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I fell down and hurt my knee.

I fell and hurt my knee.

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Now add up the number of calories you have eaten.

Now add the number of calories you have eaten.

How would I know if the phrasal verb should be used or not when in fact the sentence with the verb means the same? Is it just a matter of choice?

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I fell down and hurt my knee.
I fell and hurt my knee.

mean the same thing because fall along with hurt imply a downward motion.

Now add up the number of calories you have eaten.

Here add up means "total of the calories of individual food items". But in:

Now add the number of calories you have eaten.

add requires 2 quantities to add together, while this example only has one. You would need to say:

Now add the number of calories you have eaten to your age in months.

meaning (the number of calories you have eaten) + (your age in months).

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  • The last sentence is not understood by me, especially the phrase eaten to your age. – Anubhav Singh Jul 10 '17 at 5:01
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    It would be like (the number of calories you have eaten) + (your age in months). Sorry it was not meant to be a logical example. I just wanted to follow the wording in your example. – user3169 Jul 10 '17 at 12:39
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Are the phrasal verbs have same meaning as the verb are redundant?

Yes, but sometimes in English redundancy is desired, for these reasons:

  • emphasis

  • making language colorful or interesting

  • clarity (extra syllables in a sentence give the listener time to catch up)

  • presence (extra syllables in a sentence sometimes make the sentence seem more important)

  • rhythm

That being said, there is a slight possible difference in meaning between fall and fall down but it could probably be explained as a matter of emphasis.

I fell down and hurt my knee = Your butt touched the ground or you had to get up after you fell.

I fell and hurt my knee = You may not have actually landed on the ground.

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