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    #1

    What does the phrase "be up to" mean?

    Dear sirs:

    The following is a paragraph introducing different uses of the word "up":

    One two-letter English word has more meanings than any other two-letter English word: up. It means toward the sky or at the top of a list, but when we awaken, we wake up. At a meeting, a topic comes up. We speak up. Officers are up for election and it is up to the secretary to write up a report. We call up friends, dress up, brighten up a room, polish up silver, warm up leftovers, and clean up kitchens. We lock up houses and fix up cars. People stir up trouble, line up for tickets, work up an appetite, and think up excuses. Drains must be opened up when they stop up. We open up a store in the morning and close it up at night. If you are up to it, build up a list of the ways up is used; it will take up a lot of time, but if you don’t give up, you may wind up with a hundred. When it threatens to rain, it clouds up. When the sun comes out, it clears up. When it rains, it wets the earth and often muddies things up. When it doesn’t rain, things dry up. I could go on and on, but my time is up, so I’ll wrap it up since it's time to shut up!

    Wherein, the sentence "If you are up to it, build up a list of the ways up is used;", is beyond my understanding. Though I have looked up different dictionaries, I don't understand what the phrase "be up to " means.

    Looking forward to your replies

    Many thanks

    Steven Zhu

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: What does the phrase "be up to" mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Zhu View Post
    Dear sirs:

    The following is a paragraph introducing different uses of the word "up":

    One two-letter English word has more meanings than any other two-letter English word: up. It means toward the sky or at the top of a list, but when we awaken, we wake up. At a meeting, a topic comes up. We speak up. Officers are up for election and it is up to the secretary to write up a report. We call up friends, dress up, brighten up a room, polish up silver, warm up leftovers, and clean up kitchens. We lock up houses and fix up cars. People stir up trouble, line up for tickets, work up an appetite, and think up excuses. Drains must be opened up when they stop up. We open up a store in the morning and close it up at night. If you are up to it, build up a list of the ways up is used; it will take up a lot of time, but if you don’t give up, you may wind up with a hundred. When it threatens to rain, it clouds up. When the sun comes out, it clears up. When it rains, it wets the earth and often muddies things up. When it doesn’t rain, things dry up. I could go on and on, but my time is up, so I’ll wrap it up since it's time to shut up!

    Wherein, the sentence "If you are up to it, build up a list of the ways up is used;", is beyond my understanding. Though I have looked up different dictionaries, I don't understand what the phrase "be up to " means.

    Looking forward to your replies

    Many thanks

    Steven Zhu
    "To be up to something", in the given context, means "to be capable of doing something".
    There are other meanings for "be up to", "What have you been up to?" for example, which means "What have you been doing?"

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    #3

    Re: What does the phrase "be up to" mean?

    Thanks, Sir. Thank you very much for your reply.

    Please look at the post with the title "Can someone please read and edit my short story?". I have some questions there, and I have writen them down, please make comments.

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