Phrasal Verbs

Babatunde ‘Aisha

Last week we talked about preposition collocations, it would be recalled that we asserted that these preposition collocations can be nouns or adjectives with prepositions. However, certain verbs when combined with certain prepositions or adverbs to function as verbs give different meanings than the conjoined meanings of these individual words. These verbs are known as phrasal verbs. It is noteworthy that the use of phrasal verbs in expressions can be for stylistic and aesthetic effects. The following are examples of phrasal verbs whose meanings are often misconstrued.

Sail through – means to succeed overcome or pass.

E.g., At a point, the task seemed overwhelming but I sailed through.
NOT scale through

Come around – means to recover consciousness

E.g., He came around after he fainted from the shock of his father’s death.

Stumble upon – means to find something unexpectedly

E.g., I stumbled upon the famous book, Africa in ebullition by AdegokeAdelabu in my Uncle’s study.

Bear out – means to confirm that something is correct

E.g., The press release by the secretary bore out the rumour that the company was indeed in bankruptcy.

Bounce back – means to recover

E.g., The president announces that the economy is now bouncing back from recession.

Hook up – means to meet someone

E.g., We hooked up at the luncheon.
Fall through – means to fail
E.g., The plan fell through before we had hardly begun.

N.B: Just like an idiom, the meaning of a phrasal verb cannot be understood from the meanings of its separate words.

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