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Questions tagged [phrasal-verbs]

a combination of a lexical verb and one or two particles having the same form as prepositions or adverbs, employed as a single verb. The term is sometimes reserved for combinations in which the particle may follow the object of the verb and is not fronted with a WH- relative object.

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The use of “pick up on”

If you don't understand a person's language, you should try to pick up on the information on their face. This sentence seems a bit awkward to me. Though to pick up on something can mean to notice ...
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Meaning of the phrasal verb “dial in” in context

The following excerpt is from this article. Training in this fashion will not only dial in and perfect technique, but you’ll be optimizing your training as well.
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look up the dictionary VS look up in the dictionary

Usually the phrasal verb look up is used as follows. These example sentences are from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary. Can you look up the opening times on the website? I looked it up ...
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23 views

How to use “pick up”

I have a question regarding the term "pick up" and I want to emphasize more on "pick up skills after a long time". Can I say something like: I didn't use HTML for a really long time. It gets a ...
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“Shut up” figurative/metaphorical form.

Shut up I heard a lot of native speakers saying this phrasal verb with their friends. But what I noticed, though, was that they didn’t mean it literally. What meaning does it give when it doesn’...
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29 views

What does “stand with” mean?

The following article fron CNBC states: Trump says US stands with Saudi Arabia despite journalist Khashoggi's killing. McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs defines the ...
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Prashal verbs, same meaning

1 complete with the same meaning Do you have a good relationship with your neighbours? (Well) Do you ... your neighbours? I don’t know where to find a list with all the prashal verbs!
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Meaning of the phrasal verb “get in” in context

It is from Crash Course US history. It is at around 8 minute and 6 second. So it is not going to be Woodrow Wilson because it would be obvious, but I don't the names of any other prominent ...
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64 views

What does “withdraw into” mean? [closed]

What does "withdraw into" mean in the following sentence? Many depressed people just withdraw into themselves.
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32 views

How should I assimilate an unusual usage of a word?

From "Gone with the Wind": Tom and us left home early this morning before she got up, and Tom's laying out over at the Fontaines' while we came over here. As an English learner, I feel unfamiliar ...
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The meaning of “set up” in this sentence

The phrasal verb set up in these sentences from an online article apparently means "to establish itself." But this intransitive usage doesn't appear in dictionaries. For example, Macmillan Dictionary ...
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The correct usage of “come along”? [closed]

Would happiness come along Pain? (meaning come together) Would happiness and pain come along (meaning come together) Is 2 a correct usage of come along, when I mean the two things in question ...
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Paint is flaking off

I saw the verbs flake off and peel is used for these situations but I would like to ask how to inform a painter or someone about the problem in different and unambiguous ways. For example, which one ...
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Life is what you make (of) it

Is the preposition of necessary in the following? Life is what you make (of) it. I'd appreciate your help.
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61 views

Use of phrasal verb and preposition together in “He pulled the cap off of the marker.”

I have read it in a book: He pulled the cap off of the marker. Doesn't "pull off" show that the person removed the cap? Why to use "of"? In another sentence in the same book it is: He pulled ...
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The use of the phrasal verb “step up” in context

Tell me please if I used step up correctly in the following sentence. Step up closer to the car and try to budge it. What I am trying to say by the phrasal verb is come up closer. If the way I ...
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1answer
44 views

Change to vs Change with?

I have looked on the internet regarding this issue and could not find a definitive answer so I posted the question here. Which one do I use if I want to change something to something else? Example ...
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1answer
46 views

Is the transitive usage of “back off” common?

Both of them backed off their verbals, and eventual Indiana pledge Romeo Langford cut Louisville from his list of schools. (source) The meaning is clear, but I find the usage of "back off" as a ...
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56 views

to square it with your conscience or to scruple

to square it with your conscience means that something is congruent with your conscience. I would like to ask as to how to use it correctly and if the following example is correct. For example ...
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“The evening is spread out AGAINST the sky” [closed]

Let us go then, you and I, When the evening is spread out against the sky Like a patient etherized upon a table... The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T. S. Eliot What does against mean in ...
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meaning of the phrasal verb “wind down” in context

It is from this article. Here is the excerpt: Limit exposure to bright light at night: Turn off the screens and wind down for several minutes before bedtime. I cannot get whether the author means ...
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34 views

Correct usage of phrasal verb [knock sb/sth down]

I was doing a comprehension and I was to identify the adjective in a sentence.: The piano was knocked down to the highest bidder. I identified the adjective but could not understand the question ...
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Verbs to use when a place offers a view of another place

Except for the plain "to offer a view", I came across other terms to express the same meaning, but I'd like to know if there is any difference between them. For example, I found the verbs to overlook,...
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4answers
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Meaning of the phrasal verb “tap into” in context

It is from this video. It is at 4 minute and 48 second. Here is the context: The point is on the one hand when we describe what we are, we tap heavily into our own identity, the way that we would ...
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GOES AROUND(road) the backside of a mountain

When someone is telling you this: There is a great twisty road that goes around the back side of the mountain. Does the "goes around" mean: it is encircling the back side of the mountain OR there ...
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2answers
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Which one is the phrasal verb, here?

She wonders if Riley will ever be put back together again. I cann't recognize which one is the phrasal verb: put back put together put back together And What does it mean: Riley will ever be put ...
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'check up on' vs 'check on', is there a difference?

Entries for these phrasal verbs are almost identical in different dictionaries. Is there a difference in meaning or no? Is there a nuance that users should be mindful of? Check on sb/sth: https://...
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Left off(in a sentence usage)

Let's say you were watching a video yesterday, but you felt you had to go to bed coz' you got tired from streaming videos all day. And then you pick back up to where you left off yesterday, and you ...
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33 views

Elevate is usually used with preposition to

The Governor administered the oath of office to the new Chief Justice, who had served in the Bombay High Court. Justice Tahilramani's appointment as the Chief Justice of the Madras High Court ...
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153 views

what is the meaning of getting ahead of oneself [closed]

I read this sentence in a book: I'm getting ahead of myself I was wondering what is the real message author would have sent to his readers. Does it mean, I wrote something incredibly clever or ...
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1answer
33 views

Pass by the front of the house(phrasal verb)

Let's say there is a 'haunted house' in a town and its neighbors are terrified by it every time they pass by, and you say it like this: The haunted house's neighbors are terrified every time these ...
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1answer
196 views

Work on (doing) something and work at (doing) something

What's the difference between work on and work at, and what's the right way to use them? We're working on/ at our relationship. I need to work on/at my German- it's getting rusty. We're working on/...
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1answer
28 views

What does “run” mean here?

A scene from the movie Warrior: Paddy: Have a heart, Brendan. Brendan: You listen to me. You take your "have a heart" bullshit and you run it down the road. Yeah, run it out with someone that ...
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1answer
122 views

Come across with difficulties

Come across with difficulties Is it grammatically correct? We usually come across with difficulties. But according to Oxford advanced learners "come across somebody / something" is correct (no "...
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'go out' and 'go away'

It occurs to me when I want to say I am gonna go out to some place. Can I say I'm gonna go away to some place? Do these two phrasal verbs make the same meaning?
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What do 'er and patch 'er up mean?

What does the contraction 'er and the phrasal verb patch 'er up mean in the following text: This section will cover a lot of ground and your brain may meltdown a few times, but don’t worry, that’s ...
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1answer
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downplay, play down; downscale, scale down

There are quite a few words that are formed with down/ up either preceding the actual rootword, or as a particle making for a phrasal verb. But does it change the meaning in any way or carry different ...
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2answers
520 views

meaning of the phrase “get something locked in” in context

It is from this video. It is at around 6 minute and 58 second. Here is the context: But if you are somebody that knows that you are overweight and need to lose body fat, start with nutrition, stick ...
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1answer
51 views

Difference between “hear” and “hear out”?

I'm totally confused why in some sentences the phrasal verb "hear out" is used instead of "hear". For example: Stewie: Look, I’m going to propose something and I need you to hear me out. Will you ...
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How can I make a question using passive verbs with prepositions?

I wonder how i can make a question using verbs with prepositions especially when they are in passive voice. For example, I have a sentence like below: An appointment is required for the service. And ...
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1answer
46 views

Meaning of the phrasal verb “get to” in the given context

It is from Crash Course World History. It is at around 5 minute and 33 second. Here is the context: So this idea that the Islamic empire wasn't always a califate for much of its history, it was ...
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how use “go by” and “go for” in English?

I am learning English and try to learn something new every day. I try to make new sentences in English using the new things I have recently learned. I have provided two versions of a sentence that ...
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1answer
198 views

Draw on/upon vs draw from

What are the differences between phrasal verbs Draw on/upon and draw from. They used in academic texts and it seems that their meaning is so close. for example in the following sentences: ...
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2answers
750 views

Is “take over on” common/idiomatic?

A line from the film Michael Clayton: Barry's taking over on U/North. We got a lot of grovelling to do. Barry is an associate at a law firm, and U/North is a case/client. I would expect take over ...
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1answer
25 views

“Set aside” vs “set something aside”

I've been proofreading a document, and came across many instances of "set aside" being used this way: e.g. "You'll need to set aside funds", or "They fail to set aside enough time and resources", or "...
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What do you say when your friend has to leave for call of nature and his seat is most likely going to be taken by somebody else?

What do you say when you are going to make sure nobody else takes it? Like you are going to occupy the seat for him. Sorry if it was a bit unclear...
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determining adverb or preposition in phrasal verb

When Sam came in, I was asleep. The definition of a phrasal verb is a verb that is made up of the main verb together with an adverb or a preposition or both. My question is What should we consider '...
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Move away/ stand back

Let's say there is a person on a beach that was just pulled out from the water, and then you have to give CPR because she's not breathing. A crowd is surrounding her, so you say: move away/stand ...
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2answers
172 views

After whom are you looking? At what are you looking?

The Cambridge dictionary says: "Prepositional verbs have two parts: a verb and a preposition which cannot be separated from each other." If they cannot be separated, does it mean that we can't ...
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Pay up or pay out

When you and your friends are making a bet on which NBA team is going to win, cavs vs golden state, and then the game ended. You win, and you say: Ok I win, you have to pay me up or pay me out?