Questions tagged [phrasal-verbs]

A phrasal verb is a combination of a verb and a preposition, a verb and an adverb, or a verb with both an adverb and a preposition.

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Do components of a phrasal verb still have a meaning each?

Do components of a phrasal verb still have a meaning each or have a meaning together? For example, ‘look down on’: ‘to think of or treat (someone or something) as unimportant or not worthy of respect’ ...
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How do native speakers think about phrasal verbs?

I would like to ask a question about phrasal verbs. Do native english speakers think about the meaning of each individual word of the phrasal verb when they will say it or they just think about the ...
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How would you describe a car kicking up clouds of dust as an adverb of a car heading somewhere?

I am trying to translate a sentence from Turkish to English. I'm almost satisfied and it is something along the lines of A black car kicking up clouds of dust was seen heading to the city from a ...
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meaning of “Calmly and deliberately, she cut up his suits one by one.” [closed]

In the definition of "deliberately" in Cambridge English Dictionary, the second meaning which is "slowly and carefully" has an example: Calmly and deliberately, she cut up his ...
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What is the meaning of the verb “step across”? [closed]

I am quoting from The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, The Reigate Squires by Arthur Conan Doyle :"The colonel waved his hand towards my friend and the inspector bowed.'We thought that perhaps you ...
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What's a phrasal verb that means pretending to be nice in expectation of getting something in return?

I want to find a phrasal verb that means pretending to be nice/friendly to someone because you think he/she will help you do something.
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Following on from vs Following up on

I just want to understand the difference between "Following up on & Following on from". Is it exactly the same meaning? Here you have an example: Following on from your email below ...
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“Open onto” vs. “open into”

When is one preferred over the other? This is in the context of the door to a large room. My sense is that "into" is preferred for closed spaces and "onto" for open spaces. This ...
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Why do some verbs have “directions” as adverbs?

I recently noticed how many verbs have "directions" as adverbs: "look up", "find out", "talk down", "figure out", "walk up", "look down&...
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What to say when someone's answer is not related to our question or at least we think it's not? [duplicate]

I would say: "How's that related to my question ?" Please answer for both formal and informal cases
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Word for: Sleep until some bad situation/feeling subsides or ends

When one waits until some difficulty has passed, we say "wait something out". Is there a word/expression in English for sleeping until your hunger, pain, or negative emotions subside?
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How do we tell the difference between a prepositional phrase and a particle phrase?

From the Farlex Grammar Book, their main difference is that particles cannot introduce a prepositional phrase-a preposition + its object-while a preposition always does. Please look over these ...
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What's the difference between chip away and chip away AT something? [closed]

I've been trying to identify the difference in usage between saying chip away and chip away at something but I can't see any. The sentences in dictionaries all seem like they could accept both. So my ...
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'reflect back on' or 'reflect on' some event in the past?

As the title suggests, should I use "reflect back on" or "reflect on" when talking about something in the past? For example: I find myself reflecting on the journey that has led ...
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Why can't we say “sign in into”?

When it comes to the sentence Sign in to your account, I understand why it is more proper to say sign in to as opposed to sign into. Sign in is a phrasal verb and to is the preposition. However, I ...
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Why do we say “put out a fire”?

I came across this in an EFL text book, in an exercise that required the student to link a phrasal verb with the correct object, and it struck me as not at all obvious. The most common usage of 'out' ...
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Phrasal verbs as hyphenated adjectives

So I recently had a question of how to translate a seemingly simple phrase which gave rise to a really puzzling dilemma. The phrase itself was "the eye which had been operated on", it was ...
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Interview answer

Dears, Could you please help with the sentence below, which phrasal verb and verb to use? My goal at this point is to capitalize upon/ on new opportunities for career development, looking for/ ...
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what is the appropriate answer to this clause?

I got this question, but I'm very confused between A and D.
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Phrasal verb: Wash upon

Non-native english speaker here. The context is songwriting. Can a tide "wash upon" someone or something?
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Phrasal verb “scale out”

I received an email from my advisor and he uses the verb "scale out". Since I am not an english native speaker, I tried to find the definition on the web but didn't find anything useful. The ...
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The difference between “have got” and “have got to”?

I have been asked about the difference between Have got Have got to Are they considered as present perfect forms?
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Observation: “Take back” is used in impolite speech, while “Bring back” is used in polite speech. Is there any basis to this?

I'm an English teacher working with an advanced student. They asked me to teach them how to ask for help or support when things aren't going they way they should. I decided to teach him that it is ...
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Subject + caution; advise +object + recognize; acknowledge

I am in limbo about the syntax of a certain sentence I am formulating. To me, the following sentence (with the alternative word choice combinations) is intelligible and grammatical; however, when I ...
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How to describe situation when two people can't meet?

How to describe situation when two people can't meet cause they're never at the same place at the same time. Example: John and Michael are friends. They both do the shopping at the local shop every ...
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What is the difference between “out of”, “from” and “off (of)”? [closed]

I dont know when to use each of them when it comes to places I know how to use "out of" and "off" like get in the car and get off roof but in these sentence it says: the teachers ...
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Passive of “show off”

I came across this sentence in a novel: I wonder if she had been the same as me, always being showed off by that genius... Usually the phrasal verb "show off" is used in active voice, so I ...
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“to walk something” meaning “to carry something”?

This is from a book "Confess" by Colleen Hoover. "To walk something" meaning "to carry" or "to bring" - is this just a case of a missed word ("with") ...
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Are prepositional verbs a sub-classification of phrasal verbs or considered a totally separate category? [duplicate]

In researching the classification of verbs that are accompanied by other words that may be adverbs or prepositions it seems like some sources favor prepositional verbs as a sub-category and others ...
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How to describe putting on a coat [closed]

Is there a way to "he put on his coat" without actually using the verb "put on"? A friend suggested "he dressed his coat" but it sounds very strange to me.
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What is the origin of extra prepositions added after verbs in Indian English?

It seems that speakers of Indian English often add prepositions to create phrasal verbs in situations where the verb would have been sufficient on its own. Some examples I have noticed: to “pass out” ...
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having the ability to “enthuse for” or “enthuse with”?

I'm proofreading an application and there is this sentence I'm a bit sceptical about: "Apart from that, I have the ability to enthuse myself and others with something new." Wouldn't it be ...
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Word Request— word for fumbling and being clumsy with pronunciation

I was wondering for a long while, and I can't seem to find the word. I'm thinking of the way people, when feeling strong emotion, replace 'r's with 'w's, and generally are clumsy with their ...
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How to use the phrase “looks like”?

Does the phrase "looks like" can mean that two objects are the same? For example if I say "This car looks like John's car" and the car is indeed John's car am I lying?
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Uses of the phrasal-verb “settle down”

Can I use the phrasal-verb "settle down" in the following contexts: "I have to settle down what I learned" - to study more deeply, to review subjects that were previous learned &...
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What does “leak over” mean?

From this excerpt: "How the situation of Falun Gong practitioners in Hong Kong evolves in the coming months and how much of the repression leaks over from the mainland is a very important space ...
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Use of preposition “of” after “ask,” “inquire,” and “inquiry”

I’m mystified about the use of the preposition “of” after the verb “ask” and “inquire” and the noun “inquiry.” Would someone help me, please? First, do these two sentences mean the same thing? I ...
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meaning of OUT as in “ACTING OUT IN CLASS”

I've been working on dividing phrasal verbs into groups (according to the meaning of their particle aka adverb) and can't figure out the exact meaning of "acting out in class" From my ...
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Using “act on” like an American

I would like learn more about the phrasal verb "act on" in English. I found this while looking for examples: (act on/upon something) to do something because you have been given information, ...
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What's the correct way: “Helped me go through” or “Helped me going through”?

Huge discussion here at home. My daughter insists that in her speech is correct saying: "Good friendships helped me go through tough times" Her father insists that it should say either: &...
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Hold (one) by the throat

I am reading Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. There is a statement by Hank Rearden - 'You concluded that I was the safest person in the world for you to spit on, precisely because I held you by the throat.'...
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Why the expression “put on the socks” grammatically correct? [duplicate]

I know, this seems so natural, but what's the logic behind this? Is there any difference between the above and.... Put the socks on This one seems more right to me....cause I think it's an ...
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verb-with-preposition and verb-with-other-preposition

Abstruse algorithms have been derived for, and implemented in, superfluous software --- correct? readable? better with or without commas?
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Prepositional phrasal verbs in passive voice

I wanted to clarify the question of prepositional phrasal verbs for myself. I have faced a tricky sentence, and I would like to discover if I can change the location of the preposition 'at'. If not, I ...
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“Ever” placement in between a particle and a preposition

A line in At Middleton goes: Did you read up ever on this bell tower? This sentence has "ever" inserted inside a particle-prepositional verb, before the preposition and after the particle. ...
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Getting as set off by it

I'm reading an article about anxiety. The author says that when people feel anxious, they try to make themselves feel better by applying all kinds of coping techniques (e.g. deep breathing). Then it ...
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What does “put out” mean in the following context? [closed]

What does "put out" mean in the following context? I, myself, who find sundown something of a surprise every evening, have been pursued by foreign journalists asking what the pandemic will mean ...
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Difference between swot up and mug up

Well, actually, that is the question. What is the difference between these two phrasal verbs? Both of them mean to cram, to study intensively before an exam. She's at home, swotting up on her maths. ...
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What's the meaning of “set himself to”? [closed]

“When I saw him that afternoon so enwrapped in the music at St. James's Hall I felt that an evil time might be coming upon those whom he had set himself to hunt down.” I have found these sentence in ...
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A verb phrase “[verb] up” meaning someone is easily buying whatever he sees on TV

I came across this phrase "[verb] up" twice on The Guardian Reader's comments section when readers were talking about someone tends to not raise much objection to whatever the person is told or ...

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