Lionel Robert Jospin (pronounced lee-oh-NEL roh-BAIR zhoss-PAN) was born on July 12, 1937, into the Protestant family of a Socialist schoolteacher in Meudon, on the western edge of Paris. He was delivered, according to family legend, on a couch raised up on a set of the complete works of Voltaire to make it easier for the midwife.

The Bay Ridge Towers, two tall brick co-op buildings at the northern tip of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, offer their residents two vast parking lots with an unusual feature. Although they are level with the buildings, they sit about 30 feet above a low patch of land, raised up on rows of giant pillars.

I'm not sure, but it seems using the verb "raise" (raise, raised, raised) as an intransitive verb is rather common among journalists, albeit oxforddictionaries.com has substantially no entry for this kind of usage.

Other dictionaries says that using "raise" as an intransitive verb is a dialectal form.

My question is: Can we legally use "raise" intransitively as well as newspapers induce to think?

1 Answer 1


As FumbleFingers observes, there is at least one intransitive use of raise; but raise is not used intransitively here. Raised is the past (or passive) participle. Raised up on a set &c is a participle phrase modifying the direct object of the verb, which is couch:

Somebody raised the couch up on a set of the complete works of Voltaire.
The couch was raised up on a set of the complete works of Voltaire.
He was delivered on a couch raised up on a set of the complete works of Voltaire.

Similarly, the parking lots are raised up on pillars.

Phrases headed by past participles usually bear a passive sense and are set after the term they modify if they govern terms which follow them:

 a raised seat, BUT
 a seat raised on a platform, NOT
a raised on a platform seat

Sometimes a governed term can be set before the participle; it is a courtesy to the reader to join these by a hyphen to make the relationship clear:

 a sofa coloured red     ⇨  a red-coloured sofa
 a boy raised by wolves  ⇨  a wolf-raised boy

A non-restrictive participle phrase can also be set before the noun or noun phrase it modifies, and is separated from it with a comma:

Raised up on rows of giant pillars, the parking lots sit about 30 feet above a low patch of land.

marks an utterance as unacceptable

  • 1
    Intransitively, in a poker game, "I should have folded, but rashly I raised". Apr 7, 2013 at 19:44
  • 3
    @FumbleFingers Good call. I'm glad I had the prudence to avoid saying it can't be used intransitively. Minor premise: any rule of English which can be broken will be. Major premise: any rule of English can be broken. Apr 7, 2013 at 20:01
  • Stoney, in [The Magician's Assistant](books.google.com/books?isbn=0547548796) by Ann Patchett it is written "He raised up on his hind legs and stretched his front legs up towards her, his nose pulsing in lapin joy after such a long". Is Patchett's usage of "raised" intransitive?
    – user114
    Apr 7, 2013 at 20:57
  • 2
    @Carlo_R. Yes it is, and it's a mistake. But Patchett is an impressionist writer, and the nice distinction of rise and raise, sit and set, lie and lay is not, I imagine, something most of her readers observe, in her practice or their own. Apr 7, 2013 at 21:29

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