domingo, 29 de novembro de 2015

Idiomatic phrases

Many overlapping terms have been used to describe the idiomatic phrases included here: 

verbal collocations,

idiomatic expressions,

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. 

In: McGraw-Hill’s Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs

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