6 Ene

Idioms: Transitive Verbs with Movable Particles

The idioms below are made of a transitive verb (which is always followed by a noun phrase object) and a moveable particle (i.e. the particle can follow the noun phrase). Both of the following sentences are correct: The president cleared up the problem. / The president cleared the problem up.

You should understand these expressions, know other ways of saying the same thing, and know which of these synonyms to use in a particular context. You can learn a lot about an idiom if you look at the context of its use. Try to guess the meaning of each idiom as it is used in the following sentences. Then, click on any idiom for complete explanations and examples, but be aware that these expressions may have other meanings not listed here. Remember: you can use Word Neighbors to find out how frequently any expression is used in English.

1. Nothing he told me was true; I’m angry that he made up the whole story.

2. I’ll think over your idea carefully before I make a final decision about it.

3. If you bring up a question in class, I’m sure that your teacher can come up with an answer for you.

4. Sometimes a business will give away free samples of their product so that people can learn about it.

5. Be sure to try out a new car before you buy it; look out for problems in advance.

6. Many students couldn’t catch on, but the teacher cleared up the problem by giving into a detailed explanation.

7. He put off his work until later, instead of doing it right away.

8. You have always carried out your duties well, so I am going to give you a raise.

9. How did the accident happen? That man brought about the accident when he hit the other car.

10. The tour organization called off the trip because so few people showed up at the first orientation meeting.

11. I went to the library to look up some information to use in my term paper.

12. He tried to get through to me by pointing out the mistakes in my paper.

13. Only when people open up to each other can they then talk over their problems.

14. It was too dark to make out the letters on the sign.

15. I’ve been working too hard lately; it’s time for me to take off a couple of weeks.


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