Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs - Richard A. Spears, Ph.D.
Richard A. Spears, Ph.D.

Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs

Автор Richard A. Spears Ph.D.
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All languages have phrases that cannot be understood literally and, therefore, cannot be used with confidence. They are opaque or unpredictable because they don’t have expected, literal meaning. Even if you know the meaning of all the words in a phrase and understand all the grammar of the phrase completely, the meaning of the phrase may still be confusing. A phrase or sentence of this type is said to be idiomatic. This dictionary is a collection of the idiomatic phrases and sentences that occur frequently in American English. Many of them occur in some fashion in other varieties of English also. Many overlapping terms have been used to describe the idiomatic phrases included here: verbal collocations, idioms, idiomatic expressions, clichés, proverbs, set phrases, fixed phrases, phrasal verbs, common phrases, prepositional verbs, and phrasal/prepositional verbs. They all offer the same kinds of problems to the speaker and writer of English. They are unclear because the meaning of the phrase is not literal or predictable. Phrasal verbs, also called two-word verbs, are idiomatic expressions because the second element of the verb (the adverb or preposition) is not necessarily predictable. For instance, why the word up in call up a friend? Why not say call on a friend or call in a friend? Actually, those are three separate, unpredictable combinations, and they each mean something completely different. For example, you can call up a friend on the telephone, call on a friend to have a visit, and call in a friend to come and help you with something.



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