a verb + up

nkaper

Senior Member
russian
Can this adverbial particle "up" be added to any verb (not only those from idiomatical collocations like 'finish up' or 'tear up') to give verbs the sense of completeness? Can I say "I will compose this song up by tomorrow" meaning that I will finish the composing of it by tomorrow? Instead of (the more common way to say it, as I suppose) "I will finish this song up by tomorrow" (or perhaps even ''I will have finished this song by tomorrow"). Likewise with other verbs (unusual with 'up'), can I say 'I will unroll this rope up in a few minutes" (I will finish the unrolling of it).
And if those are possible, what about frequent verbs like 'play' which have their own idiomatical senses when used together with 'up'? I'm going to finish playing (whatever the game is) by 2 o'clock. "I will play up by 2 o'clock/I will have played up by 2 o'clock" - are these understandable?
Thanks in advance.
 
  • velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    No, none of those work.

    You even need to be careful with "finish up":

    Wait a bit - I just want to finish (up) with this song I'm writing.
    I finished my soup up/I finished up my soup.
    I finished the song up.
     

    nkaper

    Senior Member
    russian
    No, none of those work.

    You even need to be careful with "finish up":

    Wait a bit - I just want to finish (up) with this song I'm writing.
    I finished my soup up/I finished up my soup.
    I finished the song up.
    I've been using 'finish with the song' these last months, but just now I found a usage of simply 'Finish your song' on this site's main page Recording Studios, Mixing & Mastering Engineers, Singers | SoundBetter
    And they don't seem to talk about performing of a song or something. They talk about the process of writing, creating a song. And they don't use 'with'.
    So maybe it's possible to use just 'finish' in this sense? It's just that I'm using this verb in this sense very often and it very vexes me to use 'with' every time.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    I though you were asking about "finish up a song", which sounds a little off to me.

    You can "finish a song". In fact you can plain "finish" just about anything.
     

    nkaper

    Senior Member
    russian
    I though you were asking about "finish up a song", which sounds a little off to me.

    You can "finish a song". In fact you can plain "finish" just about anything.
    Yes, initially my question was about 'verb+up', but then you said I should be careful with 'finish up' , which I took for a pointing out that I had used the verb 'finish' altogether wrongly, and then I noticed in books that in this sort of context it is used with 'with' and so afterwards disciplined myself to use it with 'with' too. In short, now I understand that both work, except that 'finish with' is more preferable perhaps.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    If your friend knows you are a songwriter and calls you on the phone and asks you to come to lunch you could say:

    "Sorry, I can't make it today. I need to finish this song I'm working on."

    "Finish with" doesn't really fit the context. "Finish up" only fits if you are very near the end of the writing. "Finish up" implies doing the last parts to be completely done. The main work has already been completed and now you need to do the last bits.
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    To finish with someone is to end a relationship.
    (My brother has just finished with his girlfriend. She told me he dumped her.)

    To finish with something is to no longer need it.
    (Are you finished with the laptop? Can I use it now?)

    To finish something is to complete it or bring it to an end/a conclusion.
     
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