Please, don't die on me!

She ran out on me.

In the two examples above the preposition "on" seems to indicate the speaker's physical presence in the situation, in which the particular event (expressed by the verb) is/was unfolding and directly affects/affected the speaker.

Are there any other phrasal verbs in English with the same preposition conveying the same meaning? If yes, can you, please, provide some examples?

  • 2
    I wouldn't count those as phrasal verbs; I would rather classify the on me as a malefactive adjunct phrase (I just coined that phrase, on the analogy of the benefactive adjunct phrase examplified by for me). I don't think it can be used on as wide a range of verbs as the benefactive, but there are still plenty where it can, generally with a sense of ending, giving up, leaving, or failing. – Colin Fine Feb 25 '18 at 23:22
  • @ColinFine - How do you define a phrasal verb? – brilliant Feb 26 '18 at 4:41
  • malefactive adjunct phrase . Pretty soon you'll be hunting in packs. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Feb 26 '18 at 23:06

Other phrasal prepositional verbs where the preposition is "on" and the object is a person are:


One of the most common three-word phrasal verbs of this kind that I can think of right off the bat would be the expression to walk out on somebody. Here's its definition and an example from the Cambridge Dictionary:

to suddenly leave your husband, wife, or partner and end your relationship with them:

He walked out on his wife and kids.

There are probably not a lot of them in English, but another one that just crossed my mind is to freak out on somebody:

Don't freak out on me like that, dude. You scared the dickens out of me!

I don't think though that we have the right to call the entire thing a phrasal verb. They actually look more like your regular two-word phrasal verbs that are just followed by the preposition on which in this case has the meaning of directly affected by or something to that effect.

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