the usage of ''up''

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stephent74

Senior Member
Chinese--Beijing
English verbs can often be followed by an adverb like '' up'' , sometimes the ''verb + up" acquires new meanings. As in '' eat / eat up'' . Eat up means '' finish all the food".

But sometimes it seems to me, the verb+up doesn't get any new meanings. For instance, you can say" check it'', you can say '' check it up'' as well.

To check something == to check up something?? If yes, then, can I say the reason that sometimes you say '' check it up'' just because it sounds better?

Another question is: you also say :" check up on something", so,again, why you put an ''on'' in here.

Any difference between ''check up something'' and ''check up on something''?

Thanks
 
  • bibliolept

    Senior Member
    AE, Español
    "Check it up" is not idiomatic. However, "check it out," meaning "look at it" or "explore/analyze it" or "research/verify it" is commonly used.

    To "check up on something" has a similar meaning to that:
    examine so as to determine accuracy, quality, or condition; "check the brakes"; "Check out the engine"
     

    pepperfire

    Senior Member
    Canada - English & French
    I'm with envie de voyager... check it up is not typical. Check up on something... ok.

    A checkup would refer to a visit to a doctor or dentist. one might check up on the children or the status of a project, but otherwise, it's check it out.
     

    stephent74

    Senior Member
    Chinese--Beijing
    Oops....I will not bother myself to make a sentence with " check it up'' :)

    But my question remains. I just can't find a proper instance. My mind goes blank now. I Will " attack " sometime later.

    Thanks
     

    pepperfire

    Senior Member
    Canada - English & French
    The up is the awkard part, and probably stems from the vernacular... but... you can say buck up, which means feel in a better mood, or chin up, which means the same thing, but is also a form of physical exercise where someone hangs from a bar by their arms and lifts their body until their chin is level with the bar.

    One can move up, which means to increase in stature, as well as move forward in a queue

    One can drink up, which is the same as eat up, except with liquid rather than food.

    One can tease up which means to fuzz up their hair a certain way for high sitting hair styles.

    Is that more what you had in mind?
     

    stephent74

    Senior Member
    Chinese--Beijing
    The up is the awkard part, and probably stems from the vernacular... but... you can say buck up, which means feel in a better mood, or chin up, which means the same thing, but is also a form of physical exercise where someone hangs from a bar by their arms and lifts their body until their chin is level with the bar.

    One can move up, which means to increase in stature, as well as move forward in a queue

    One can drink up, which is the same as eat up, except with liquid rather than food.

    One can tease up which means to fuzz up their hair a certain way for high sitting hair styles.

    Is that more what you had in mind?
    Thanks, I was actually trying to find a '' verb'', along with '' the same verb + up" and the 2 of them just mean the same.

    I think I have come across some, but can't think of any now.

    Never mind, I will ask again when I find out the proppriate examples.
     

    Franzi

    Senior Member
    (San Francisco) English
    'Fill' and 'fill up' have essentially the same meaning, but this sort of thing is largely idiomatic. It's usually easiest for people to just memorize verbs like 'to sum' and 'to sum up' as separate words.
     

    Alisterio

    Senior Member
    UK English
    The curse of the dreaded phrasal verb. This area is notoriously tricky in English and difficult for non-native speakers to learn. You're absolutely right that in some instances, adding a preposition to the verb doesn't change the meaning at all (as in "wake" and "wake up"), whereas in other cases the meaning is fundamentally changed ("put" meaning "to place"; "put off" meaning "to postpone").

    Note that in many cases, phrasal verbs can have two prepositions, as in "put up with" (tolerate) and the example you mentioned, "check up on".
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    "Up" in phrasal verbs often means "completely".

    Drink up = drink all the liquid

    Fill up = fill the tank up to the top.
     

    gasman

    Senior Member
    Canada, English
    I have just received my bank statement, and I believe I will have to "check it up", there seems to be an error.
     

    gasman

    Senior Member
    Canada, English
    Different sources, different words; perhaps it goes back to my Glasgow days, but I have no problem with "check it up" or "check them up" when it came to tyre pressures, as an example.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)

    pepperfire

    Senior Member
    Canada - English & French
    I have just received my bank statement, and I believe I will have to "check it up", there seems to be an error.
    Check it up??? Check it out... This may be a regional colloquialism, because it rings odd on my ear too.
     

    stephent74

    Senior Member
    Chinese--Beijing
    Thanks, everybody, to some extent, your responses already help me.....

    I was just thinking: say, my friend tells me he has sent me an email. Then I say: '' ok, I will check it/ I will check my email box"

    I can also say: " ok, I will check it out/ I will check out my email box"

    All of them are OK, no difference, right? ...kind of stupid question:)
     

    pepperfire

    Senior Member
    Canada - English & French
    Stephent74 the only one that rings odd is "I will check out my email box"... It's not incorrect, but here the out is superfluous and wouldn't usually be stated.

    Also... you can get away with saying I will check my email... box in most cases is superfluous as well.

    I think you're up on the concept though. ;) ... meaning you've got it.
     
    Last edited:

    El escoces

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    Different sources, different words; perhaps it goes back to my Glasgow days, but I have no problem with "check it up" or "check them up" when it came to tyre pressures, as an example.
    Nope, I'm afraid we wouldn't say those things in Glasgow either. We would simply check them.
     
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