Is there a way to guess meaning of the phrasal verbs (Native English Speakers and People who can speak English proficiently Please help 💜)?

Phrasal verbs i mean verbs with prepositions like get up or fly by unfortunately they are very important in English and guessing their meaning is nearly impossible for most of people who learn English is there a way to guess their meaning? How can you native English speakers guess their meaning? I think there must be a way really How can we connect get and up to say we wake? I can't understand really in my language we dont do this so i can't understand the logic behind phrasal verbs. Oh I am so sleepy i hope i didn't make wrong sentences i hope you will help me my friends :) thank you :)

It seems my question didn't catch attention today :( i will sleep soon i dont know how well i could express myself i am so sleepy sorry if you think you can help me please at least try to share your view :)


Most Helpful Guy

  • I'm not a native speaker but close enough since I major in English linguistics and literature. As far as I know, phrasal verbs must be learned and memorized the hard way. I'm sorry ;-). I strongly, strongly doubt that there's a way to simply guess their meaning. If there was, I would probably have heard of it by now. They're kind of like learning the genders in German. Nobody can tell you why bus is masculine, door is feminine and pillow is neuter. It's simply like that. Phrasal verbs work the same way. In many cases, phrasal verbs are very old already and so the English native speakers of today's time don't understand their origins or the reason for their existence and their meaning either.
    Maybe as a little trick I can tell you this: although there are tons of phrasal verbs in the English language, there are about 50-100 that are used all the time. If you know these, you can get by (<-- phrasal verb ;-)) pretty well.
    Also listening to English podcasts and watching movies helps a lot. Phrasal verbs are mostly used in spoken English because they are considered very informal. You will only find few phrasal verbs in novels and in academic texts, they're forbidden.

    • You were very helpfull thank you my friend :), yes you are right they are hard to learn and they are informal. they make me really surprised how can they be used in a language i really find it strange:/ anyway... It is too late for me good night :)

What Girls Said 1

  • Wow, I wish I could help but I'm not really clear on what your misunderstanding is.

    • I just can't see any boundary between prepositions and verbs but in English you do it you connect them to make new verbs for example when you want to say time goes fast you say it flies by how can you do this? 😄

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    • Why do we say they made up a story when instead of saying they invented a story? How can we connect make and up to express this? isn't up opposite of down? How can make up express this? I am getting crazy 😄 dont you think it is absurd to say make up?

    • @asker: It's only absurd for people like you and I who had to learn the English language ;-). You see, learners sometimes understand a language MUCH better than the native speakers. I see this with my girlfriend. My native language is German and she is learning it for me. By now, my girlfriend knows FAR more about the German language. She knows all those crazy grammatical rules that I have no idea about because she actually had to go through the pain of learning them. Maybe she makes some mistakes sometimes but when it comes to truly >understanding< the language, she's better than me. It's the same with English. Most English natives never think about these things because it's just how they know it. I never thought it's absurd to have grammatical gender until my girlfriend once asked me "why is a chair masculine? Does it have penis?" ;-).

What Guys Said 2

  • What is your native language?

    This may help:

    But the main thing is: read a lot, every day.

  • Well, I'd love to help but I don't understand the question. Remember that we poor native speakers have no idea what a "phrasal verb" is.

    • Phrasal verbs are combinations of a verb and a preposition that usually lead to a completely new, independent meaning. So for example "give up" is the combination of the verb "to give" and the preposition "up". However, the meaning of the phrasal verb "give up" has absolutely nothing to do anymore with the verb "to give" (you're not giving anything to anyone) and it also doesn't have anything to do with "up" (in the sense of denoting a direction). This arbitrariness can be very confusing for learners of English. Why do you say "give up" when somebody is close to losing and decides to drop the game and go home? Why not "give by"? Or "give through"? As a student of English linguistics I know that there are historical reasons for why the phrasal verbs are the way they are but usually those reasons don't help a learner. In addition, they can also be confusing because there are literally thousands of them and because they can sound very similar but depending on the combination, they can

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    • Hey @BlueCoyote i think you are complately right it is their language and they dont have to think before speakimg their own language that is why i must stop asking this and i just have to learn by the way in Turkey in highscholls as a second foreign langue German is taught and it is very interesting that things have genders in German language My girlfriend is Arabic so i know that even in Arabic Words have genders hehehe it is really strange :)

    • Yes, we have some phrasal verbs or quasi-phrasal verbs. "Give up" would be one example or "turn on" (in the sense of turning on a lamp) would be another. But in German, they're much fewer and especially the very metaphorical ones such as "get along" do not exist. I think these kind of things are actually very fun and interesting because they tell a lot about a certain language's speakers' mentality. English generally likes flowery things in my opinion. It likes to sound nice and poetic and it has lots of elaborate words and metaphorical meanings. German on the other hand is very technical and very accurate. The German language loves small details and making a difference between two things that in other languages would just be regarded as the same thing. It's much more cold and pragmatic compared to English... which I think is funny because that's pretty much the summary of the German soul xD.

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