–  Prepositional Phrases – Up  –

[su_dropcap style=”flat”]A[/su_dropcap]n Alphabetical list of English Prepositional Phrases using the word “Up”  –  If you do not see the Phrase that you are looking for, please let me know in the comments below and I will be happy to add it for you at my earliest convenience.


  • (to be) Beat Up – This is an Idiomatic and Prepositional Adjectival Phrase which is used to describe someone’s or something’s condition.  When two people get into a physical fight with the intent of actually hurting each other, usually the loser is “beat up”…  So to describe someone or something as “beat up” means that he, she, or it is in a bad condition and is in need of repair.  –  (See Also:  Beat Up” [phrasal verb])  –  Or…  [su_button url=”http://www.blog.givemesomeenglish.com/todays-tid-bit-to-be-beat-up-adjectival-phrase/” target=”blank” style=”flat” color=”#ffffff” radius=”0″ icon=”icon: comment-o”]Read Full Post Here[/su_button]

  • (to) Beat Up (someone/thing) / (to) Beat (someone/thing) Up (phrasal verb) – This is an idiomatic phrasal verb which means to cause physical damage to something, usually out of anger or malice…  “If he doesn’t stop messing with my things, he’s going to *beat up*!”  –  “Dude, you better watch out!  He said he was going to *beat* you *up* and I don’t think he was joking.”  (See Also:  Beat Up” [adjectival phrase])

  • (you are/the line is) Breaking Up – This is a phrasal verb to say that the connection on a telephone call is getting bad and not everything that is said can be heard…  “Can you repeat that last part?  I was driving through a tunnel and the line was *breaking up*.”

  • (to) Bring (someone) Up To Date/Speed (about something) – These (date & speed) are idiomatic phrasal verbs which mean to update someone on the information, details, knowledge, etc. of some thing so that the person is “current” (up to today’s date, or up to the same speed of operation as everyone else).  This phrase is used when there has been a certain amount of change or development since the person being updated has last received any information.  (The only difference is that the “speed” version is used when the time-frame is smaller (updates are more frequent or not as far apart…  “Allow me to *bring you up to date* on all the new developments we have implemented in our core marketing strategy.”  /  “So, why don’t you *bring me up to speed* on everything that you’ve been working on.”  –  (See Also:  “(to) Keep (someone) Up To Date/Speed“)

  • (to) “Build The House From The Ground Up – This Idiomatic Prepositional Phrase can also be turned into an Aphorism, an Interjection, and Saying – and is used to express the advice that: When one is involved in some process or working on some project, that he or she needs to do things in the proper order, and start with the basic (referring to the “base” or foundation) necessities before doing other things which (though they may be more interesting) can only be beneficial after the foundational elements are firmly in place.  – [su_button url=”http://www.blog.givemesomeenglish.com/aphorism-to-build-house-ground-up/” target=”blank” style=”flat” color=”#ffffff” radius=”0″ icon=”icon: comment-o”]Read the Full Post Here[/su_button] –  (See Also:  “Put The Horse In Front Of The Cart”)

  • (to) Bulk Up – The word “Bulk” refers to a large mass of something, so this is a phrase that people who want to build their muscles use to say that they want to get bigger (but only in muscle mass, not in fat.)… “If I ever want to become a successful Rugby player, I’m definitely going to have to *bulk up*. Those guys are Huge!”

  • (to) Catch Up On (Something) – This is an Idiomatic Prepositional Phrasal Verb which is used to describe when one has not stayed “current” with something (information, sleep, watching one’s favorite TV show, etc.) and then needs to become current again (catch up on) with that information or activity…  “I was on vacation, and didn’t check my email for almost two weeks.  It’s going to take me at least a week to catch up on all the messages in my in-box.”

  • (a) Check-Up – This is an idiomatic term used to describe when a person goes to a doctor, not because he or she is sick, but because he or she wants to “check” on his or her over-all health…  “Doctors say that a person should have a *check-up* every six months, but I think they are crazy.  They just want to keep pumping people with drugs and charging them outrageous bills.”

  • (to) Come Up With (something) – This is an idiomatic phrasal verb which means:  To think of, create, find, produce something…  “How did you manage to *come up with* such a brilliant idea in such a short time?”

  • (to) Follow Up On (something) – This is an idiomatic verb phrase which is used to describe when one is making contact with someone (or group) about information or a particular situation that was discussed some time before.  This is usually done to ensure that all is well, or to ensure that there is some sort of progress being made…  “Hello, I’m just calling to *follow up on* the conversation we had last week about sending me the price-list for your product line.  It’s been nearly a week, and I haven’t received anything, nor has anyone called to let me know what is happening with that.”

  • (to) Get Caught Up In (something) – This is an idiomatic verb phrase which is used to describe a situation wherein one gets involved in something (a group or project) that he or she was not intending to.  He or she may not want to be in the situation, or were simply not expecting to become as involved as he or she has become.  This phrase (in business) is usually used in a negative way, but it can also be used to describe becoming (unexpectedly) involved in something good as well…  “I didn’t intend on becoming an English teacher, but it was the easiest way to get a visa, and after a couple years of doing it, I got *caught up* in it, and now I don’t see myself doing anything else for the foreseeable future.”

  • (what’s the) Hold-Up (?) – The term “hold-up” has many different meanings and usages in different parts of speech.  But posed in the form of a question like this it means:  “What is the cause for delay?”  the “hold-up” is the thing which is causing the delay…  Question:  “I sent the documents over six weeks ago!  What’s the *hold-up*!?!?!”   Answer:  “Apparently the documents where held in U.S. customs for over three weeks…  I guess they are very busy with the thousands and millions of terrorists in the world who are trying to hurt and kill Americans…  I guess they had to make sure that your document wasn’t a bomb.”  (true story)

  • (to) Keep (someone) Up To Date (about something) – This is an idiomatic phrasal verb which means to update someone on a continual process, rather than on just one occasion, so that the person is “current” (up to today’s date).  This phrase would be appropriate for a manager who needs to be continually updated on the progress of a certain situation…  “I need you to *keep me up to date” on the progress of the building plan.”

  • (to) Look (someone) Up – This is an informal separable phrasal verb that is used to mean:  To contact someone at a future date.  It is also sometimes (but not always) used as a form of flirtation…  “It was really nice to meet you.  I wish we had more time to get to know each other.  *Look me up* if you are ever in town again.” (flirtation)  –  “I’m going to be in the area for a conference next month.  I’ll *look you up* when I get to town.”  (can be just friendly, not flirtatious.)

  • (to) Look Up (something) / (to) Look (something) Up – This is a separable phrasal verb that is used to mean:  To search for; to find; to look for.  It is most commonly used to talk about words and information…  “The best way to find the meaning of a word is to *look it up* in the dictionary.”  –  “You can *look up* just about anything on the internet these days.”

  • (to) Mess (something) Up – This is a phrase which means either to cause something to fail or to cause something to become completely dis-organized or put into a bad state…  “Deciding to work seven days a week really *Messed Up* my social life.  Now I have no time for anything but work.”

  • (to) Move Up (in a company/in “the world”) – This is an idiomatic phrasal verb which is used to mean:  “To get promoted”…  “Daniel sure is  *moving up in the company* quite rapidly.  He only joined the company two years ago as the guy who cleans the bathrooms and vacuums the floors, and he’s already been promoted to vice president in charge of over-seas operations.  I’d say that he’s doing quite well for himself.”

  • (to) Pick Up The Slack (for someone) – This is an idiomatic phrasal verb which means to do the work of another person strictly because that work is not being done, it is important, and the other person is being a “Slacker” or that he or she is at least “Slacking Off” in this situation.

  • (to) Set Up (a business) – This phrasal verb has a number of meanings, but when talking about business, it means “to establish” something (a business, a project, an office, etc..)  This term can be used in all tenses, but is usually used in present and future tense, whereas “establish” is usually used in the past tense… not present or future…  “The business was *set up* in 2012, in order to provide the ‘authentic English for the REAL world’.”

  • Sign Up – This is a phrasal verb which means: to register, to join, to officially include oneself in something…  “In order to be included in the contest, you need to *sign up* at the registration center.”

  • (to) Spring Up – There are a few ways that one can think about this phrase.  “Spring” (as a verb) means to bounce or jump, and to spring up can mean to jump up; come up; suddenly.  However, another way to think of this is that – in the Spring (season), plants start to come up out of the ground, seemingly from nowhere, without the help of humans.  So when something *springs up* suddenly, it is as if it came from out of nowhere and is suddenly in abundance…  “After Michael Jackson’s death, it seemed that die-hard Michael Jackson fans *sprung up* from out of nowhere!  Suddenly the whole world was claiming to be to be his biggest fan, however, when he was alive people had nothing but bad things to say about him.”

  • (to be) Stuffed Up – This is anidiomatic adjectival phrase which is used to mean that one is experiencing nasal congestion…  “I can barely breath at all, my nose is completely *stuffed up*!”

  • (to be) Taken Up With – This is an adverbial phrase which is used to describe something (usually an action) which “occupies” or “uses up” the majority of a person’s time…  “I teach English on-line, but most of my time is *taken up with* writing reports, rather than actually teaching any English!”

  • (to) Tear It Up – Literally, this expression would probably be used to tear a piece of paper into many pieces.  However, as an prepositional idiomatic phrasal verb, it is used to mean:  To do something REALLY REALLY well.  This is a slang phrase which is popular in the world of music, and extreme sports…  “Though Daniel Radcliffe is known for his role as Harry Potter, he can actually *tear it up* as a rapper too!”  –  “Tony Hawk is such an incredible skateboarder, that he still *tears it up* even though he is well into his fourties.

  • (to) Warm Up To (someone) – Since we often talk about having a “warm” feeling when we have a close connection with someone (whether it be emotional or metal) when we talk about “becoming” closer to someone, we say that we are *warming up to* them.  This same phrase can also be used (though not as common) with ideas or concepts…  “Jack and Diane really *warmed up to* each other quickly!”  –  “I think that the world is starting to *warm up to* the idea of a full-scale revolution against the empirical power structure that has kept all of us in mental slavery for the past few thousand years.”

  • Went Up – This is a phrase used to talk about something being established, started, built, etc….  “The circus tents *went up* so quickly, it was amazing to think that only a couple hours before, it was just an empty field.”


–  ( Prepositional Phrases – Up )  –


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