • This is a beauty. Three single cohesion levels, two double, and the triple to consider. (c) 'came from the park / behind the counter' indicates no great cohesion between from & behind. (a) 'stepped from behind the counter' and 'rolled out from behind the counter' suggest little cohesion between step and out (in this case). (b) 'out from' looks quite cohesive, and 'in to' is usually fused. However, this doesn't have a bearing on whether or not we are dealing with a MWV here. So, 'no'. Dec 5, 2015 at 12:39
  • See also: "The sentence with the most prepositions at its end". "What did you bring that book that I don't want to be read to from out of about 'Down Under' up for?"
    – MetaEd
    Dec 11, 2015 at 0:00

1 Answer 1


To me, step out from behind sounds literal in meaning. Each of the modifiers takes on a literal meaning: Step (literally taking steps). Out (away from the region that is "behind" some object of reference). From (away from the region or object of reference). Behind (origin of movement path). In other words, no, I do not see it as a phrasal verb.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.