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Thread: Phrasal Verbs

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    #1

    Phrasal Verbs

    I have a definition for pick at.

    pick at -- find fault with

    It was a very good dinner. In addition, there were one or two things to pick at, and that made it perfect.
    ~R

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    #2

    Re: Phrasal Verbs

    Quote Originally Posted by RonBee View Post
    I have a definition for pick at.

    pick at -- find fault with


    It was a very good dinner. In addition, there were one or two things to pick at, and that made it perfect.

    ~R
    The interesting word here is AT. To me, the preposition "at" carries more weight than the verb PICK to express the meaning of FIND FAULT WITH. Can we say that AT usually suggests confrontation or hostility. That is why, in the following two sentences, the first one is less confrontational than the second one:

    1) He threw a ball to me.
    2) He threw a ball at me.

    The first sentence has a connotation that he is just playing with me, whereas the second one suggests that he is so unfriendly to me that he throws a ball to hit me.

    Am I right? Thanks.

    Ian2

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    #3

    Re: Phrasal Verbs

    Quote Originally Posted by ian2 View Post
    The interesting word here is AT. To me, the preposition "at" carries more weight than the verb PICK to express the meaning of FIND FAULT WITH. Can we say that AT usually suggests confrontation or hostility. That is why, in the following two sentences, the first one is less confrontational than the second one:

    1) He threw a ball to me.
    2) He threw a ball at me.

    The first sentence has a connotation that he is just playing with me, whereas the second one suggests that he is so unfriendly to me that he throws a ball to hit me.

    Am I right? Thanks.

    Ian2
    You are quite right as to the difference between throw to and throw at, but I don't know that in phrasal verbs one word necessarily carries more weight than the other. Instead, I think the they are equally important to the meaning. Of course, that's just my opinion.


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    #4

    Re: Phrasal Verbs

    Quote Originally Posted by RonBee View Post
    You are quite right as to the difference between throw to and throw at, but I don't know that in phrasal verbs one word necessarily carries more weight than the other. Instead, I think the they are equally important to the meaning. Of course, that's just my opinion.

    I think you are right. I didn't express myself clearly. I didn't mean one word carries more weight than the other. What I want to say is that the preposition is not purely a functional word.

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    #5

    Re: Phrasal Verbs

    Quote Originally Posted by RonBee View Post
    I have a definition for pick at.
    pick at -- find fault with

    It was a very good dinner. In addition, there were one or two things to pick at, and that made it perfect.
    ~R
    Thanks, Ron.

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    #6

    Re: Phrasal Verbs

    You're welcome, of course. There are a couple more that I was going to add to the list, but I don't think I ever got around to it. If I look at the list of phrasal verbs perhaps that will jog my memory.

    ~R

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    #7

    Re: Phrasal Verbs

    catch up on -- really, the same as catch up, except as far as I know it is always used with on.

    catch up with
    1. in a race, to reduce the distance between the pursuer and the one ahead of him to zero. Peter caught up with Paul and eventually won the race.
    2. to find somebody you have been looking for. I need to catch up with Gary. We need to set up a meeting.
    ~R

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    #8

    Thumbs up Re: Phrasal Verbs

    Not bad. (Ron congratulates self. )

    catch up on
    to become current on work, news, mail, etc.

    Example:
    I need to catch up on my correspondence.
    ~R

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    #9

    Re: Phrasal Verbs

    come on to
    to approach with sexual intentions.

    Example:
    Bob had too much to drink at the party and came on to the boss's wife. (Bad career move.)
    ~R

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    #10

    Re: Phrasal Verbs

    catch on to
    figure something out

    Example:
    He caught on to Lingo quickly and soon was winning games.
    ~R

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