Tue 22 Mar, 2005 10:31 pm
I just began with my personal fight against phrasal verbs.
My first langauge is German so I'm already quite familiar with this species of word recombination, but there is still a great deal I should learn in order to improve my conversational skills.
Anyway, does any of you lucky English-speaking persons feel like either providing me with an excellent up-to-date website of phrasal verbs or just throwing random phrasal verbs at me that you would find useful or just fun to share with me?
Just to make myself clear: I'm talking about things like "to look back on", which is an inseperable phrasal verb and means "remember, reflect on sth in the past" or "to hold up" which is a seperable phrasal verb and can be used like this: "Dang, a hobo held me up while I was on my way to church.".
One particularly joyous example is “knock up” which has at least four meanings:
1. To warm up before a tennis match by batting the ball back and forth over the net a few times
2. To wake someone up by knocking at their door. This is British English; I don’t know if it is used elsewhere. In the Lancashire mill towns in the 19th and early 20th centuries, mill-owners used to employ a “knocker-upper” to go round the streets banging on their workers’ doors to get them out of bed, since alarm clocks were expensive luxuries then.
3. To get (someone) pregnant. Also British English. “Our Noreen got herself knocked up by a sailor”.
4. In the passive form, to be tired. “You’re looking quite knocked up”.
In other words, this is a verb to use very, very, carefully!
thank you ,syntinen
your example is very interesting and useful
i learned a lot from you!
It's useful to try to identify recurring subset meanings of words within phrasal verbs.
"off" in some phrasal verbs means "away"
So "drive off" can be stemmed to "run off", "fuck off", "walk off", "ride off"...
And you can also understand that "fall off" can mean more than falling "off" (as in the opposite of "on") something but also to fall gradually over time.
i.e. "Sales have been falling off" indicates more of a gradual decline than just "fall".
Identifying patterns in meanings within phrasal verbs will drastically increase your passive vocabulary (they are haphazard so you'd have to pay attention to collocation to stem for active vocabulary).
Thanks for you advice Craven.
I already was aware of those reoccuring patterns you mentioned.
Does anyone know a good source on this kind of stuff? I mean any good boook I could try to find at the library or some well-written website?
@syntinen: Thank you very much for your interesting example. I had a fun time reading it.