He took on it.

JungKim

Senior Member
Korean
The phrasal verb "take on" has several meanings.
When the complement of the phrasal verb is the pronoun "it", can there ever be this construction: "He took on it"?
Or, it has to be "He took it on", regardless of context?
 
  • entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    Not as a sentence. A pronoun object has to precede the particle. You can get those words in that order by making the object longer, and not a pronoun: He took on it, and several other things like it.
     

    JungKim

    Senior Member
    Korean
    You can get those words in that order by making the object longer, and not a pronoun: He took on it, and several other things like it.
    But "it" is a pronoun.

    Are you saying that the boldfaced sentence works?

    I'm asking 'cause I don't know how it can work.

    I mean, when you said, "He took on it", which doesn't work, how can you fix it by simply adding "and several other things like it"?

    Shouldn't it be "He took it on, and several other things like it."?
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    The object in my example is not a pronoun, it's the coordination 'it, and several other things like it', and has Loob says, it requires unusual emphasis on 'it' (and then 'like'). That's the only way you can produce the sequence 'on it' here: the sequence 'on it' is not a constituent of my sentence. You can get the same emphasis in, for example, 'He took on both it and the others.'
     
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