BETTER ENGLISH

For You

Stephen Lau


PREPOSITIONS
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Run against: compete

e.g. I am going to run against him in the coming mayor election.

Die away: disappear.

e.g. The noise died away and it was silent.

Hand over: yield control of.

e.g. The manager has handed over the human resources section to the assistant manager.

Call off: cancel

e.g. Due to the bad weather, the meeting was called off.

Check out: leave; pay bills.

e.g. We are going to check out the hotel at noon.

Check up on: investigate.

e.g. The account will check up on the sum of money unaccounted for

Walk over: go to where someone is.

e.g.  I have something to give to you. Can you walk over?

Back down: retreat from a position in an argument.

e.g. Knowing that he did not have a valid point, he backed down.

e.g. We cannot back out of the contract; we are legally obligated to do what we are supposed to do.

Back up: support

e.g. Are you going to back me up if I decide to go ahead with the project?

Gain in: advance in something.

e.g. As you age, you may gain in wisdom.

Gain on: begin to catch up with.

e.g. We were able to gain in on the car in front of us.

 
Hand over: yield control of.

e.g. The manager has handed over the human resources section to the assistant manager.

Call off: cancel

e.g. Due to the bad weather, the meeting was called off.

Walk over: go to where someone is.

e.g.  I have something to give to you. Can you walk over?

Catch on: understand.

e.g. The technology is fairly simple; before long, you'll catch on.

Catch up with: keep pace with.

e.g. Hurry up! You have to catch up with them.

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Copyrightę by Stephen Lau
CLOSE

Close down: close permanently; out of business.

e.g. The factory closed down last month due to the economy.

Close in: encircle and threaten.

e.g. We are now closing in on our enemies.

Close up: close temporarily.

e.g. Come back tomorrow; we're now closing up.

ASK

Ask about
: find out more about.

e.g. I want to ask about my application for that position.

Ask after: ask about the health and well-being of someone.

e.g. My in-laws asked after you.

Ask around: request information from a number of people.

e.g. I plan to ask around to see what people think about the new mayor.

Ask back: invite someone to come again.

e.g. Because of your rudeness, they will never ask you back.

Ask for: request for someone or something.

e.g. The policeman is asking for you.

Ask of: ask of something from someone.

e.g. I want to ask a favor of you.

Ask out: invite someone to go out.
e.g. I asked her out to dinner, but she refused.

Ask over: invite someone to visit.

e.g. I asked my neighbor over to fix my computer.

Therefore, learn more prepositional phrases with different meanings when used with different prepositions.

CHECK

Check out: leave; pay bills.

e.g. We are going to check out the hotel at noon.

Check up on: investigate.

e.g. The account will check up on the sum of money unaccounted for.

RUN

Run down
: hit with a vehicle


e.g. The old man was run down by the bus.

Run down: stop functioning

e.g. My lawn mower is running down; I need to get a new one.

Run into: meet by accident

e.g. Yesterday, I ran into an old friend that I had not seen for decades.

Run out of: not have any more of something

e.g. Hurry! We're running out of time!

FOLLOW

Follow on: die at a date later than someone.

e.g. He followed on after his wife a few months later.

Follow through: continue to supervise.

e.g. I hope someone would follow through on this project until its completion.

Follow something up:  check something out.

e.g. Please follow up this lead.

Dally over something
: waste time doing something.

e.g. Don't dally over your food. Just eat it!

Dally with: flirt with someone.

e.g. Don't dally with that girl; she has no interest in you.

Stephen Lau

Copyrightę by Stephen Lau

Also. go to: Learn More Prepositions.