In English there are lots of phrases where a verb is followed by a direction and it takes on a whole new meaning.

Examples: get up, get off, get down, take in, take out, take off, etc.

This is interesting to me because a lot of these expressions don't seem to make logical sense when you look at the meaning of each word. I.e. how did "take off" come to describe a plane departing?

Is there a name for this construction that I can look up? Do many other languages have similar constructions? Is there any known history of how this construction developed?

  • 1
    What research have you done? – BillJ Nov 23 '18 at 7:19
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    Such constructions are usually termed as phrasal verbs. – user307254 Nov 23 '18 at 8:28
  • @use307254 'Phrasal verb" -- a misnomer if ever there was one! – BillJ Nov 23 '18 at 8:47
  • According to Oxford Dictionary: Phrasal verb is 'An idiomatic phrase consisting of a verb and another element, typically either an adverb, as in break down, or a preposition, for example see to, or a combination of both, such as look down on.' – user307254 Nov 23 '18 at 16:50

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