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    • Join Date: Apr 2009
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    Smile About Up and its phrases

    Normally, for a non-English speaker, up has the implication of Upward as opposed to downward. So, some verb+proposition phrases, which have evolved for so long that English learners might not be able to comprehend just from literal meanings, do frustrate them.. For example , let up round up set up.

    Take let up. Up, in this sense, implicates stop doing something. This, I think, may derive from Time is up. But why UP? why is it not over,or out? You see, Time is running out, The sands of time are running out. It dawns on me that It may be related to the ancient timing instrument.------the sandglass. When the sands have run out, you should put the sandglass upside down. Now the sands of time are up, that is Time is up. In this way, UP acquired the meaning of over ,out,or end, as in die-up, end-up.

    Am I right or not?

    But this cannot account for round up( to drive the cattle) ,set up( to frame), UP must have other meanings, can you help me?

  1. Soup's Avatar
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    Re: About Up and its phrases

    Round up (v.) possibly from to go around and gather up (in a mass).

    Set up (v.) It depends on which meaning you want. See set up set up definition |

    See also up definition | and Online Etymology Dictionary, as well as Online Etymology Dictionary

    • Join Date: Apr 2009
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    Re: About Up and its phrases

    Thank you soup ,for your suggestion.

    Maybe UP is too pervasive to trace


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