inseparable phrasal verb: hit on


Today I have another inseparable phrasal verb for you. Once again this means that the two words CANNOT be separated by a noun or a pronoun. The noun or pronoun must come after the second word. Today’s phrasal verb is “hit on”.  It has two meanings:

1. to talk to someone with the intention of starting a sexual or romantic relationship with them. For example:

This really strange guy was hitting on me at the bar last night, so I don’t want to go back there for a while.

I was hit on by a really strange guy last night. (passive voice)

A: Excuse me. I just wanted to say you’re the most beautiful girl in the room. Are you a movie star?

B: Are you hitting on me? I’m sorry, but I’ve already got a boyfriend.

2. to think of a good idea or a good explanation for something. For example:

I think you’ve really hit on something with your idea for that new restaurant. I”m sure it’ll be very successful.

A: I think the main reason for crime is poverty.

B: Yes, you’ve hit on it exactly.

We often use the word “something” when talking about thinking of a good idea. Therefore, instead of saying, “You’ve hit on a good idea.”, it’s more natural to say, “You’ve hit on something.”


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