Archive for July 2, 2010

intransitive phrasal verb: pick up (part three)

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Today is the final entry for the phrasal verb “pick up”. All the definitions today are intransitive which means there is no object in the sentence. So here are the final three meanings:

13. for some form of entertainment to become more interesting or exciting. For example:

The action movie was quite slow at the beginning, but it really picked up in the middle.

The song is very slow at first, but the tempo picks up a lot after the first verse.

14. for business to improve after going down. For example:

Business really picked up after the summer because people were no longer on summer vacation.

Sales were down for the first three months of this year, but they’re starting to pick up now.

15. for someone to leave suddenly (used with “and left”). For example:

A: Where’s Ralph?

B: I don’t know. He was here, but then he just picked up and left. I don’t know where he went.

As I mentioned in part one of this series, the phrasal verb “pick up” has the most number of meanings. Many phrasal verbs have more than one meaning, but “pick up” is an unusual case. Most other phrasal verbs with many meanings usually only have about five or six definitions maximum. However, because these expressions have more than one meaning, it’s important to study the full sentences so you can understand how to use them, and in what situations they can be used.

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