What are basic meanings for preparation words “off”,”out”,”down”,”about”in short verb phrases.
Absolutely, we can get definition from dictionary. Those definitions are perfect accurate to make sense but don’t help us a lot to understand,just like a native speaker.
For instance, look at this sentence “Jack wants them to believe he was twenty-one,but he didn’t carry it off.”
Looked up dictionary, I learnt what is meaning for “carry it off”, but why we use “off” following after “carry”? What is meaning here for “off”. Another example is “show off”, every one knows the meaning but why using “off”?
There was once I saw a video in which there a English teacher explained meaning of“up”. He gave the three simple definition for it.
Then I found it gave me well basic sense to understand such as “bring up”, ”come up”, “show up” ,those kind of short verb phrases.
So I hope this is a good example for you to give me simple and basic meanings for above preparations.
You may not be able to give explanations for all above preparations, just do as much as you can or you want. I will appreciate your help .And please don't forget“the simple is the better.” I want to see no dictionary like explanations in your post.
Last edited by purecopper; 28-Jun-2009 at 08:35.
You can't just take part of a phrasal verb and ask 'what does this bit mean? Taking just the preposition 'off', in 'take the top off the jar' it's obvious what 'off' means. But in 'The plane took off' the 'off'ness is less clear; and in 'The schoolboy took off the headmaster' there's no 'basic meaning' of 'off'. Tdol made a list of prepositions that occur repeatedly in phrasal verbs - and a handful (5 or 6, I think) crop up [there's another one] in more than a hundred. I'll try to find it.
(Ans: 'get used to')
Thanks Bob, I think our dear PureCopper did not get the meaning of my answer.
Here's Tdol's list - http://www.usingenglish.com/profiles...es/000360.html . UE's database of phrasal verbs could be bigger, but as his intro says it has nearly two thousand. And only 6 particles are included in over a hundred of them - 'up', in fact, is included in well over 300. 'Up' couldn't have the same 'basic meaning' in all 344; and that doesn't take into account the multiple meanings it can have in conjunction with just one lexical verb. Look in a dictionary - you'll find that 'pick* up' can have over a dozen meanings.
* Originally said 'take'. The same might be true of 'take up', but I'm sure it's true of 'pick up' - because when I did my CELTA we went round the table (I think there were 14 of us) thinking of separate meanings.
Last edited by BobK; 29-Jun-2009 at 00:20. Reason: Corrected "take" to "pick"
Last edited by purecopper; 29-Jun-2009 at 00:22.