The dog chased a boy up a gum tree for an hour before going away.

What purpose does “chased up” serve here? Does that mean that the boy climbed the tree and the dog waited on the ground for an hour before leaving, or the dog and the boy both were on the tree and the chase continued for an hour before the dog went away? Also, what does “up” in “chased up” mean?


It means that the boy was chased into the tree, and he climbed up. The dog could not follow, but remained, for an hour, close enough on the ground so that the boy could not get down.

  • This is obviously the intended meaning (+1), but for me the original is a little awkward: it technically does say the chase itself lasted an hour.
    – TypeIA
    Mar 28 at 18:39
  • What does “up” in “chased up” suggest? Mar 28 at 18:52
  • 1
    @AydenFerguson it's not a phrasal verb. It's just "chased" and the place where the boy was chased to is up a tree.
    – TypeIA
    Mar 28 at 21:16

Correct parsing:

The dog //chased a boy //up a gum tree// for an hour before going away.

up a gumtree = prepositional phrase

It is odd that it says chased for an hour.

It should have said: The dog chased a boy up a gum tree and barked for an hour before going away.


Up suggests movement towards a higher position/level.

The chase took place on the ground, and then the boy had to climb up the tree (to catch his breath and escape the dog).

It's not a phrasal verb "chase sb up". Chase here means drive or cause to go in a specified direction and up a tree independently answers a question "where?".

The dog chased (who?) a boy (where?) up a tree.

Nobody contacted any authorities to chase (who?) him (where?) off campus.

They then chased (who?) the members (where?) into the courthouse yard.

As you might notice, the verb, in this meaning, takes two objects, and the pattern is

chase <who> <where>

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