The word " UP "

Tsama   Thursday, July 08, 2004, 19:04 GMT
Hi everyone,

I have some difficulties about the word UP following another word.
For example: look up, pick up, get up, eat up, ...

Could anyone explain me it very well?

Dulcinea del Toboso   Thursday, July 08, 2004, 21:12 GMT
The first thing to determine is whether "up" is being used as an adverb, such as "look up at the ceiling" or whether "look up" is a phrasal verb (such as "look up this word in the dictionary"). Only context and experience will help you determine this.

When used as a phrasal verb, "up" is just part of the verb. With phrasal verbs such as "burn up", "eat up"; the "up" conveys a sense of "completeness" to the verb. For example, "the house did not just burn, it burnt up (completely)". Or, "Eat up your vegetables before having dessert" (meaning - eat all your vegetables completely). Actually, most people would say "Eat your vegetables up ..."

Whereas "pick" means to select or choose something, "pick up" means to select it and lift it up, such as "pick up your clothes from the floor".

"Get up" simply means to rise from a sitting or reclining position or, colloquially, "get out of bed".
Jim   Thursday, July 08, 2004, 23:43 GMT
I agree with Dulcinea del Toboso except on one point. Whilst context and experience is the best thing to help you determine this there are also dictionaries. I looked "up" up in an on-line phrasal verb dictionary. Have a look at the link below.
Tsama   Friday, July 09, 2004, 13:15 GMT
Thanks guys,

I understood your comments. I'll pay attention when I read, also looking it up in the dictionary.

Boy   Saturday, July 10, 2004, 17:19 GMT
I was listening to a lecture of an English professor at voanews website.
She explained that watching English programmes is the best way to learn them because you'll come across with lots of them during listening. Also, she made a good point about learning them. 1) imagine a situation when you learn a phrsal verb that technique will make it stick to your mind. For ex:

When you learn the phr verb"get up", just imagine yourself in the situation that you are just waking up from your bed and strectching your fingers, moving your head right and left.

When you learn the phr verb "turn on" or "turn off", bring a picture of a switch board at your house, imagine yourself that you are turning on/off a button on the board with your fingers.. etc
soni   Tuesday, July 13, 2004, 02:41 GMT
I think I have moved to another level of English. I mean, I am not a beginner anymore. I want to learn more about phrasal verb and preposition in more detail. If possible, is there any websites that I can use to learn about phrasal verb and preposition?

I have tried to use google, but it gave me many unrelated websites. I will use this website to discuss some more difficult problems, but I think I need some theories before learning more about phrasal verb and preposition.

Thank you very much for your help.
soni   Wednesday, July 14, 2004, 06:58 GMT
Please, correct me if I am wrong.

Yesterday, after writing about phrasal verbs and preposition, I tried to write sentences using new phrasal verbs that I found on a website. I have just found wrap up and act up.

After wrapping up my work, my shoulder acted up.
Boy   Wednesday, July 14, 2004, 09:08 GMT
Soni, Check out this link:
Tsama   Wednesday, July 14, 2004, 14:45 GMT
It's not sometimes obvious to understand a word with "UP". What's the rule for understanding it very well? Is there a native english-speaker in order to explain us the use of the word "UP", plesase ?

Dulcinea del Toboso   Friday, July 16, 2004, 23:21 GMT
There isn't any rule that you can rely on consistently, just generalities. Sometimes you just have to memorize the phrasal verb as a complete entity (for example: you should treat some_verb + "up" as a competely new verb). If you focus on trying to interpret "up" as a modifier, you will only have limited success and understanding.

It's like having to memorize the gender of German nouns, as there are no consistent rules.
Hugues A.   Thursday, July 22, 2004, 22:06 GMT

Hi everyone,

My name is "HUGUES" snd I am studying English as a
second language.
I am very happy to find this site that I actually read about "how to learn or to improve my english.I really appreciate the fact that you guys share what you know with people who don't know,know little or want to know more.
I can see that I was on the wrong way of learning English which I already made a commitment to change the that I have learned,pronounce.
So,I look forward to reply to your message or to discuss about about a
particular subject.

Hugues A.   Thursday, July 22, 2004, 22:20 GMT

Hi soni,
Iam glad for you if you have felt that you have actually moved on.
If you want to learn about "phrasal verbs" you can simply go to
"" and browse through it;or you can can to "google" using the words "phrasal verbs" or phrases,verbs,or you can change you entry from time to time until you find what you are really looking for.