Structure: Phrasal Verbs with More than One Particle II
Phrasal verbs may convey either obvious or obscure meaning. When the meaning is obscure, a phrasal verb becomes an idiomatic expression. On the other hand, if the meaning is obvious, it becomes non-idiomatic.
1. They waited for him to come down. (literal)
They were sitting down. (literal)
2. The convict broke down (= lost control of his feelings) when the judge pronounced the sentence (idiomatic)
Did you catch on? (= understand) – idiomatic
3. He has vowed to keep out of trouble. (literal)
Many candidates went in for the examination. (literal)
4. I will not be surprised if he goes back on (= breaks) his promise. (idiomatic)
She puts up with (= tolerates) a lot of embarrassment from her friend. (idiomatic)
The same meaning may be expressed by more than one phrasal verb, as in :
After completing his prison term, he kept out of/kept away
from/stayed away from/stayed out of trouble.
The same phrasal verb may have different meanings, as follows:
During the Christmas party, I fell in with (= met by chance) an old
friend of mine.
I am ready to fall in with (= agree to) anything you propose.
A change of one of the particles may signal a change in the meaning of the phrasal verb, as in:
I am always ready to stand up for (= support) a good cause.
If you stand up to (= oppose) the man, he may not carry out his plan
- Oral English Without Tears by I. Udoka.
- New Oxford Secondary English Course for SSS2 by Ayo Banjo et al
- Intensive English for SSS2 by B.O. Oluikpe et al.