Another murky subject arose today:
Would like to know, which one is appropriate:
I am unable to attend the mandatory meeting; I will make up some excuse.
I am unable to attend the mandatory meeting; I will make some excuse up.
English Language Learners Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for speakers of other languages learning English. It only takes a minute to sign up.Sign up to join this community
Since we're legitimately allowed to separate the verb "make" from its particle "it", both of these options are fine. This is known as a separable phrasal verb. You don't have to separate these as long as you're not using a pronoun. For example:
I made the most ridiculous excuse up
I made up the most ridiculous excuse
are both fine. But:
I made up it
is not correct since the pronoun must separate verb and particle.
In practice, Catija (see comment above) is right. It is easier for both the speaker and listener/reader to parse if we keep the whole phrasal verb together and put the complement after, otherwise we can get lost waiting for the particle. So,
Make up some excuse
is probably preferred, but both are correct.