Last October I posted a partial list of typical two-word verb examples (starting with the letters a to g). This post continues that list of two-word verbs; those starting with the letters h to q. As I pointed out then, the two-word “verb phrase” is a common type of verb usage that, in writing or speaking, can sometimes be confusing. These verb phrases are idiomatic expressions that usually cannot be understood literally when used separately, and need to be combined with an “object” to make sense.
For example, on its own, the expression “bring up” is confusing and conjures up all sorts of possible meanings. However, in normal usage it means “to raise a point, issue, or subject”, or it can also mean to “get sick to one’s stomach”. It all depends on the specific context in which the expression is used.
Below are some common two-word verb phrases (starting with letters h to q), with examples:
hand (something) in
After that, please hand your homework in.
hand (something) out
I will hand the papers out at the end of class.
Fasten your seat belts and hang on to your hats!
I’m exhausted but I will try to hang on a while longer.
hang (something) up
Hang the picture up in the lounge please.
After that, you can help out the others with their projects.
help (someone) out
Help Susan out with the registrations please.
keep on (doing something)
Once you get to the corner, keep on driving straight.
You can always keep on hoping for an improvement.
keep up (with someone or something)
Can you keep up with him for the first half of the race?
It’s hard to keep up with all of the changes.
leave (something) out
Watch out that you don’t leave the definitions out of the index.
look into (something)
You will need to look into the building’s history.
look (something) over
It’s important to look the contract over before signing it.
look (something) up
You can look Frank up when you get to Washington.
make (something) up
She will have to make a story up when the time comes.
pick (someone) up
Please pick Samantha up on your way to school.
pick (something) out
I will pick a suitable book out at the library.
Are they going to get serious, or are they going to play around all day?
point (something) out
I had to point the exact location out for them.
put (something) away
Ali just put his tools away.
put (something) back
Are you planning to put the bicycle back where you got it?
put (something) off
I will have to put my appointment off for a few days.
put (something) on
He will put his mask on before the dive.
put (something) out
We put the garbage out every Friday morning.
put (something) together
Once you put all of the facts together you will understand.
put up (with someone or something)
Sometimes it’s not easy to put up with Hank’s disruptive behavior.
They always quiet down when the show starts.
So, the above are some of the more common two-word verb phrases that begin with the letters – h through q. I will be completing this series in a later post.
In general terms:
Two-word intransitive verbs do not take direct objects. [Example: I help out whenever I can.]
Two-word transitive verbs with direct objects can have particles that are separable or inseparable. [Examples: Veronica put back the plans. Or, Veronica put the plans back.]
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