Archive for October 1, 2010

separable phrasal verb: look up


Today’s phrasal verb “look up” has three meanings. The first two are both separable, but the last one is intransitive. Let me go over the three meanings for you:

1. to find the meaning for something in a reference book or on the Internet. For example:

I didn’t know the meaning of this word, so I looked it up in a dictionary.

I looked up some good restaurants in Paris on the Internet. I want to try some of them when I’m there next week.

2. for someone to visit someone else when they’re in the area where they live. For example:

Please look me up if you ever come to New York. I’d love to see you.

I’ll be in Toronto next month, so I’m going to look up my old friend from university while I’m there. I heard she moved to Toronto about three years ago.

3. for a situation to improve (often used with “things”). For example:

My job was really bad when I first started, but things are looking up now.

The economy was in really bad shape a year ago, but things are starting to look up now.

So that is the phrasal verb for this week. As I mentioned already, the third meaning is intransitive which means the sentence doesn’t have an object.

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