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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"turn down the volume" or "turn the volume down" - phrasal verb structure [duplicate]

I'm learning about phrasal verbs, but I'm not sure if I'll use them correctly. Which one of the following phrasal verb uses correct: -I don't know how to turn down the volume? -I don't know how to ...
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14 votes
4 answers
8k views

I left them (at) home

Consider this question: Where are they (things or people)? Would the following answer be with (at), without it or either one? I left them (at) home I have done a quick Google search and found ...
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14 votes
4 answers
32k views

I look forward to hearing from you or looking forward to hear from you?

Should I say I look forward to hearing from you or looking forward to hear from you? I have doubt because I know that the form of a verb is "to+ infinity" without the addition of the -ing ...
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28 votes
7 answers
13k views

“I’m too tired to drive”: Why does removing 'too' make this sentence ungrammatical?

This is grammatical: I'm too tired to drive. but this isn't: I'm tired to drive. Why? How can removing an adverb make a sentence ungrammatical? In a sentence like “He slowly walked down the ...
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9 votes
4 answers
131k views

"Stay home" or "stay at home" – which is correct and why? [duplicate]

Stay home. Stay at home. When "home" functions as an adverb, it can modify the verb "stay". There are other examples, such as "go home",but there is no expression: Go ...
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3 votes
1 answer
2k views

Make up something or make something up?

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. Or: I am unable to attend the ...
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1 vote
1 answer
820 views

How do we split a two-words verb in a sentence if the object is a bit descriptive?

Let's see these two-word verbs first - Wake up, Kick off, Pull out, and many more... Now, I'm adding an object there... Wake me up after an hour. I'll kick him out. You see a thread ...
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20 votes
6 answers
6k views

difference between "came along" and "along came"

What is the difference between the two? For example John came along. Along came John. I don't understand the difference in usage and yet I come across too many sentences starting with '...
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11 votes
5 answers
57k views

Do we say "accuse somebody for" or "of"?

In one of my essays, I wrote: She accused him for lack of morality and it was marked as a syntactic error. Do we use for or of with the verb accuse?
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6 votes
4 answers
11k views

In phrasal verbs, why is it sometimes considered 'adverbs', and sometimes 'prepositions'?

I was studying phrasal verbs and I couldn't figure out something. The source separated them into three type which are: Type1: Verb + Adverb Examples: Put off, turn down, get up, break ...
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2 votes
1 answer
13k views

DIfference between "at home" & "home" [duplicate]

Consider: She's home. She's at home. Are there any differences in meaning?
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1 vote
1 answer
562 views

On or Upon (which one is used when ? )

Got boards tomorrow and I was going through some past years paper and one question stumped me. The leader counted _______ the cooperation of his colleagues. On/Upon both sound equally correct but I am ...
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1 vote
2 answers
53k views

The use of "work with" vs. "work at/on"

In one of my previous questions, Tiercelet left a comment: It's a pleasure to work with such well-thought-out and nuanced questions! It seems work with has a similar meaning to work on or work ...
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1 vote
2 answers
2k views

'Call up' - what does 'up' mean?

call up : to make a phone call to a person or a place Call up and make a reservation for eight o'clock. Can you call up for me and tell them I'm sick? In these sentences, I don't know what does '...
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6 votes
3 answers
22k views

"Help you" vs "help you out"

Example: Actually, there's someone who can help you." Actually, there's someone who can help you out." What's the difference between the two? Or they mean the same thing?
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3 votes
2 answers
38k views

Meaning of the phrase "over a cup of tea"

I came across a sentence recently: We shall discuss this matter over a cup of tea. Why is the preposition over used here ? I first thought that it would be with, but then, we discuss things with ...
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1 vote
3 answers
17k views

What is the difference between have been and went?

I found this question and its answer on internet- Q. Can I use "I have been to Hong Kong" instead of "I went to Hong Kong"? A. Not when you are specifically talking about your first trip abroad (in ...
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0 votes
2 answers
5k views

Meaning of 'such' in "Such was her astonishment"

Here's the context "Her heart leaping into her throat, she tiptoed into the salon. Such was her astonishment at seeing Mike chatting with her boss that she leaned against the wall, incapable of ...
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0 votes
2 answers
122 views

Turn Equipment On <Somebody>

I have a question about the pattern "turn <something> on <somebody>" here: Then he allegedly turned the body-building equipment on his 44 year-old wife, identified by sources as Feng ...
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  • 7,563
15 votes
3 answers
647 views

Is there a general rule for Verb + Preposition/Particle idioms, such as "come across"?

Composite verbs are giving me a lot of trouble. In German the syntax is simple; if the composite verb has the moving part, it goes to the end. But in English I've found many forms and I'm not sure ...
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28 votes
6 answers
10k views

Is "plugging out" electronic devices an American expression?

Are these valid in American English as opposed to "unplug". Plug out the charger from the wall. I plugged out my TV. I found my radio plugged out. I started hanging out with some guys ...
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13 votes
5 answers
9k views

Can I say "I was born in a place but bred in another place" instead of using "born and bred" in pair?

I am wondering If I tell people that I was born in Melbourne but bred in Sydney, will the people think that I am married and have many children in Sydney? Because when someone "breeds" then it ...
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  • 5,465
9 votes
3 answers
45k views

Why does "tap into" mean what it means?

According to Macmillan "tap into" means "use" or "get some benefit": tap or tap into [TRANSITIVE] if you tap something such as someone’s ability or a supply of information, you use it or get some ...
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8 votes
3 answers
23k views

What is the difference between "get through" and "go through"?

Is there any difference between "go through a door" and "get through a door"?
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5 votes
2 answers
29k views

Differences between "cut", "cut off", and "cut out"

Choose cut, cut off or cut out for each figure. I refered to the Macmillan dictionary for a full list of usages, and found this: Cut (into more than 2 pieces, in 0.5 or 2 pieces, cut hair,...) ...
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3 votes
1 answer
6k views

difference between "start with", "start" , "begin with" and "begin"

When I was asking a question on Academia, I came up with this question:Should I use "start with" or "begin with" If I use "begin with", what will be the difference between "begin" and "begin with", ...
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9 votes
3 answers
88k views

"I look forward" or "I'm looking forward"?

Which should I say: I'm looking forward to our meeting. or I look forward to our meeting.
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  • 415
5 votes
2 answers
18k views

Break Off, Break Up

According to this dictionary definition 2 of "break off" is: to stop or end suddenly or cause (something) to stop or end suddenly definition 1b of "break up" is: to end or cause (...
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3 votes
3 answers
36k views

off vs from: "He fall off/from his bike and broke his leg"

What is the difference between fall off his bike and fall from his bike and which one of them is the best choice? to use in this sentence?
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7 votes
1 answer
1k views

toggle in -- what does this phrasal verb mean?

Example with a context (Java: A Beginner's Guide, 6th Edition by Herbert Schildt): OOP is a powerful way to approach the job of programming. Programming methodologies have changed dramatically ...
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6 votes
4 answers
4k views

"Bring up the subject" vs "bring the subject up"

Example: I stared at my brown sneakers, deciding whether to bring up the subject. I stared at my brown sneakers, deciding whether to bring the subject up. What's the different between ...
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5 votes
3 answers
7k views

"Conjure" vs "conjure up"

What's the difference between the two? Example: I conjured a random number. I conjured up a random number.
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  • 6,907
4 votes
3 answers
3k views

How to use separable three-word phrasal verbs with the object is a pronoun

I found something on this webpage: “get back from” is stated to be either: Inseparable, meaning return from somewhere, or Separable, meaning receive something originally lent to another person....
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4 votes
1 answer
188 views

Up vs. down with verbs

Often I read "up" and "down" with some verbs. For example: "write down", "take down", "wake up", "open up". Some of them (maybe all of them?) can be used in both: "break up" and "break down". So, my ...
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3 votes
2 answers
3k views

Are these old-fashioned? 'drink of' and 'say of'

Once someone told me that "drink of the spring" sounded like 100 years ago and "drink from the spring" was better. The clause "drink of the spring" came from my dictionary but I found something seems ...
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  • 1,524
3 votes
2 answers
26k views

"insist on" vs "insist"

The definition of the insist on phrasal verb told us that it means to keep doing something, even if it annoys other people, or people think it is not good for you. In contrast the definition of the ...
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2 votes
2 answers
8k views

"{Pay / Pay for} the expenses"

I have a question about the usage of "pay" and "pay for": He paid the expense. He paid for the expenses. Could both be the same? This dictionary seems to say "pay" and "pay for" are ...
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2 votes
2 answers
2k views

Is "go to school" a phrasal verb?

I remember when first I heard "I should go to school" the phrase was odd to me. We don't say "I should go to the / a / my ... school", school has no article, then I think it is the ...
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1 vote
3 answers
3k views

how to use "call on" phrasal verb

which one of those two sentences is correct "The professor called on me for question 1" or "The professor called me on for question 1"
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7 votes
2 answers
2k views

meaning of "vague that up"

I couldn't get the meaning of: vague up. What does it mean? Giles: The influx of the undead, the... supernatural occurrences, it's been building for years. There's a reason why you're here and a ...
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7 votes
7 answers
2k views

Use of "up" in "back up", to mean going in reverse

Why do we use the term "back up" when we are going in reverse? This is sometimes confusing for young English Language learners. Going backwards is understandable, where does the word "up" fit in? Are ...
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5 votes
2 answers
2k views

What is the meaning of “they are out of hit points”?

I'd like to know the meaning of 'be out of hit points.' For example like the picture below.
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5 votes
1 answer
7k views

"rip off" x "rip out"

I would like to know the difference between these two terms, and whether they are interchangeable or not. Here are two examples that have the same meaning for me: "Someone has ripped out the first ...
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  • 1,696
4 votes
3 answers
38k views

"Keep dreaming" vs. "keep on dreaming"

Which is correct? Is there a difference in meaning?
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4 votes
4 answers
39k views

Is the phrase "grow up in my career" OK?

The following: In spite of having quite good working conditions, I'm looking for opportunities to grow up in my career. Does it sound ok? I'm not sure about the second part of the sentence, ...
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4 votes
1 answer
1k views

What's the difference between "hunt" and "hunt down"?

The Google definitions are almost the same: hunt search determinedly for someone or something. hunt down to try to find a particular thing or person. Example sentence: Pool ...
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3 votes
2 answers
11k views

Tricky phrasal verb "to dance out"

Is the following sentence correct: The best way to get your sanity back is to settle a little party and dance it out. Am I using the p.v. to dance out correctly in this context? Btw. What to ...
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3 votes
2 answers
902 views

"Get + prep." vs. "go/come + prep."

The 4th definition for "get" in macmillan: 4 [intransitive] to move to or from a position or place get down: Abby had climbed a tree and couldn’t get down. get in/into: Dad ...
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1 vote
1 answer
189 views

How do you know that a Phrasal Verbs can be separate or not?

I am a new English learner and our teacher were talking about Phrasal Verbs, even though I am the most hard work kid in our class I still don't understand how to know a Phrasal Verb can be separate or ...
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1 vote
3 answers
1k views

Correct use of "used to"

I wanted to understand the correct use of "used to". For example: I used to play cricket over the weekends. Here, I am talking about the past, not the present. Can I use "used to" in present ...
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