"look up something"???

jun

Member
South Korea
Guys, in this sentence 'look up a certain word' the looking up means 'to search for an information in a book or something', and I don't quite understand why a person looks 'up' that information in a book. Please help!
 
  • jun

    Member
    South Korea
    Then could you decribe for me why the preposition "up" is used, please? Becasue "up" always translates to "upward" for me and I don't quite understand why the action of finding information in a book has anything to do with the action of looking upward.
     

    Zoowärter

    Member
    english/german europe
    ...if I remember a lecture correctly, it was explained because of "looking up" to books in a bookcase and became implementated in the English language. (connotation)
     

    winklepicker

    Senior Member
    English (UK)
    Guys, in this sentence 'look up a certain word' the looking up means 'to search for an information in a book or something', and I don't quite understand why a person looks 'up' that information in a book. Please help!

    Welcome to the wonderful world of phrasal verbs (search the forum for 'phrasal verb' for more info). These are amongst the most challenging for non-natives - but also the most idiomatic. The problem is that there are (literally) hundreds of them, and there is no rhyme or reason to them, so they just have to be learned. It IS worth the trouble of incorporating a few at least into your vocabulary though, because we use them so much.

    Go here and scroll down to verb phrases (no 32&ff) to get the flavour.
     
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