Kara, from Turkey, now studying at the University of Essex, writes:
hear native speakers of English using verbs with up at the
end of them, e.g. come up, buy up, fix up, etc.
far as I can see, this usage doesn't change the meaning of the original
verb, come, buy, fix. So what is the point of resorting to
Farley, teaching English in France, writes:
teaching English to a Mexican friend and she has asked me to explain
the difference between write down and write and in
what situations you would expect to use the phrasal verb. I'd be
grateful if you could help me.
down - write up
addition of the adverbial particle has the function of modifying
the meaning of the verb itself to create a new meaning. Sometimes
the addition modifies the meaning slightly, as with these examples,
although the usages are still distinct:
= put pen to paper write sth down = write sth on paper in order to remember
it write sth up = record sth (usually notes) in neat and complete
don't have to write everything down that the lecturer says.
going to write up my lecture notes this evening.
planning to write my essay on Molière's comedies next week.
in these following examples write down and write up
would be inappropriate and the non-particle verb write would
be the right one to use:
little brother is just learning to read and write.
wrote his last play, The Imaginary Invalid, in 1673.
that with the phrasal verbs, write down and write up,
the particle can be placed before or after the object:
wrote down your number / I wrote your number down, but now I can't
up your notes / Write your notes up while they're still fresh.
if the object is a pronoun, it must go before the particle:
wrote it down.
Write them up.
verbs are difficult because they don't all follow the same pattern.
With some phrasal verbs, e.g. look after, come across, the
particle has to come before the object as we look after people
and come across people. We don't look them after or
come them across:
had to look after his maiden aunt. There was no one else to look
came across Fanny the other day. I came across her in the supermarket.
are a number of different meanings and uses of come up. The
addition of the particle sometimes changes the meaning slightly
as in these examples.
would choose to use come up instead of come, if the
person we are visiting lives further north or lives in an apartment
on a higher floor. In the opposite case we would use come down.
There are similar nuances with come over or come (a)round,
go up, go down, etc
up and see me some time.
went down to visit my daughter in Southampton last weekend.
new neighbours are coming over / coming round for a chat this
other uses, the addition of the particle gives rise to more radical
up = arise come up = be about to happen come up to = approach
number of interesting points came up at our meeting with ICI.
got a hectic period coming up so try to work a shorter week this
came up to me and asked me for a light, but it's obvious I don't
- buy up
up suggests spending large amounts of money for large amounts
of something, whereas buy simply suggests paying money for
bought him a yellow tie with pink elephants for his birthday.
bought up all the old cinemas and converted them into dance halls.
- fix up
is interesting about these two verbs is that fix is used
in a variety of different ways and with different meanings, whereas
fix up has mainly one use and one meaning:
= repair fix = set price fix = prepare food or drink fix = fasten so cannot move fix up = arrange for something to happen
you get the exhaust fixed on your car? It's making too much noise.
rates have been fixed at 4% for the last six months.
you fix me a sandwich? I don't have time for lunch
shelf kept falling down so I fixed it to the wall with superglue.
better fix up a meeting for next week. There's a lot to talk about.
verbs - learn them!
worth making the effort to learn phrasal verbs. They are an integral
part of the English language and if you can use them appropriately,
you will be seen as an accomplished user of the English language.
you would like more practice more please visit our Message
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