prop up

Gabriel Malheiros

Senior Member
Portuguese - Brazil
Hello, everyone

I would like to know if I can use the phrasal verb "prop up" like in the following sentences?

"I was staggering, so I had to prop myself up against the wall"

"If you chair is wobbly, prop its leg up with a cardboard"

Thank you
 
  • Gabriel Malheiros

    Senior Member
    Portuguese - Brazil
    It appears you're asking if "prop up [object]" can allow "prop [object] up" as an alternative (postponed placement of preposition). Yes, generally.

    Many phrasal verbs have this property: "Save up your money" & "Save your money up" are equivalent.
    So are my phrases correct?
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    In your chair example, "prop up" is not the right verb (I assume you intend to put some cardboard under a leg that is too short). Prop up means to prevent from falling over.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    If the chair is about to fall over, it is beyond wobbly:eek:

    Normally, a wobbly chair is one that has 4 feet and only three touch the ground at one time. When you sit on it it wobbles, but you are not going to fall over. In such cases we put some cardboard under the "short" leg until the chair stops being "wobbly". In that case, the cardboard does not "prop up" the chair - it stabilizes it.
    Here's a picture of someone stabilizing, not "propping up", a wobbly table with some cardboard.
     
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