Is "have with" considered a phrasal verb? As in the sentence: "I don't have my wallet with me." The only dictionary that recognizes "have with" as a phrasal verb is Merriam - Webster.


Any input will be greatly appreciated!

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    – tchrist
    May 16, 2020 at 21:11

1 Answer 1


It is not considered a phrasal verb in OALD (see entries n° 1, n° 26); however, the meaning of "have" in this combination being "to carry along","to be with", which has apparently little to do with the basic idea of "possession" or "being associated to", this verb could be considered a phrasal verb. The difference could be that most lexicographers can still make out in the meaning "to be with" the idea of "being associated to", whereas some, as those from Merriam-Webster can't. It is extremely difficult to analyse such semantic relations sometimes.

  • Not all definitions of 'phrasal verb' discount totally transparent as opposed to idiomatic usages. eg Claudia Claridge in the monumental 'Multi-Word Verbs in Early Modern English' (don't be fooled by the EME bit), and, using a really broad definition, Quirk. May 11, 2020 at 16:42
  • @EdwinAshworth That's more or less true of the approach in OALD when for instance "to sit down" is considered as a phrasal verb "[the meaning of which is] easy to guess because the verb and particle keep their usual meaning", however a divergence from a totally transparent usage is sufficient to justify the change in category, isn't it?
    – LPH
    May 11, 2020 at 16:43
  • 1
    ' a divergence from a totally transparent usage is sufficient to justify the change in category, isn't it?' presupposes that your definitions of categories (which presumably include 'phrasal verbs') include an 'is either unquestionably transparent (as decided by 100% of usage groups?!) or not' discriminator. I just look at cohesiveness, and have 'MWV' (transitive or intransitive; 2- or 3-orthographic word), 'SimplexV + P (part of a PP)', and 'difficult to say'. Separableness (optional or obligatory) can also be mentioned later, as can (a stab at) transparency. May 11, 2020 at 19:19
  • In I have my wallet with me, "with me" is a simple prepositional phrase and complement to "to have". "With" is a preposition meaning "accompanying". If we take a real phrasal verb, "to boil down" (to reduce), we have {verb + adverb} with a meaning separate from their verbal part. Not all {verb +adverb complement} constructions provide phrasal verbs - some verbs have a compulsory adverb complement, e.g. "to put" but there are several adverbs / prepositions that may accompany "put" and others without their meaning changing
    – Greybeard
    Jun 10, 2020 at 18:10
  • @Greybeard As LPH says, that is one school of thought (and the one I'd probably veer towards). But the have's in "I don't have a gun – they're illegal in the UK" and "I don't have my gun with me" are very different. Jun 10, 2020 at 18:54

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