Phrasal-Verbs – Letter H (With Prepositions)

–  Prepositional Phrasal-Verbs – Letter H  –


  • (to) Hang Around – This is an idiomatic phrasal verb which is used with the same meaning of the verb (to) Loiter; i.e. to stand or wait idly or without apparent purpose in some place or particular area…  However, this phrase can also be used to describe when a person, instead of loitering at or in some “place”, is doing-so with a particular person; often-times against the best wishes of the other, and only because the other person is afraid to tell the one *hanging around* to just go away…  “Why are you guys always *hanging around* at the library?” > “I’m not just *hanging around*!  I’m actually studying, but my little brother won’t leave me alone and if I tell him to go away, I’ll get in trouble with my mom.”

  • (to) Hang Up (the phone) – This is an Idiomatic and Prepositional Phrasal Verb which is used to mean:  To end the call.  This phrase comes from the early days of the telephone, when – in order to end a phone call – it was necessary to literally “Hang” what was called “the receiver” on a type of hook.  Since this was true for so long, the usage of this phrase has continued, even though it is no-longer literally true.

(See Also:  “(to) Pick Up (the phone))

  • (to) Have Too Many Irons In The Fire – This is a “stative” verb phrase (similar to: “To have too much on one’s plate” – however this one is only about work or projects.)  This phrase is making reference to the art of the blacksmith.  If the blacksmith *has too many irons in his/her fire* then they will draw the energy out of the fire causing them to not become hot enough, making it more difficult to work with, causing it harder for the blacksmith to work…  Therefore, to *have too many irons in the fire* is much more than just having too much work.  It also explains that this situation makes it not only more difficult ot do the work, but that it will take more effort and ultimately the end result will be of lesser quality than if there were just slightly fewer “irons” in the fire.

  • (to) Have Too Much On (one’s) Plate – This is a “stative” verb phrase which is describing a situation (usually with work) wherein, a person has too much work to deal with in that person’s present capacity.  This can also be used to talk about when a person is going through a difficult emotional time and because of it, he or she is finding it difficult to function in his or her normal capacity…  “With the staff cut-backs that the company has, I just have way *too much on my plate*.”  –  “With his wife divorcing him right after his mother and only child died in a car crash, he has way *too much on his plate*.”

  • (to) Have (one’s) Work Cut Out For (him/her) – This is an idiomatic prepositional phrasal verb which means that one has a lot of work  that he or she needs to do.  Though many people ALWAYS have a lot of work to do, this phrase is used to describe a situation wherein a person is given some project and the entire project (not just the day-to-day work) is a freakin’ shit-load of work!!!  That’s where the phrase “cut out” comes from…  It’s as if there was a gigantic evil stinking pile of work and someone “cut out” a piece for that person.  So when a person says, “Wow.  You’ve really *got your work cut out for you*!”  It is basically a nice way of saying…  “It sucks to be you right now.  You’ve got a shit-load of work and I certainly would NOT want to be you.”

  • (to) Hold Up – This is an idiomatic phrasal verb which is used to describe or ask about the condition of something as “maintaining” or “continuing”…  “How is the weather *holding up*?” is a question asked when the weather has a likelihood of changing (for example: from sunny to rainy) so the underlying question is:  is the weather still the same or has it changed?  –  (Also note that this phrase is almost always used in the continuous form)

–  ( Phrasal-Verbs – Letter H )  –

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