1

I found this sentence describing a motorcycle (The person describing it is very impressed by the motorcycle, finds it very beautiful and magnificent):

It was mammoth, even at rest it seemed like a street fighter ready for a brawl, as if it wanted to tear off down the road, hovering over the asphalt.

I don't understand the meaning of "tear off down the road". How would you paraphrase it?

2

To "tear off" is a colloquialism that means to depart with great speed.

The hot-rod tore off down the street.

She was walking her dog in the park and it tore off after a squirrel.

The verb is to tear (which rhymes with "hair", not "beer"). It means "to speed". off means "away".

  • 1
    It may be helpful to specify which homograph is used in the expression (i.e. the one related to ripping rather than to crying). – Tashus Nov 20 '18 at 22:00
  • Actually the quoted past tense forms make it clear. Oops. – Tashus Nov 20 '18 at 22:01
  • 1
    That's OK, it can't hurt to add some info. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Nov 20 '18 at 22:02
  • Thank you. All these phrasal verbs are a real nightmare for a non-native speaker... – Cicc Nov 21 '18 at 8:17

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.