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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Contextual meaning of "run out of" [closed]

This is from CSI NY. Two investigators are examining a victim's body. Joe: Well, I almost ran out of here. Any idea who she is? Mic: No. Definitely doesn't work in the lab.
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2 answers
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Do you use "pore over"?

As in, I spent all night poring over those legal documents. Or, do you use pore through? Not to be confused with pour (some sugar).
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10 votes
1 answer
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Is the term "errored out" a grammatically correct phrase, or just a colloquial one? [duplicate]

I was wondering whether it is OK to use "errored out" as part of a status message in my code — is it grammatically correct to use it, or is there a better choice of words that I can use in its ...
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What’s the meaning of ‘go on’ here?

‘Go on’ has a lot of meanings in dictionaries, which makes me confused. What’s the omitted words and meanings of ‘go on’ in the following scene? (They are gambling on a sport in the magical world.) ”...
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1 vote
2 answers
692 views

What does "come away" mean here, in reference to a memorial?

Does come away here mean "you come away from home"? From a CNN article: Robert Henry, a former U.S. appeals judge whose office was across the street from the federal building, says the ...
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4 votes
8 answers
741 views

How to express misusing a tool

I am not a native English speaker. I was wondering how to express the situation in which one uses a tool for something other than what it was meant to be, and in a bad way so that you are not doing ...
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6 votes
5 answers
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What does "turn off" mean here?

Could it be a typo for "and one by one they will be turned off"? CNN: Many of the existing space telescopes, Hubble included, are nearing the end of their lifetimes, and one by one they will turn ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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"Heat up" or "heat"

It seems they have same meaning but why are we using the phrasal verb? Or they have same meaning?
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6 votes
4 answers
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Does the phrase "who's in?" or "I'm in!" exist in (informal) English?

I really think I've heard it in some American sitcom/sitcoms, meaning something like participating in. "I want to play football. Who's in?" — "Great idea, I'm in!" Does it really exist, or am I wrong? ...
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2 votes
2 answers
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What's the meaning of "delivering up" here?

Context (Abraham Lincoln's Inaugural Address), There is much controversy about the delivering up of fugitives from service or labor. The clause I now read is as plainly written in the Constitution ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Meaning of "press upon"

In Abraham Lincoln's Inaugural Address, I now reiterate these sentiments, and in doing so I only press upon the public attention the most conclusive evidence of which the case is susceptible that ...
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7 votes
2 answers
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What does “We don’t do anything that’s not completely up and up” mean?

I found an amusing story titled “Lobster salad, but a key ingredient was missing” in today’s (August 11)New York Times NY/Region section. The article reports that Zabar’s, the famous grocery in ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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What is the phrasal verb or idiom that says about something that came is too late

I can't remember a phrasal verb or an idiom that describes something that came too late, i.e. i bought this book to solve this mathematical problem, however as it only came a week later it was xxxxxx.
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2 votes
2 answers
9k views

What is the past tense of this phrasal verb (double down)?

Blackjack players can "double down" after receiving their initial two cards. What is the past tense of 'Double Down'?
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2 votes
1 answer
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What does "fly against" mean?

http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/2008/11/stop-me-if-you-think-youve-seen-this-word-before.html: I'm not sure this kind of experiment would fly against today's Google, but it worked in 2004. What ...
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1 vote
4 answers
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Is this a correct usage of "wait on"? [closed]

I've written the following phrase in a technical document: ... the Task is exposed, so it can be waited on In this context (.NET development), Task is an object instance, and by "waiting on" it, I ...
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5 votes
3 answers
29k views

"Cover off" meaning "cover"

I've noticed that some business people (generally management types) have started to use the expression "cover off" to mean "cover". E.g. Can you cover off agenda item 3 for me? or Not only ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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"Open" vs. "open up"

Which of the following two variants is correct with reference to some email attachments? I am unable to open them. I am unable to open up them.
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2 answers
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Phrasal verb/expression for "bring people together somewhere"

Is there a phrasal verb or expression to express the idea of bringing people together somewhere, other than explicitly using "people" in the sentence? I am looking for something that already implies ...
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2 votes
3 answers
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What is the difference between ‘In you come’, ‘Come on in’, and ‘Do come in’?

Bagman suddenly spotted Harry, got up quickly, and bounded forward. “Ah, here he is! Champion number four! In you come, Harry, in you come … nothing to worry about, it's just the wand weighing ...
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6 votes
5 answers
67k views

Throw away/in/out for rubbish?

Is it best to use "throw away" or "throw in" for an expression when you ask someone not to throw something, like "Don't throw them away/in/out (the rubbish bin)." Specifically, if one doesn't know ...
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4 votes
2 answers
412 views

Meaning of "the body soon learns to stand down in the face of fat"

The following is from the transcript of a podcast. Dieters can choose from an array of snacktackular options in which sugars and fats are replaced by artificial, low-calorie substitutes. That sleight ...
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19 votes
2 answers
46k views

Does "filling out" equal to "filling in"?

I quoted the following from a pamphlet: Please read the instructions carefully before filling out the application form. The application will be returned to you and the registration may be ...
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2 answers
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The phrase, "It's on tonight."

Is the sentence, "It's on tonight," grammatically correct? What about "It's on for tonight?" Are they both correct? Is there any difference at all?
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1 vote
2 answers
10k views

What's the difference between "call off" vs. "cancel"?

You have to get Chang to call off some of this homework.
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7 votes
3 answers
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Etymology of "end up" and "wind up"

What is the etymology of the phrase "end up", and of the meaning of "wind up" that means essentially the same thing? To clarify, I mean the specific meaning of "wind up" that means the same as "end ...
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7 votes
6 answers
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Phrasal Verbs. Rules and Tricks [closed]

Are there any rules or tricks that might explain how phrasal verbs are formed to understand their meanings?
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14 votes
6 answers
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What is the origin of the phrase "turns out"?

What is the origin of "turns out" as it appears in the phrases below: It turns out As it turns out Let me know how it turns out What is turning, what is coming out, and from where? I can't find ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Did "breaking news" originate from the phrasal verb "break in?" [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why is news said to be “breaking”? Studying phrasal verbs I found break in meaning as interruption. My teacher suggested that it can be also used in news as ...
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17 votes
2 answers
36k views

"try" or "try out" (difference?)

What is the difference between "try" and "try out"?
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2 votes
2 answers
6k views

"Plugging in X" vs. "plugging X in"

Does one say Plugging in that value into the previous equation... or Plugging that value in the previous equation... or something else?
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17 votes
5 answers
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What does the phrase “I’m down with” mean?

I was wondering about the meaning of: I am down with something. Also, I was wondering whether people say: I am up with something. If so, what does it mean?
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5 votes
3 answers
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"Build out" versus "build up"

How are these two different? Build [something] out vs. Build [something] up
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6 votes
5 answers
18k views

Why use 'step down' instead of 'resign'? Is there any difference?

Ozzie announced his plans to step down from his role at Microsoft on October 18, 2010
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4 votes
3 answers
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Correct use of "wake up"

English isn't my native language (Spanish is), so this question may be very basic, but it is worse not to ask. Which of these two phrases is the correct one? I'm trying to wake and get up from ...
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2 votes
1 answer
2k views

What do "muckraker" and "rake muck" mean?

Are they the same? What do they mean? Here is the sentence: I was one of the most experienced. All of us were judged by our ability to rake muck. The head muckraker was Frederica Jansz...
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1 vote
5 answers
905 views

Usage of "filed away"

He still had the moment filed away in his memory. Is the meaning of the sentence I wrote widely understood? Should that sentence be used in a particular context (e.g., when writing a book)?
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24 votes
5 answers
18k views

Burn up or burn down?

What's the difference between "burn up" and "burn down"? Or is there a difference at all?
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2 votes
2 answers
3k views

The phrase "Check out"

"Check out this article" Where did this term come from and why those choice of words? I understand it perfectly semantically, but when you think about it it doesn't make sense, check out seems to ...
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4 votes
3 answers
723 views

Meaning of "run around doing something"

What does run around doing something mean? For example: I can't see any reason to run around deleting the recovery partition.
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-1 votes
4 answers
6k views

Usage of "track down"

I recently read (in a website) the following sentence. (I replaced the usernames with placeholders.) [username1], if this is still happening, there is a good chance your IP got blocked due to ...
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5 votes
2 answers
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What does "scratch below the surface" mean?

In Outlier: The Story of Success Chapter 2 Section 4, there is a sentence saying Is the ten-thousand-hour rule a general rule of success? If we scratch below the surface of every great achiever, do ...
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42 votes
8 answers
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Why "go off", as in "alarm went off"?

I was wondering why does something goes off, when it in fact does the opposite bomb goes off - it blows up alarm goes off - it turns on Why not goes on?
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1 vote
2 answers
640 views

What's the difference between "shake up" and "shape up"?

What's the difference between these phrasal verbs? Would you say "organization shake up", "organization shape up", either depending on context and desired meaning or neither? How about "documentation" ...
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215 votes
5 answers
513k views

"log in to" or "log into" or "login to"

When writing an instruction about connecting to a computer using ssh, telnet, etc., I'm not sure what spacing to use in this familiar spoken phrase: "Log in to host.com" "Log into host.com" "Login to ...
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1 vote
3 answers
3k views

What does "urge to kill" mean?

I've got an answer to my comment at Stack Overflow, and I don't get what it means. I've googled and looked over several dictionaries with no help. Seems like it is some specific slang/phrasal verb, ...
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23 votes
3 answers
126k views

"Give up" versus "give in"

Do give up and give in imply different meanings?
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4 votes
5 answers
11k views

Should we say "borrow from" instead of "borrow off"?

I hear and read the term "borrow off" frequently however I say "borrow from" as that makes more sense to me. Is it grammatically incorrect to say, "may I borrow the book off your friend"? In my mind ...
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7 votes
3 answers
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Why do we use 'up' as adverbs for verbs?

Why do we use up as adverbs for verbs? For example, 'wake up', 'throw up', etc.
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6 votes
2 answers
807 views

Which would be correct: "outputs" or "puts out"?

Which word should I use in the following context? Is the required before data? Any algorithm first reads data, processes (the) data and finally [outputs|puts out] the processed data.
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