1

When I hear expressions like "you need to get trained up", I think the up is, at best, superfluous and probably grammatically incorrect.

Is that the case, or does the up serve a purpose?

5

Up has numerous uses and, as the OED notes, ‘the variety . . . is so great that the adverb comes to present a number of highly divergent and even directly opposite senses’.

Your example is certainly grammatical. The OED’s definition in this sense is

To cultivate or develop (the mind, the spirit, a faculty, etc.), especially for a specified purpose; to accustom to performing a specified function. Also with up.

The use of train up isn’t new. The entry gives this supporting citation from the mid-seventeenth century:

How much more ought a Christian to train up his own heart, and accustome it this way, to be his continual remembrancer of himself.

  • 1
    And there is always the biblical Proverbs 22:6: "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." – JLG Jun 5 '12 at 13:54
  • @JLG: correct, in the KJV. Not the case in more modern translations like the NIV. – Wikis Jun 6 '12 at 10:38

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.