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The last three illustrate quite well the fact that there is not merely the possibility of understanding or supplying an object to the preposition as in some previously-noted cases, but where the verb is so combined with to the phrase is generally felt to be elliptical, perhaps because to is so seldom used without an object.

By far the most important prepositional-adverb in modern usage is up. It occurs in more than twice as many combinations as the particle out, the next in frequency of combination. Moreover it has a wider range of meanings when used in combination.

Naturally one of the most common up-combinations is that in which upward motion or motion tending to raise that upon which it acts is expressed. Some of the most familiar combinations are bank up (a house. etc.), bear up (under sorrow), belch up, blaze up, bolster up, brick up (a well), flame up, flare up, flash up, fly up (figuratively, of a person), foam up, heave up 'to vomit,' kick up, lap up, lay up 'to save,' pick up, pile up, post up, prick up (of an animal's ears), puff up, raise up, rise up, rouse up, run up (a flag), soak up, spade up, spring up, stack up, stand up, stay up, string up (especially 'to hang'), suck up, swallow up, sweep up, swell up, tack up, take up (literally, anything, figuratively, a subject), throw up, well up. Of course up can be thus used, literally, with many other verbs of motion, but in the above list the meaning of the simple verb makes the use of the particle largely unnecessary, and yet usage makes it almost, indeed, in some instances, quite, obligatory. For example, a plant generally springs up, not just springs, a person stands up when he rises to a standing position, etc.

In a closely allied group of up-combinations there is possibly a lingering idea of upward motion tho, as a rule, the combination is figurative, b or, if it is literal, the particle has acquired a different significance. We add up (figures), balance up, bid up (at an auction), blow up 'to censure or boast,' brace up 'to show fortitude,' call up (by telephone), chalk up 'to charge to one's account,' check up, cheer up, chirk up, charge up, choose up (sides for a contest), cough up 'to pay, count up, crack up 'to extol,' dig up 'to pay,' dish up, figure up, fill up, fire up (a furnace), foot up (a column of figures), ginger up, grow up, hang up 'to postpone or delay,' jolly up 'to cheer,' keep up 'to maintain,' key up, live up (to a certain standard), load up (applied to a drunken man), loom up, mop up (a floor), nerve up, offer up, paste up, pluck up (courage), perk up, praise up, ring up, set up (the treats), shake up, sign up (for a baseball team), slip up to be disappointed,' snatch up, spunk up 'to show spunk,' stick up (for some one or for one's rights), stir up 'to rouse,' sum up, trip up, wake up, whoop (it) up, 'to cause a disturbance.'

2 In a few combinations up helps to express forward motion or the con

trary. Under this head I should place back up, hit (it) up, hurry up, jog up, let up 'to cease,' move up, prod up, pull up'to move forward,' set up (a howl), slack or slacken up, slow up, speed up, spur up, start up, steam up, tune up 'to begin to sing or play,' whip up.

Up is also used in expressing motion to a certain position or standard. This idea of a definite end of the act seems to prevail in the combinations bring up (the rear-guard), catch up to overtake,' connect up (pipes, wires, etc.), cuddle up, even up, fetch up, follow up (a clew), grade up (applied to fruit, etc.), join up (pipes, wires, etc.), lead up (to a subject), line up (a body of men), link up, match up, measure up, meet up 'to meet,' pull up ‘to stop a horse,' rein up, size up to estimate or evaluate,' trace up, track up. Perhaps the difference between these combinations and those of the group immediately preceding lies rather in the verb than in any value contributed by the particle. It is meet that implies motion to a certain position rather than up. But the finality of the action is certainly suggested by the

particle. У

A closely related idea is that of bringing into prominence or consideration, as shown in such combinations as act up 'to behave in an unseemly manner,' ante up, cut up 'to play pranks,' divide up, give up 'to surrender,' hunt up, look up ‘to look for and find,' open up, own up, pipe up, render up, scare up 'to find,' serve up, show up, speak up, strike up 'to begin music,' study up, think up, throw up 'to recall tauntingly,' turn up 'to appear,' whack up 'to divide,' write up, yield up.

In still another group of these combinations the idea of making tight or secure seems to combine the locative idea of the two preceding groups with the perfective value which we shall notice a little later. Examples of this are bind up, board up (a window, etc.), bottle up, box up, buckle up, bundle up, button up, cage up, close up, coop up, cork up, cover up, do up ‘to wrap,' fasten up, gird up, head up (a barrel), heal up, hook up (a dress), house up, hush up, lace up (a shoe), lock up, muffle up, nail up (a box), patch up plug up (a hole), rock up, rope up (a trunk), screw up, seal up, send up 'to imprison in a penitentiary,' sew up, shut up, solder up, stop up (a hole), strap up (a trunk), tie up (a bundle), tighten up, wall up, wrap up.

Closely akin to this is the idea of bringing together which up gives to the following combinations : bunch up, buy up, coil up, collect up, double up, drum up (trade), fold up, gather up, heap up, hoard up, huddle up, v hunch up, make up (a collection), muster up, pack up, pen up, pucker up, vi rake up, roll up, round up (cattle), sack up, save up, scoop up, scrape up, stock up, store up, take up (a collection), wind up (string, etc.).

The most common combination of all, however, is that in which up has a perfective value, lending to the verb with which it is combined the 7 idea of 'bringing to or out of a certain condition. The verbs of this group

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are for the most part highly specialized in meaning so that the effect of the combination, especially when a past participial form of the verb is used, is essentially adjectival. One may work up an entertainment, for example, but we describe a person as worked up over something who is in a state of excitement or anxiety. With the exception of the use of up in its regular adverbial sense of elevation or upward motion this is the most common and most active combining function of the particle. Hence the following list cannot be regarded as complete since up can be used in the perfective sense with almost any descriptive verb. The most common combinationsare: ball up 'to confuse,' bang up'to batter up,' batter up, beat up, black up, blister up, botch up, brighten up, bruise up, brush up, build up (a residence district), bung up (in the phrase all bunged up), cake up, carve up, char up, clean up, clear up, clog up, cloud up, clutter up, color up to blush,' cook up, cram up (for an examination), cripple up, curl up (sometimes literally), daub up, dent up, do up 'to wash and iron clothes,' also 'to exhaust a person,' dress up, dust up, fatten up, fit up, fix up 'to adorn,' flesh up 'to put on flesh,' flush up, fluster up, freese up (but thaw out). freshen up, fuss up 'to dress with care,' grease up, gum up, harness up, hash up, heat up (but cool off), hitch up, jam up, jumble up, kink up, level up, light up, limber up, litter up, loosen up, mar up, mark up, mash up, mess up, mix up, muddy up, muddle up, muss up, nick up, paste up, peck up, peel up, plow up (a field), polish up, post up 'to become familiar with a subject,' powder up, read up, rest up, ripen up, roil up, rub up, rust up, scratch up, scuff up, shape up, shine up, skin up, slash up, slick up, slosh up, smear up, smell up, smoke up, smooth up, snarl up, sober up, spatter'up, splash up, splinter up, sport up to dress up,' spot up, spruce up 'to dress up,' squash up, starch up, steam up, 'to cover with steam,' stick up, stove up (participle), streak up, stuff up, tangle up, tank up ‘to drink' heavily,' thicken up, tidy up, tighten up, tog up 'to dress up,' touch up, track up (a clean floor), trim up, twist up, warm up, wash up, wet up, wise up 'to make or become informed,' wither up.

Hardly to be classed with any of the preceding is the expression pass up (some one) meaning to pass without recognizing.' Also it is rather difficult to classify put up with 'to lodge with' and 'to tolerate.'

It will be observed that my arrangement of these ten groups emphasizes the tendency to get away from the earlier, literal meaning of up and to assume more and more the intensive function, or perfective function, as exemplified in groups 7 and 8. This very fact of an ever-growing tendency in the development of up in combination will help to explain the popularity of the up-combinations as well as the fact of a greater number of colloquialisms in the list. It will, furthermore, present in clearer light the difficulties of attempting to distinguish colloquial and slang combinations from those generally accepted as good English.



1. In some instances a verb ordinarily intransitive becomes transitive thru the addition of the particle. Examples of this change in syntactical relations are bawl out 'to name a person publicly,' come by 'to acquire,' cough up 'to pay,' drum up (trade), look over or up, point out, run down 'to disparage,' talk over, work out (a problem), work up, etc.

2. A much larger number of verbs, ordinarily transitive, become intransitive by the addition of the particle. Examples are: beg off, black up, brace up, bundle up, catch on or up, cheer up, clean up, clear out 'to depart,' clear up (of the weather), cover up, doctor up, dope up, draw up to stop,' fire up, fix up to dress up,' get about, get down or up to descend or ascend,' give in or up 'to yield or submit,' hold off or out, hold up 'to come to a stop,' keep out, knock off, let down ‘to relax,' let up ‘to cease,' light out 'to depart hastily,' light up, make out 'to succeed,' make off 'to depart,' make up 'to become reconciled,' own up, pan out, pick up to improve,' pile off or on, pull thru 'to recover,' pull out 'to depart,' pull up, put up to lodge,' 'to pay,' and 'to tolerate' (with at, for, or with), prove up (on land), quiet down, ring off, set in, set out 'to depart or make a start,' show off, shut down or up, watch out. In many of these, no doubt, a reflexive object is understood so that, strictly speaking, they are intransitive in form only. So, for instance, black up and clean up imply 'to black up or to clean up oneself.' Of course some of the combinations in this list may be used transitively also, but the point to be emphasized here is that the addition of the particle to the simple verb has made possible the use of the combination intransitively whereas the simple verb can not be so used.

3. Again, in a number of instances, the object of the combination is, or may be, of a very different character from that of the simple verb. For example, one can: argue a case but argue down an opponent,

burn off a field, buy a house

buy off or out a person, clean a room

clean out its contents, dig a hole

dig out or up a plant, do work

do up a garment or a person, live a life

live down a disgrace,
lock a door

lock in or out or up a person,
mop up the water on it,

burn a paper


mop a floor

plow a field

plow up a snake, run a machine

run down a person, shut a door

shut in or out or up a person, sign a paper

sign off or away property, smoke a cigar

smoke out a person, turn a faucet

turn on or off the water, wring a garment wring out the water, In a few cases the combination does not ordinarily take as its object a noun, but a substantive clause. So, while Dekker could write “to find out the murderer" (Witch of Edmonton IV, ii), today one would be more likely to say "to find out who the murderer is."

4. While the use of a verb of active form with the signification or connotation of a passive verb is general and by no means limited to verbadverb combinations, none the less the combination seems to lend itself to such usage rather freely. A bill will figure up to a certain amount, dirt on a garment will brush off or clean off or rub off, a chair folds up, fresh bone will grind up easily, school lets out, a piece of cloth will make up nicely, a sleeping person will rouse up, a clock winds up easily, a plan works out well, material works up well, etc. This use of an active verb as a passive is especially characteristic of those verb-adverb combinations formed with the perfective up, such combinations as cake up, clog up, cook up, dent up, kink up, scuff up, streak up, etc.


1. As would be expected, the most common semasiological effect of combining a verb with a prepositional-adverb is to give to the meaning of the verb the modification usually effected by the adverb. In each of the following combinations, for example, the particle has a distinct adverbial personality: back off, carry thru, clean out, cut off, dish out or up, double up, fall out, hang up, hold over, jot down, mark out, etc.

2. Of almost equal importance in its semasiological effect is the addition of the particle as a perfective or intensive. Since examples of this usage have been given already for the various particles, only a few general illustrations need be given here, viz., batter up, bleach out, break up or down, clean out, cool off, dry up, dust up, feather out, hurry up, lengthen out, match up, miss out, quiet down, rot out, etc.

3. In a large number of cases the combination gives a meaning quite different from that of the simple verb. As a rule this is due to the fact that an earlier figurative meaning has prevailed while the literal meaning has been neglected. Examples are: ball up 'to confuse,' blow in 'to spend,' bring about 'to cause or accomplish,' catch on 'to comprehend,' come

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