example: The airplane took off for Tokyo.

Is ‘took off’ a phrasal verb, and ‘for Tokyo’ an adjunct for the verb?

  • Yes Meaning: When a plane departs or leaves the ground – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Mar 17 '13 at 4:05
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    Note that take off is also a transitive phrasal verb with an entirely different meaning: He took off his hat. – StoneyB on hiatus Mar 17 '13 at 14:29
  • @StoneyB, Thank you. I just now read that Bas Aarts suggest that they call the phrasal verb as “verb-preposition construction.” So in this case, “off’ is called “intransitive preposition.” : There may be no definite, absolute explanation. Your saying, “Context! Context!” is more reasonable than the theories. – Listenever Mar 17 '13 at 14:49
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    The concept of phrasal verbs is a fairly recent invention, and Prof. Aarts is in this respect surprisingly conservative. It may be that the concept creates problems in some deeper theories of grammar; that's above my grade. But I think that phrasal verb is (if nothing else) an excellent tool for teaching and learning English, and really reflects how speakers actually use these constructions. – StoneyB on hiatus Mar 17 '13 at 15:02

Yes, taking off in an airplane is the verb used to describe when an airplane leaves the ground. Landing is the opposite- when an airplane touches down on the ground again.

take off : a rise or leap from a surface in making a jump or flight or an ascent in an aircraft or in the launching of a rocket

One of the running joke among pilots is the admonishment to make sure that the number of take-offs logged remains equal to the number of landings logged.

"For Tokyo" is the shortened version of bound for Tokyo- the airplane's destination was Tokyo.

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