PHRASAL VERBS (by ABEL OLANIYI)

     Phrasal verbs are often referred to as prepositional idioms. they are the making of a new verb arsing from the combination of a simple verb with a preposition or an adverb thereby forming an entirely different meaning from that of the simple verb. Here are aspects relating to the correct usage of phrasal verb. 

We must be at the alert, robbers are in the neighborhood (Incorrect)
We must be on the alert, robbers are in the neighborhood (Correct)

I'd like you to round up your lecture (Incorrect)
I'd like you to round off your lecture  (Correct)

He gained on the long run (Incorrect)
He gained in the long run (Correct)
*'In the long run' means ultimately


She always tells me not to cut off when elders are talking (Incorrect)
She always tells me not to cut in when elders are talking (Correct)
* The former means to split or break a part away while the latter means to to interfere

Put off the light (Incorrect)
Switch off the light (Correct)

The boy is never afraid to take to any of his mates (Incorrect)
The boy is never afraid to take on any of his mates (Correct)

His opponent in the last election was obliged to stand out (Incorrect)
His opponent in the last election was obliged to stand down (Correct)

The woman couldn't make do with her maids' noise (Incorrect)
The woman couldn't put up with her maids' noise (Correct)

Wilson was taking his dog for a walk when the dog suddenly broke away from its chain and escaped (Incorrect)
Wilson was taking his dog for a walk when the dog suddenly broke loose from its chain and escaped (Correct)

The pastor visited the widow to cheer her on (Incorrect)
The pastor visited the widow to cheer her up (Incorrect)

At the last minute, James decided to back down on the agreement (Incorrect)
At the last minute, James decided to back out on the agreement (Correct)

I will surely get back to the man who stole my wristwatch (Incorrect)
I will surely get back at the man who stole my wristwatch (Correct)

She decided to clamp down on the police officer because she did not want to answer any question from him again (Incorrect)
She decided to clamp up on the police officer because she did not want to answer any question from him again (Correct)

I will try to make it up to my lost time (Incorrect)
I will try to make up for my lost time (Correct)

He decided to finish his enemy by shooting him (Incorrect)
He decided to finish off his enemy by shooting him (Correct)

The opposition leader decided to hit on the President concerning his policies (Incorrect)
The opposition leader decided to hit back at the President concerning his policies (Correct)

I am happy to have tumbled down on the formula to solve the problem (Incorrect)
I am happy to have tumbled on the formula to solve the problem (Correct)

Chief Williams is trying to buy over the house (Incorrect)
Chief Williams is trying to buy the house (Correct)

He promised to chew on the issue and give us a reply very soon (Incorrect)
He promised to chew over the issue and give us a reply very soon (Correct)






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