Phrasal Verbs

What does ‘go over’ mean?

Go over literally means to travel ‘over’ something:  We went over the bridge by bicycle. To ‘go over’ also means to review: I need to go over my notes before the…

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Are back down and back up the same?

Great question, Leo.  Not quite.  They can both mean in the backwards direction, but here’s the difference:   For the phrasal verb ‘back up’ (separable) we use it for several…

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Are the verbs ‘ask’ and ‘ask for’ different?

Thank you, Maribel, for your question.  A lot of people don’t ask this question, but they are wondering it!  It is a verb-preposition (or phrasal verb) that is commonly misused. …

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Is it possible for a relationship to ‘break down’?

Thank you, Gema, for your question. This is a very interesting one.  The phrasal verb, ‘break down’ is usually used for machines, systems or even communication.  For example:   The…

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Does ‘bounce back’ have only one meaning?

Very good question, Lorena.  The literal meaning is to rebound, like a ball. For example:   The ball bounced back off the goal posts and back on the field.  …

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When you get a “pinchazo” in your tire is it a blow out or a blow up?

Thanks for your question, Carlos.  When you get a ‘flat tire’ you are said to have a ‘blowout’ (noun) not a blow up. A blowout can also be a big…

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I heard in a movie the expression “I am blown away”. What does it mean?

Great question, Nuria.   To ‘blow something (or someone) away’ is a phrasal verb (separable) that means literally to remove something by ‘blowing’ or shooting.  However, the expression is used…

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What does ‘be up for something’ mean?

Thank you, Barbara, for your question.  To ‘be up for’ something is a very colloquial phrasal verb. We use it to say you are ‘ready for’ something or ‘want to…

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What is the difference between ask around and ask out?

Thank you, Alberto, for your question!   These are two phrasal verbs that are rather different.  We use ‘ask around’ (non-separable) when you have to ask multiple people for information instead…

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What’s the difference between verbs used with prepositions that aren’t phrasal verbs and have different versions like print off & print out –I think they are used with the same meaning sometimes…

Thanks Vanesa for your question! This is a very common question about phrasal verbs. Many people ask why you need a preposition for the verb. So, what’s the difference between…

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