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  1. Banned
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    #1

    Shoot Up

    browardtimes.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=264&Item id=99

    "Auguste is believed to be the person who shot up a group of mostly teenagers during a street fight on the Fourth of July in Pompano Beach."

    How is "shoot" and "shoot up" different?

  2. konungursvia's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Shoot Up

    It's a good question, and the answer is that phrasal verbs are quite subtle. To shoot means to hit with at least one bullet (in this context); to shoot up gives a native speaker a sense of totality to the action, meaning its sense is closer to "shoot to pieces, shoot to bits, shoot dead with many bullets" etc.

  3. Banned
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    #3

    Re: Shoot Up

    So, in old war time, when soldiers set the time to execute prisoners, it would be:

    "The prisoners will shot up at sunrise"
    ?

  4. konungursvia's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Shoot Up

    No, because phrasal verbs are spontaneous and informal. We would assume soldiers can execute a prisoner (if we must discuss this at all) with one bullet. Also, your phrase is ungrammatical as it lacks a primary verb: "The prisoners will be shot at sunrise."

    I wouldn't attempt any phrasal verbs as a learner, except the ones I am certain are correct and in context.

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    #5

    Re: Shoot Up

    My non-native feeling is that when we speak of someone shooting up a group of people, we treat that group of people as a unit. At least more so than when we speak of someone shooting a group of people. But I'm not sure that would also be a native's feeling.

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    #6

    Re: Shoot Up

    Quote Originally Posted by konungursvia View Post
    It's a good question, and the answer is that phrasal verbs are quite subtle.
    Some of them are, but many aren't any more subtle than other verbs. I don't think there's much subtlety to "carry out", for example.

    As for the subtle ones, I've always felt that learners aren't taught them enough. Having studied English for a long time, I still can't use them the way natives do. I think I can distinguish the shades of meaning in native speech most of the time, but it's not the same as creating them myself. I believe native speakers not only know plenty of phrasal verbs, but also have the ability to create phrasal verbs when they need them. (Just as I prefix my verbs freely in Polish.) I don't have the confidence to do that as often as I'd like to.
    Last edited by birdeen's call; 24-Jul-2012 at 04:18.

  5. 5jj's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Shoot Up

    Quote Originally Posted by birdeen's call View Post
    As for the subtle ones, I've always felt that learners aren't taught them enough.
    That's something it might be interesting to discuss in the Teaching English forum.

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