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Chapter 4: Complex Patterns with Prepositions and Adverbs

In this chapter we describe complex verb patterns in which the verb is followed by a noun group and a prepositional phrase or an adverb group. In Sections 1 to 4 we describe patterns in which the verb is followed by a noun group and either a prepositional phrase introduced by a wide variety of prepositions or an adverb group. In Sections 5 to 27 we describe patterns in which the verb is followed by a noun group and a prepositional phrase introduced by a specific preposition, such as about, to, or with. These sections are ordered alphabetically, by preposition.

1 V n prep/adv, V n adv/prep
The verb is followed by a noun group and a prepositional phrase or adverb group, or by an adverb group and a noun group. The passive pattern is be V-ed prep/adv.

The verbs described in this section are used with both adverbs and prepositional phrases, or with a variety of prepositions.

Here we treat all verbs with this pattern as having one structure:

  • Verb with Object and Adjunct
    They fixed the shelf to the wall.

Some verbs with some prepositions have other structures, however. For example, some prepositional phrases beginning with to are prepositional Objects and some prepositional phrases beginning with as are prepositional Object Complements.

In English, most verbs with noun groups can be followed by Adjuncts of manner, time, or place. When information about manner, time, or place is not essential, the Adjunct is not part of the pattern. The verbs dealt with below are those which are always or typically followed by an Adjunct.

Active voice: V n prep/adv, V adv n
  Verb groupnoun groupprep. phrase/adverb group
SubjectVerbObjectAdjunct
Andrewchainedthe boatto the bridge.
I can't pictureyouin a skirt.
  Stirthe figsin.
Youswirlthe liquidaround your glass.
311
  Verb groupadverb group noun group
SubjectVerbAdjunctObject
Shebangeddownthe cup.
The manspatouta stream of tobacco juice.
Theywiredbacka long list.
Passive voice: be V-ed prep/adv
  Verb groupprep. phrase/adverb group
SubjectVerbAdjunct
The designis printedon linen.
Animals are reared in traditional ways.
Iwas steeredaway from dangerous sports.
Phrasal verbs: Active voice: V n P prep/adv, V P n (not pron) prep/adv
  Verb groupnoun groupParticleprep. phrase/adverb group
SubjectVerb...Object...VerbAdjunct
The school bus dropped me off there.
Annettegotherselfuplike a shepherdess.
  Verb groupParticlenoun groupprep. phrase/adverb group
SubjectVerb   ObjectAdjunct
Georgebroughtuphis familythere.
Theyhave hivedoffa lot of tradeto their own office.
Passive voice: be V-ed P prep/adv
  Verb groupParticleprep. phrase/adverb group
SubjectVerb   Adjunct
The resultsare being posted up on school noticeboards.
Their bodieswere washedupon the shore.
312 Verbs with this pattern belong to the following meaning groups:
1 The `fasten' group 9 The `bend' group 17 The `follow' group
2 The `put' group 10 The `batter' group 18 The `divert' group
3 The `write' group 11 The `hold' group 19 The `apportion' group
4 The `throw' group 12 The `lodge' group 20 The `express' group
5 The `move' group 13 The `meet' group 21 The `conduct' group
6 The `broadcast' group 14 The `carry' group 22 The `end' group
7 The `drive' group 15 The `sweep' group 23 The `want' group
8 The `kick' group 16 The `invite' group 24 The `bring' group
1 The `fasten' group

These verbs are concerned with attaching one thing to another. The prepositions most frequently used with verbs in this group are into, onto, and to. The adverbs are adverbs of place, such as in, down, on, and up. Some verbs in this group, when they are used with an adverb, are used with only one adverb. These adverbs are indicated in the list below.

  • It can easily take two days or more to fit just one front wing even though they are bolted on.
  • Two vertical steel pins protrude from the headstone and are cemented into matching holes in the base.
  • As we got closer, I could see that they were fastening a ring to the bird's leg.
  • Apply glue to the back of this piece and nail it to the wall.
  • He had pinned up a map of Finland.
  • Screw down any loose floorboards.
affix anchor attach batten (usu passive) bind bind (usu passive) bolt (on) cement (usu passive) chain clamp clip connect couple (usu passive) fasten fix glue gum harness (usu passive) hitch hook join knit lash link lock nail padlock paste peg pin post screw seal (in) Sellotape sew solder staple stick stitch strap string tack tap tape tie weld
post up
2 The `put' group

These verbs are concerned with putting something somewhere. This includes:

  • placing something so that it is positioned in a particular way e.g. balance, loop
  • putting something somewhere carelessly or with force e.g. bang, bung
  • putting something somewhere using an implement e.g. ladle
  • putting something somewhere in a particular way e.g. dab, drape

The prepositions most frequently used with the verbs in this group are in, into, on, and onto. The adverbs are adverbs of place such as across, down, and in. Some verbs in this group, when they are used with an adverb, are used with only one adverb. These adverbs are indicated in the list below.

313 His deputy premier balanced a dark green turban on his head.
  • Her furious husband bundled her belongings into bin liners and chucked them in the garden.
  • Then he crammed a hat on his head and left the room.
  • Ladle the hot soup over the noodles.
  • Saturday mornings would not be complete without queuing in a bank or building society to pay in cheques.
  • Place the mixture in a saucepan and boil for 1 minute.
  • Bring a small pan of water to the boil, plunge the eggs in for one minute, then run the eggs under cold water.
  • I fill the box with various toys and he spends a happy hour taking them out, playing with them, and then putting the toys back again.
  • The receiver was slammed down violently.
  • To deter cats in your garden, save your orange peel. Cut it up finely and then sprinkle it on the garden.
  • As soon as Kelly was alone, she took the chair from the desk and wedged it against the door so that no one could get in.
In the case of bury 7, embed, ensconce, install, perch, plonk 2, seat, settle, and station, the noun group following the verb is always or often a reflexive pronoun. This pattern is V pron-refl prep/adv. The verb embed has an inanimate Subject.
  • A steel knife blade embedded itself in the wall behind him.
  • I was surprised when Philip ensconced himself in front of the television set.
air-drop balance bang bundle bung bury channel clap cram dab daub deposit dig (in) dip (in) dock drape dribble drip drive drizzle (over) drop dump dust embed ensconce feed fit firm flash fling float fold (in) force fork gather grind group hammer hang heap heave implant install jab jam jumble ladle lay lay (down) lean load locate loop nestle pay (in) perch pile pivot place plonk plop plug (in) plunge (in) plunk (down) pop position pour pour (in) press prop put ram (in) replace rest rub run seat secrete send set settle shove shovel site (usu passive) slam (down) slap slather (on) sling slip slot smack smear smooth spatter splash spray strew spoon spread sprinkle (usu passive) stamp stand stash stir (in) store stow stuff superimpose (usu passive) sweep thread throw thrust thump tip tuck tuck (in) twine wedge work (in) wrap
drop off jumble up prop up

Some of the verbs in this meaning group also occur in the pattern V n with n, where the prepositional phrase indicates the thing that is put somewhere (see pages xxx-xxx). Ch4 Sec26 Examples of both patterns are He would smear some oil on his fingertips and Smear the plants 314 with oil. The verbs in this meaning group with these two patterns are: cram, dab, daub, drape, drizzle, dust, fit, hang, load, pile, slather, smear, spatter, splash, spray, spread, sprinkle, strew, stuff, thread, and wrap.

3 The `write' group

These verbs are concerned with writing or painting something somewhere. The prepositions most frequently used with the verbs in this group are in and on. The adverbs most frequently used are adverbs of place such as there.

  • He entered all timings in a big diary and nothing was missed.
  • He nodded from time to time, jotting down unnecessary notes on the yellow, lined legal pad before him.
  • I was entered into the log as captain; I wrote it there myself.
enter jot leave paint print (usu passive) scrawl type (in) write
jot down write down
4 The `throw' group

These verbs are concerned with making something move away from you, often with force. The adverbs used with the verbs in this group are adverbs of direction such as away, down, and out. Some verbs in this group, when they are used with an adverb, are used with only one adverb. These adverbs are indicated in the list below.

  • Most of the doors have been blasted off their hinges.
  • Anne wasn't sure what to do with the documents. She was afraid to burn them or to flush them down the toilet.
  • I hurled away the fruit.
  • Pardew nodded the ball over the line.
  • Jamie Hoyland shot the ball past Paul Gerrard.
  • The airbag is fully inflated as the driver begins to be thrown forward.
bash beat blast blow boot cast catapult chuck curl dash drive flick fling flip flush head hurl kick knock lob nod parachute (usu passive) parachute pass pitch (usu passive) pitch propel push scatter shoot slice sling sling (usu passive) spew spit (out) spout syndicate (usu passive) throw toss volley vomit (up) waft
5 The `move' group

These verbs are concerned with moving something or someone somewhere. This includes:

  • moving something in a particular direction e.g. lower, raise
  • using an implement to move something e.g. rake, winch
  • pushing someone out of your way e.g. elbow, shoulder
  • pulling or pushing something on wheels e.g. pull, trundle
  • sending a letter somewhere e.g. dispatch, send
  • moving one thing so that it touches another e.g. brush, rasp
315 The adverbs used with the verbs in this group are adverbs of direction such as aside, in, out, and round. Some verbs in this group, when they are used with an adverb, are used with only one adverb. These adverbs are indicated in the list below.
  • It is as though my husband was beamed up into space and an alien came back instead of him, using his body and wearing his clothes.
  • I waited while she drew tobacco smoke in and out of her mouth, but she said nothing.
  • If the attention is not on him at a dinner table, he will put a pat of butter on his napkin and flick it at the ceiling.
  • It's a straightforward job to lower down one anchor.
  • If you have a greenhouse, move the plant to a pot in September and keep it almost dry for the winter.
  • The nitrogen is left in the form of gas, and is piped harmlessly into the atmosphere.
  • Wooden chairs were ranged against one wall.
  • Someone rasps his spikes on the dugout's concrete floor.
  • He ran forward, but the policemen rushed past him, shouldering him aside.
  • Rod just had to settle down in the back seat as porters trundled out a trolley-load of gear.
aim arrange bounce brush deflect diffuse discharge dispatch divert draw draw (in) elbow (aside) flick flip fork funnel jerk knock lever lift lower magnetize (usu passive) mail (usu passive) manoeuvre move pass pipe (usu passive) pour pull pump push raise rake range (usu passive) rasp roll run scrape send shake shift shoulder (aside) shove shovel shunt siphon slide slop slosh spill spread squeeze squirt suck sweep swing swirl swish swivel tamp tip toss transfer transpose trundle turn waltz wave whirl winch wrestle yank
beam down (usu passive) beam up (usu passive) wash up (usu passive)
6 The `broadcast' group

These verbs are concerned with sending information or light somewhere. The adverbs most frequently used with the verbs in this group are general adverbs of direction and place such as back and there.

  • The news of Presley's death was beamed around the world.
  • I presented a programme on Satellite TV which was broadcast throughout Europe.
  • The moon cast a pale white light on the ground.
  • KAL's manager in Bangkok flashed the message across the airline's communication system.
  • He mailed the stolen things back straight away.
  • If you take a glass prism and shine a beam of light onto one face, it will be deviated away from the apex, with blue light being deviated more than red.
beam broadcast (usu passive) cable cast diffuse (usu passive) flash focus route send shine spill wire
316
7 The `drive' group

These verbs are concerned with controlling a vehicle. We include here catch and take, which indicate that the Subject is a passenger on a vehicle. The adverbs used with the verbs in this group are general adverbs of direction such as around, back, and there.

  • He drove the truck into the barn and parked it.
  • He flew the helicopter back last night.
  • He walked back to the main street and caught a bus to St. Pauls.
  • The pilot taxied the aircraft right into the hangar and the doors closed behind him.
back catch drive fly nose ride row sail slew steer swing tack take taxi tow wheel
8 The `kick' group

These verbs are concerned with moving a part of the body. The noun group indicates the part of the body. The adverb group or prepositional phrase indicates the direction of movement.

  • Turning to Henry, she flung her arms round his neck and hid her face on his shoulder.
  • I kicked my right leg back and swept his legs clear of the ground.
  • Charles pounded his fist into the palm of his hand.
  • She tilted her head to one side.
In the case of drape, fling 2, hoist, pull, throw, and wrench, the noun group following the verb is always or often a reflexive pronoun. This pattern is V pron-refl prep/adv. The phrasal verb stretch out has the pattern V pron-refl P prep/adv only. These verbs in these patterns indicate that the whole body is moved.
  • By stepping on the stone blocks and grabbing the window bars to hoist himself up, he could look out of the tiny window.
  • Moira stretched herself out on the lower bench, lying on her side.
cast catch cup curl drag drape fling hide hoist hold hook jut kick lash plant poke pound pull rub run spread stamp sweep thrash throw tilt toss turn twist wag wave wrench
stretch out
9 The `bend' group

These verbs are concerned with changing the state of something. This includes:

  • changing the shape of something e.g. bend, twist
  • changing the configuration of something relative to something else e.g. align, space
  • causing damage to something e.g. pull, rip
  • changing a date or value e.g. move, push
  • adjusting a machine e.g. set, wind
  • changing the surface of something e.g. slick, smooth

The adverbs used with the verbs in this group are adverbs of direction such as back and sideways. The verb align is used with a prepositional phrase but not with an adverb.

317 You need a compass to align the map with the sun's direction.
  • The muscle bends the spine or the pelvis sideways.
  • The date of the talks was moved forward.
  • Take a vegetable peeler or small knife and pare back the skin.
  • When the young fan-shaped tree is trained against a wall, the well-placed branches must be trained out to form the foundation of the main branches.
align bend carve (usu passive) fast forward flip fold lock move pare pull (apart) push rip (apart) roll round set slick (usu passive) smooth snap space tear tilt tip train twist whip wind
10 The `batter' group

These verbs are concerned with doing harm to someone. The prepositional phrase indicates which part of the person is harmed. The adverbs most frequently used with the verbs in this group are around and about.

  • Sara had been battered several times on her face and head.
  • He knifed his attacker through the heart.
  • `If anyone slaps me around again, I'm gonna kill 'em,' says the girl.
bash batter butt hit knife skewer slap strike wallop whack
11 The `hold' group

These verbs are concerned with keeping or holding someone or something in a particular place, state, or situation. The adverbs used with the verbs in this group are adverbs of place such as in and there.

  • Three fans were injured as they were crushed against barriers at Greenwich, south London.
  • She sat rigidly upright, holding her handbag to her chest.
  • You're the one who'll need to be kept out of trouble if you go around saying things like that.
  • He left his bike there.
The verb leave 10 has an inanimate Subject.
  • In Nirvana, time stops and leaves you in a static state of bliss where nothing happens.
In the case of barricade, the noun group following the verb is always a reflexive pronoun. This pattern is V pron-refl prep/adv.
  • When I retired to my room that night I barricaded myself in.
barricade crush (usu passive) dangle have hold keep leave leave (off) manacle (usu passive) maroon (usu passive) shut (in) squash (usu passive) station
12 The `lodge' group

These verbs are concerned with finding a place for people or animals to stay. The adverbs used with the verbs in this group are general adverbs of place such as there.

  • A further 68 prisoners were accommodated temporarily in the prison hospital.
318 An infantry battalion, decimated in the all-day battle, was billeted there.
  • His publishers have lodged him in an expensive flat off Park Lane.
  • By October, 120,000 Polish troops were quartered in 265 camps in Great Britain.
accommodate (usu passive) billet (usu passive) house lodge (usu passive) lodge quarter (usu passive) station (usu passive) winter
13 The `meet' group

These verbs are concerned with seeing or meeting someone or something in a particular place or situation. We include here catch 13, which indicates that something happens that somone is not prepared for. The adverbs used with the verbs in this group are general adverbs of place such as there. The verbs catch and meet are used with a prepositional phrase, not with an adverb.

  • The fact that the President has taken the initiative has caught them by surprise.
  • I could feel a pistol against my head, because I was blindfolded.
  • I might have the astounding good luck to find him there now.
  • We used to all go up and meet him off the train.
  • Thousands of admirers at Dhaka airport welcomed home the man known as The Tiger.
In the case of find 5, the noun group following the verb is always a reflexive pronoun. This pattern is V pron-refl prep/adv. It indicates that the Subject is surprised at being in that place or situation.
  • In no time at all, they were throwing their scarcely clad bodies into freezing sea water. They emerged to find themselves on an isolated island, without even sheep for company.
The verbs find 6 and see have Subjects that indicate a point of time.
  • Dawn found us on a cold, clammy ship drifting past the even colder iron sides of the Blacktail Spit buoy.
  • The last night of the course saw a group of us nearly in tears as we said our goodbyes.
The verb catch 16 is usually used in the passive with get.
  • When the group split up, the three men got caught in a spring snowstorm that brought visibility down to zero and hampered search efforts.
catch catch (usu passive) feel find meet see welcome
catch out
14 The `carry' group

These verbs are concerned with carrying something or someone somewhere or accompanying someone somewhere. The adverbs used with the verbs in this group are adverbs of direction such as around, away, and down.

  • I will bring the tape to Paris and they will be able to check what is on it.
  • They were building a ramshackle flotilla to carry them to Miami.
  • They use aluminum bags to cart away the oil-encrusted sand.
  • Carl drove him home at 12.15 and I saw him in.
  • An alternative to lugging a ladder around is the new `step-stool'.
  • The injured man had to be manhandled painfully across the soft snow.
  • Ring leaders were identified and taken off to Hong Kong's main prison at Stanley.
319 accompany airlift (usu passive) bear bring bus bus (usu passive) carry cart chauffeur convoy drag drive escort ferry fly freight (usu passive) frog-march guide haul hoist hump lead lift lug manhandle parade (usu passive) run rush schlep scoop see shepherd (usu passive) ship (usu passive) smuggle sneak spirit (usu passive) stretcher (usu passive) sweep take transfer transport truck (usu passive) walk
take off
15 The `sweep' group

These verbs are concerned with removing something from somewhere. This includes:

  • removing dirt and obstructions e.g. brush, scrub
  • removing something from a surface e.g. peel, shave
  • taking something from somewhere by force e.g. snatch, tear

The adverbs used with the verbs in this group are adverbs of direction such as off and away. Some verbs in this group, when they are used with an adverb, are used with only one or two adverbs. These adverbs are indicated in the list below.

  • Dry shampoos are an effective means of removing grease and brushing out everyday pollution dust.
  • He dashed the tears from his eyes.
  • Just peel off the adhesive backing and fix it neatly to the wall.
  • His dad would prize bullets out of old dead trees.
  • The Los Angeles River broke its banks and swept away homes and cars.
  • One price of this high-intensity farming is water pollution, as rain washes the fertilizers off the land and into rivers, sometimes endangering fish.
  • Fifteen policemen leapt from jeeps and yanked off my rucksack.
break (off) brush clean clear cross (off) cut dash drain draw (out) flush knock (off) peck peel (off/away) pick prize pry pull rip rub scoop scrape scrub (off/away) shave (off) siphon skim (off) smooth snap (off) snatch snip (off) suction sweep sweep (away/aside) take take (off) tear tip (out) trim (away/off) twist wash whip (off/out) wipe wrench wrest (away/back) wrest (away) yank
hive off
16 The `invite' group

These verbs are concerned with causing someone or something go somewhere. The adverbs used with the verbs in this group are adverbs of direction of place such as along, back, out, and there. The verb call 9 is used with a prepositional phrase, not with an adverb. The verb check VP is used with the adverbs in and out and the prepositions into and out of. The verb show VP is used with the adverb around and the preposition around.

  • Pugh was assigned to an open work camp at Clermont.
  • I waited to be called before the magistrate.
320 Several train-loads of mine workers arrived at dawn determined to drive the students from the square.
  • Many foreign-born residents are being enticed back to their country of origin through homesickness or because their family needs help.
  • Some Democratic members of the US Congress have been invited there by the government.
  • He motioned Arnold to a chair.
  • This was the man who put me in hospital for four days.
  • I never saw Daddy again. Three months later I was summoned home to his funeral.
The verb take has an inanimate Subject.
  • Work took me away from my children a lot when they were growing up.
In the case of drag 4, the noun group following the verb is always a reflexive pronoun. This pattern is V pron-refl prep/adv.
  • If you manage to drag yourself away from the luxury of the best hotel in which I have ever stayed, there are also some very cheap local restaurants.
allow (usu passive) ask (out) assign (usu passive) beckon boo book (in) call call (usu passive) check chivvy coax direct dispatch divert drag drive drive (away/off) entice exile (usu passive) flush (out) force gallop get help herd hurry hustle invite jostle kick (off) let let (in) let (out) lure march motion move nudge order persuade post (usu passive) post put route (usu passive) second (usu passive) settle shoo show show (around) shunt (usu passive) shuttle sit steer summon (usu passive) take tempt throw throw (off) transfer urge usher warn (off) wave whisk
sit down
17 The `follow' group

These verbs are concerned with going somewhere, physically or metaphorically. The noun group indicates a road, sign, or person. The adverbs used with the verbs in this group are adverbs of direction such as northwards, round, and there.

  • Turn left when you leave here and follow the road round.
  • From Liverpool take the A567 Halsall Road towards Southport.
  • She refused to answer questions as photographers trailed her into the VIP lounge of Moscow airport.
follow take trail
18 The `divert' group

These verbs are concerned with guiding someone through a conversation or situation, or making them think in a particular way. The noun group indicates either the person or their thoughts or attention. These verbs are most frequently used with a prepositional phrase, not with an adverb.

  • The government is trying to divert attention from more serious issues.
  • In his latest book on the deepest and most fundamental problems in physics, he guides the reader through the science with skill and flair.
321 There is a feeling that the powers of the presidency should be whittled down somewhat, that the emphasis should be shifted more towards Parliament.
  • They fear the female vote would lean to conservatism, tilting parliament towards fundamentalism.
The preposition is sometimes followed by an `-ing' clause.
  • The project might divert them from doing other activities that might not be so good for their future.
In the case of align, the noun group following the verb is often a reflexive pronoun. This pattern is V pron-refl prep.
  • Britain had to align itself in some degree with other European currencies.
align divert guide pull push shift (usu passive) steer tilt
19 The `apportion' group

These verbs are concerned with placing blame on someone or something. They are most frequently used with a prepositional phrase or with an adverb such as elsewhere.

  • Often these women will give feeble excuses that are no more than a way to unfairly apportion blame elsewhere.
  • His father has laid the blame for his son's criminal behaviour at the door of the social services.
  • Everybody is trying frantically to shift the blame onto someone else.
apportion lay place shift
20 The `visualize' group

These verbs are concerned with interpreting, reacting to, or expressing something in a particular way.

  • The verdict was greeted with uprisings over three nights from rebellious youth.
  • I rate Tracey very highly and he will be back.
  • Provided politicians in the democracies read the warning signs correctly, they should have several years to get ready to meet any new challenge.
  • It is helpful to situate Marx's economics in its philosophical context.
  • He takes bad news in much the same way as he takes good.
  • Visualize the Court of Arthur before you as a mighty stronghold.
In the case of express 2, the noun group following the verb is always a reflexive pronoun. This pattern is V pron-refl prep/adv. The Subject is inanimate.
  • His passion for engineering was to express itself in motor racing.
The phrasal verb in this meaning group, look on, has two patterns. The particle, P, always comes after the verb, not after the noun group, but the adverb group may come either after the noun group or between the verb and the particle. The noun group may be a personal pronoun. These patterns are V P n prep/adv and V adv P n. Some people look on things differently from you, Madame Fernet.
  • Employers look favourably on applicants who have any work experience, no matter what it is.
322 construe express frame generalize greet (usu passive) list phrase picture pitch place rate read receive (usu passive) slant (usu passive) subsume (usu passive) summarize (usu passive) take view word
look on
21 The `conduct' group

These verbs are concerned with behaving in a particular way. The adverbs used with the verbs in this group are adverbs of manner such as badly and well. The noun group following the verb is a reflexive pronoun. This pattern is V pron-refl prep/adv.

  • These battalions went on to acquit themselves with great distinction during the First and Second World Wars.
  • The Americans comported themselves like the pained guardians of an incorrigible adolescent.
  • The children of marriages contracted on this day will conduct themselves badly.
  • It is also important to present yourself in a way that is meaningful to an employer.
acquit bear carry comport conduct present
22 The `end' group

These verbs are concerned with starting, passing, or finishing a period of time in a particular way. The adverbs used with the verbs in this group are adverbs of manner such as well.

  • Philip begins each day with half an hour's meditation.
  • Only two public theatres in Britain expect to end the year without a financial deficit.
  • If you had the cash, Sarasota was a congenial spot in which to pass the time through constant eating out and shopping.
  • The team had started the day well.
The preposition is sometimes followed by an `-ing' clause.
  • I had passed the time by working loose all the rivets on one of the back door panels.
begin end finish pass spend start
live out
23 The `want' group

These verbs are concerned with wanting or needing someone or something to be in a particular condition or place, or wanting something to be of a particular type. The prepositional phrase or adverb indicates the condition, place, or type.

  • We need him back as soon as possible.
  • Given that people who like driving fast also like changing gear I thought she would prefer the car in a manual version instead of the automatic.
  • Some people were poisoning the toads because they did not want them in their gardens.
(would) like need (would) prefer want
323
24 The `bring' group

These verbs are concerned with causing something or someone to be in a particular state, physically or metaphorically. The prepositional phrase or adverb indicates the state.

  • Cover the soup and bring it to the boil slowly.
  • Their continuing overweight and resultant diabetes place them at significantly increased risk of heart disease.
  • The Gold Coast winter bowls carnival has been thrown into turmoil after rain forced yesterday's programme to be abandoned.
In the case of declare, the noun group following the verb is always a reflexive pronoun. This pattern is V pron-refl prep/adv.
  • Army leader General Raoul Cedras has declared himself in control of Haiti at the head of a military junta.
bring declare draw (in) get incarnate (usu passive) place push put set (usu passive) throw transfer transport
25 The `handle' group

These verbs are concerned with doing something in a particular way or in particular circumstances. This includes:

  • dealing with a situation well or badly e.g. handle, treat
  • performing an activity in a particular way e.g. hold, rear
  • looking at someone in a particular way e.g. eye, regard
  • dressing someone or decorating something in a particular style e.g. do up, get up
  • managing a conversation e.g. lead, take

The adverbs used with the verbs in this group are adverbs of manner such as carefully, properly, and well. The verbs bulldoze and push are used with the preposition through or the adverb through.

  • It was not in his nature just to `dive in'. It was his custom to approach every problem obliquely and cautiously.
  • All people shall have the right to live where they choose and to bring up their families in comfort and security.
  • The opposition parties have accused the Government of bulldozing through the new constitution in spite of their complaints.
  • The child's dark hair was done up in a thousand shining ringlets.
  • You wait in an anteroom where armed security men eye you suspiciously.
  • When I'm tired - that's when I handle everything least well.
  • This car doesn't hold the road too well in the wet.
  • Fleck led the conversation into personal affairs.
  • Mr Scott has had experience of picking up undervalued assets and has timed the market well in the past.
In the case of get up and rig out, the noun group following the verb is always a reflexive pronoun. This pattern is V pron-refl P prep/adv.
  • Annette used to have to get herself up like an old-time shepherdess.
approach bulldoze (through) carry eye feed handle hold lead leave manoeuvre pay push (through) put rear (usu passive) regard steer take time treat wear
324 bring up do out (usu passive) do up (usu passive) dress up get up go about rig out
26 Verbs with other meanings

There are a number of other verbs which have this pattern. There are two groups of these verbs.

(i) The adverb group or prepositional phrase indicates the degree of something or the criteria for something. The verbs measure and secure are used with a prepositional phrase, not with an adverb.

  • Such a system would divide the country on tribal lines.
  • A robber whose accomplice was stabbed to death by their victim was let off lightly yesterday.
  • A grammar school's success was measured in terms of the number of pupils who got into university and the professions.
  • Is the loan to be secured on your home or other assets?
  • I think I've worked you hard enough and I would like to thank you very much for coming and giving me this interview.
divide measure secure (usu passive) stretch (usu passive) work
let off set up

(ii) The adverb group or prepositional phrase indicates a physical or metaphorical place, or a time. We include here make, where the noun group indicates a place. Some verbs in this group, when they are used with an adverb, are used with only one or two adverbs. These adverbs are indicated in the list below.

  • I was brought up in Shanghai.
  • Protein is found in a wide variety of both animal and plant foods.
  • I do like to communicate even though it isn't going to get me anywhere.
  • Shells had gouged holes out of the main square tower.
  • Can we just leave it for another two weeks?
  • The tanker was gulping two tons of fuel an hour in order to make New Orleans by nightfall.
  • They took the problem to the general secretary of the Society of Authors.
  • He attracted attention for the brightness of his virtuosity and the vividness of his dramatic flair: qualities which quickly took him to the top of his profession.
In the case of present, the noun group following the verb is always a reflexive pronoun. This pattern is V pron-refl prep/adv.
  • Perhaps I ought to present myself at his door.
dangle enrol factor (in) be found get gouge leave make partner present rear (usu passive) be represented segregate situate spread swig (down/back) take take take (away)
bring up (usu passive)
325
Structure information

a) The noun group is the Object, and the adverb group or prepositional phrase is usually an Adjunct, although some prepositional phrases are prepositional Objects or prepositional Object Complements (see page xxx). beginning of this section)

b) This pattern has a passive, with the pattern be V-ed prep/adv. The adverb group or prepositional phrase is an Adjunct.

c) The adverb group comes before or after the noun group. The prepositional phrase usually comes after the noun group. Sometimes, however, the prepositional phrase comes before the noun group, especially when the noun group is a long one.
A few states began to cram into their constitutions details better left to legislation.

d) Phrasal verb patterns are the same except that there is also a particle, P. With most verbs, the Object comes either between the verb and the particle or after the particle. If the Object comes after the particle, it cannot be a personal pronoun. You say
He posted it up
or He posted up the notice
but you do not say He posted up it.
Some phrasal verbs have other restricted patterning, and these restrictions are mentioned under the meaning groups concerned.

Other related patterns
V n adv prep

The verb is followed by a noun group, an adverb group, and a prepositional phrase. The passive pattern is be V-ed adv prep. Many of the verbs in meaning groups 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 11, 14, 15, 16, and 17 above have this pattern.

  • Some time in January he asked me out for a drink and I went.
  • He will have to ask us to bring our rubbish down to the main road.
  • The record will be mailed out automatically to fan club members.
  • I picked up the cat and plonked myself down on the sofa with him in my lap.
  • Hundreds of millions of dollars have been stashed away in private bank accounts.
  • It was part of my job to go and stick the notices up on the door.
  • Wilder threw the script back at him.
  • They took the next bus back to town.
  • At the fence, she broke up the bale of hay and tossed it over to the waiting cows.
V n prep prep

The verb is followed by a noun group and two prepositional phrases. The passive pattern is be V-ed prep prep. Many of the verbs in meaning groups 4, 5, 7, 14, 15, 16, 17, and 19 above have this pattern.

  • I have driven my little convertible over the Alps to Italy and back again three times.
  • The barristers were trying to shift the blame from one to another.
V adv n prep

The verb is followed by an adverb group, a noun group, and a prepositional phrase. The passive pattern is be V-ed adv prep. Some of the verbs in meaning groups 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 above have this pattern.

  • He would be glad to discuss moving up his retirement date to the middle of 1988.
326
V n ord

The verb is followed by a noun group and an ordinal such as first, second, or last. The passive pattern is be V-ed ord.

  • Unemployment remains the main concern for voters. The National Health Service is second. The economy is ranked third.
place (usu passive) rank (usu passive) rate (usu passive) seed (usu passive)
V n ord in/out of n

The verb is followed by a noun group, an ordinal, and a prepositional phrase beginning with in or out of. The passive pattern is be V-ed ord in/out of n.

  • In addition to her photographic work, McKinlay writes fiction; she has just been placed third in the Dillons Short Story Competition.
place (usu passive) rank (usu passive) rate (usu passive) seed (usu passive)
2 V n with adv
The verb is followed by a noun group and an adverb group, or by an adverb group and a noun group. (In this pattern, the word `with' indicates that the adverb occurs in either position.) The passive pattern is be V-ed adv.

This pattern has one structure:

  • Verb with Object and Adjunct
    Carol turned the radio off.
Active voice: V n adv, V adv n
  Verb groupnoun groupadverb group
SubjectVerbObjectAdjunct
The namehas servedmewell.
  Swillyour mouthout.
Heswitchedthe televisionon.
  Verb groupadverb groupnoun group
SubjectVerbAdjunctObject
I flickedonthe lights.
Shewhippedoffher skis.
327
Passive voice: be V-ed adv
  Verb groupadverb group  
SubjectVerbAdjunctAdjunct (optional)
The systemis flushedout.  
The familyis knownwellin this town.
Street lightinghas been switchedoff.  

Verbs with this pattern belong to the following meaning groups:

1 The `slip' group 2 The `click' group 3 The `empty' group
1 The `slip' group

These verbs are concerned with putting clothes on or taking them off. They are used with the adverbs on and off.

  • Erica slipped her damp headband off with one hand, shook out her wet curls, and replaced the headband.
  • Frank grabbed a paddle while Chet tore off his shirt and used it to plug the hole in the canoe.
put (on) rip (off) slip (on/off) take (off) tear (off) whip (off)
2 The `click' group

These verbs are concerned with turning machinery or equipment on or off. They are used with the adverbs on and off. We include here turn (down) and turn (up), which indicate that the machine or piece of equipment is being adjusted.

  • He clicked on the lamp.
  • Are you going to turn the machine off now?
click (on/off) flick (on/off) flip (on/off) put (off) put (on) switch (off) switch (on) turn (down) turn (off) turn (on) turn (up)
3 The `empty' group

These verbs are concerned with emptying a container. They are used with the adverb out.

  • Finally, she emptied the purse out onto the sofa.
  • Every few weeks the tank was flushed out.
  • Having finished his coffee, he swilled out the mug and left it on the draining board.
empty flush swill
328
4 The `know' group

These verbs are concerned with knowing or remembering someone or something. They are used with adverbs such as well.

  • Did you know the house pretty well?
  • I can remember it clearly, as if it were just yesterday.
know remember
5 Verbs with other meanings

There are two other groups of verbs which have this pattern.

(i) Three verbs are used with the adverb well. These verbs are not used with the pattern V adv n.

  • If Robyn was nervous, she hid it well.
  • He qualified as a lawyer in 1944 and his colourful language served him well for 40 years.
  • I don't regret joining the society and I genuinely feel very sorry to be leaving. I wish them well in the future.
hide serve wish

(ii) Three verbs are used with the adverbs in and out.

  • Myers puts his feet up on his cluttered desk and breathes out a swirl of cigarette smoke.
breathe (in/out) count (in) count (out)
Structure information

a) The noun group is the Object, and the adverb group is an Adjunct.

b) This structure has a passive, with the pattern be V-ed adv.

3 V pl-n with together
The verb is followed by a plural noun group and together, or by together and a plural noun group. (In this pattern, the word `with' indicates that together occurs in either position.) The passive pattern is be V-ed together.

This pattern has one structure:

  • Verb with Object and Adjunct
    We stuck the pieces together.
Active voice: V pl-n together, V together pl-n
  Verb groupplural noun grouptogether
SubjectVerbObjectAdjunct
The two electrons bind the two nuclei together.
Helashedher handstogether.
329
  Verb grouptogetherplural noun group
SubjectVerbAdjunctObject
He is editing together excerpts of some of his films.
  Whisktogetherthe egg yolks and sugar.
Passive voice: be V-ed together
  Verb grouptogether
SubjectVerbAdjunct
Two pieceswere gluedtogether.
The two halves were soldered together.

Verbs with this pattern belong to the following meaning groups:

1 The `tie' group 2 The `gather' group 3 The `cobble' group
1 The `tie' group

These verbs are concerned with fastening two or more things together, physically or metaphorically.

  • The Town Hall columns themselves are made up of individual drums that are clamped together in the ancient manner.
  • Two plastic sheets were sandwiched together, with a film of wax in between.
  • They pushed me down on a bed and tied my hands together so that I couldn't get at the blindfold.
  • Bragg weaves together the histories of his main characters and links in some strong personalities from the fields he knows best.
  • Paul strips the frames of the two standard bikes, welds them together and reassembles the finished product.
bind bolt bond (usu passive) chain (usu passive) clamp (usu passive) clip couple (usu passive) fasten (usu passive) fuse glue (usu passive) join knit knot lash rope (usu passive) sandwich sew solder (usu passive) stick stitch tack tie weave weld yoke
2 The `gather' group

These verbs are concerned with collecting a group of people or things together so that they make a single entity, physically or metaphorically. We include here bracket and lump, which indicate that two or more people or things are thought of as being very closely connected.

  • Chicago and gangsters will always be bracketed together.
  • I've gathered together six girl dancers, six boy dancers, and a nine-piece band.
  • There are many thick liquids that have to be mixed together.
  • The first time I went to a yacht club I felt really uncomfortable. In those days I couldn't string three words together.
330 The verbs hold, put, and scrape are sometimes used with a singular noun group. This pattern is V n with together.
  • He had to scrape together the money to finance his latest film.
bracket (usu passive) edit gather get group hold jumble lump mix pull scrape string throw (usu passive) whisk
3 The `cobble' group

These verbs are concerned with making something, usually slowly or roughly. Usually the verb is used with a singular noun group. This pattern is V n with together. The noun group indicates the thing that is made.

  • Even if the politicians manage to cobble together a peace deal, what hope is there for refugees?
  • He denied that the government was patched together just for a transition period.
In the case of cobble, piece, and put, the verb is sometimes followed by a plural noun group which indicates the things that go into making something.
  • We got tapes of all our radio interviews and pieced those together to form the base of the soundtrack.
  • I'm going to put together the bits I've assembled for a Christmas frieze.
cobble get patch piece put throw
4 Verbs with other meanings

There are three other verbs which have this pattern.

  • You're going to add these numbers together.
  • The spacious kitchen was achieved by knocking together three small rooms.
  • Stretch and shake your hands, then rub them together to warm them.
add knock rub
Structure information

a) The noun group is the Object, and together is an Adjunct.

b) This structure has a passive, with the pattern be V-ed together.

4 V way prep/adv
The verb is followed by a noun group which consists of a possessive determiner, such as my, his, her, or their, and the noun way. This is followed by a prepositional phrase or adverb group.

This pattern has one structure:

  • Verb with Object and Adjunct
    She elbowed her way through the crowd.
331
V way prep/adv
  Verb groupwayprep. phrase/adverb group
SubjectVerbObjectAdjunct
Sheateher waythrough a pound of chocolate.
He is feeling his way into the role of successful author.
Labour is fighting its way back.

This pattern is very productive and most of the verbs which are used with this pattern are not used with it often. In this section we include many of these verbs and we indicate which verbs most frequently have the pattern.

This pattern is often used with a word that is normally a noun or an adjective, but which in this pattern is a verb, for example I finally crowbarred my way in.. Some of these verbs are: crowbar, cudgel, flipper, helicopter, pickpocket, scam, strong-arm.

Verbs with this pattern belong to the following meaning groups:

1 The `talk' group 7 The `chug' group 13 The `eat' group
2 The `mumble' group 8 The `crawl' group 14 The `work' group
3 The `gossip' group 9 The `ooze' group 15 The `muddle' group
4 The `make' group 10 The `wind' group 16 The `laugh' group
5 The `fight' group 11 The `borrow' group 17 The `reason' group
6 The `thread' group 12 The `cheat' group 18 Verbs with other meanings
1 The `talk' group

These verbs are concerned with talking persuasively, often dishonestly, in order to get into a good situation or out of an unpleasant one. The verb in this group which most frequently has this pattern is talk.

  • Men will not admit that they do not know something but will either bluff their way through or go and find out about it.
  • At the end of that month, unmasked as an academic fraud who had lied her way to the top of her profession, she resigned.
  • The only chance was to allay the officials' suspicions: to try and somehow talk our way out of it, or see if they were open to bribery.
argue blag bluff bluster bullshit cajole charm con lie negotiate plead reason sweet talk talk wheedle whinge
2 The `mumble' group

These verbs are concerned with talking, singing, or playing a musical instrument in a particular way. The noun group is most frequently followed by a prepositional phrase beginning with through. The prepositional phrase indicates something such as a speech, a song, or concert. The verbs in this group which most frequently have this pattern are croon, grunt, mumble, mutter, rap, shout, sing, slur, strum, whistle, and yell.

  • Bono has just crooned his way through `Satellite Of Love', aided by a croaking image of Lou Reed on the huge TV screens.
  • Our chairman mumbled his way through a couple of prayers.
332 After Pauline stammered her way through an introduction, Nicola explained she was Ryman's wife.
  • Mark, energetically strumming his way through the irresistibly wistful `Molly Malone', looks saintly.
ad-lib babble bawl belt blow bray croak croon curse drawl drone enunciate groan growl grunt holler hoot howl hum jam lisp moan mumble mutter pipe purr ramble rap shout shriek sing slur snap snarl sneer splutter squeak stammer strum tinkle toot wail warble whinge whisper whistle wisecrack yell
3 The `gossip' group

These verbs are concerned with talking in a particular way. The prepositional phrase or adverb group indicates a period of time that the talking is done in, a place where someone is moving while talking, or a situation that the person talking is trying to get into or out of.

  • I didn't want to hear another one of his tired excuses. He couldn't apologise his way out of this.
  • You should feel good enough to communicate your way through whatever problem presents itself, and bring about a fast resolution.
  • They lived on the same street, went to the same schools, and gossiped their way through their teenage years.
  • Watching him wisecracking his way round the yard, it was difficult to take his claims of imminent disaster seriously,
apologize bicker bitch blather communicate debate gossip grumble haggle joke natter protest rationalize verbalize wrangle
4 The `make' group

These verbs, when used with way, are concerned with managing to get somewhere, either physically or metaphorically. The verbs in this group which most frequently have this pattern are find and make.

  • Most polymers find their way into the electrical or electronic industries as insulators.
  • An innovation that should be making its way into gift shops before Christmas is a Tooth Fairy pillow.
  • Let the lad go. Let him take what food we've got left and try to make his way home.
  • Young artists must pave their way to art by drawing pictures for magazine stories that young authors write to pave their way to literature.
  • It was not long before they could no longer see their way out of what they had started.
find make move pave ply pursue retrace see smell sniff trace wend
333
5 The `fight' group

These verbs are concerned with moving somewhere with force or with difficulty, either physically or metaphorically. This includes:

  • moving with energy e.g. burst, forge, storm
  • harming people or things as you move e.g. batter, elbow, fight, shove
  • moving with difficulty because of tiredness or obstacles e.g. claw, plod, scramble, work
  • cutting or burrowing a path through something e.g. bore, burrow, tunnel

The verbs in this group which most frequently have this pattern are claw, fight, force, push, smash, and work.

  • With nothing to do, the mind is unable to prevent negative thoughts from elbowing their way to center stage.
  • They're trying to fight their way towards the beseiged army camp.
  • The protesters forced their way into the police headquarters, setting fire to parts of the building.
  • When he turned professional 11 years ago, Christie was expected to storm his way to a world championship.
barge bash batter battle beat blast blaze blitz bludgeon bomb bore break bulldoze burn burrow burst butt chase chip chop claw cleave crash crowbar crush cudgel cut dig drag drill elbow explode fight force forge gatecrash grab grapple grasp hack hammer haul heave hurry jab jostle labour muscle nudge plod plough poke power press pummel punch push scrabble scramble scrape scratch shoot shoulder shove shovel slam slash slog slug smash stampede steamroller storm streak strong-arm struggle stumble stutter sweat sweep tear thrust toil trudge trundle tunnel whack win worm wrestle zap zoom
6 The `thread' group

These verbs are concerned with moving carefully or avoiding obstacles, either physically or metaphorically. The verbs in this group which most frequently have this pattern are feel, pick, and thread.

  • He edged his way along a beam high up in the barn.
  • She reached the bottom of the stairs and, with her back pressed against the wall, inched her way towards the captain's cabin at the end of the corridor.
  • He threaded his way among the desks that cluttered the office area.
dodge ease edge feel grope inch manoeuvre navigate nose pick prize sidestep squeeze steer thread twist weave
334
7 The `chug' group

These verbs, when used with way, are concerned with moving in a way that makes a particular noise.

  • The launch chugged its way through the brown water, past a solid wall of multicoloured trees.
buzz chug clang clank clunk crackle crunch grind growl rattle roar rustle scrape scrunch splutter tap thump thunder wheeze whirr whisper whizz
8 The `crawl' group

These verbs are concerned with moving in a particular way, physically or metaphorically. This includes:

  • particular modes of transport e.g. pedal, row, sail
  • walking in a particular way e.g. flounce, hobble, march, shuffle
  • moving in some other way e.g. swim, wing
  • North of Port Douglas, we left the metalled roads behind us and bumped our way into the Daintree rain forest.
  • An injured woman caver was crawling her way to freedom last night after spending two days trapped inside a freezing mountain.
  • A few small privately run buses meander their way down roads strewn with piles of rubbish.
  • Ordinary Japanese people had to pedal their way about on bicycles.
  • Miriam stepped over the side, moving slowly as she splashed her way to the bank.
  • In northern Europe bats have never been the most popular of creatures - they're widely regarded as rather creepy and even sinister as they wing their way through the dusk air.
back balance bob bounce breeze brush bump bustle churn clamber climb crawl creep flap float flounce gallop glide helicopter hike hitch hitchhike hobble jack-knife leap limp lurch march meander mince mooch nuzzle paddle paw pedal prance row run sail shuffle skim skip slide slink slither slosh slouch sneak speed spiral splash squirm stagger straggle strut swagger swim tiptoe trample twirl wade walk waltz wander wiggle wind wing wobble wriggle zigzag
9 The `ooze' group

These verbs typically have an inanimate Subject and indicate how something such as a liquid or an idea moves or spreads.

  • The tears dripped their way onto his vest.
335 He could seek instant guidance on complicated social issues that now take months to ooze their way through journalistic filters and political processes.
drip filter melt ooze percolate waft
10 The `wind' group

These verbs are concerned with the shape or direction of something such as a road or a river. The verb in this group which most frequently has this pattern is wind.

  • The road climbed and curled its way through skinny teak trees and tidy villages.
  • They followed a path that wound its way through the trees.
carve curl snake spiral thread twist weave wind
11 The `borrow' group

These verbs, when used with way, are concerned with achieving something by means of a legitimate activity. This includes:

  • doing something to achieve success in sports and arts e.g. bat, paint
  • doing something to achieve success in business, in money matters, or in a career e.g. borrow, spend
  • You must not take the route of trying to borrow your way out of trouble when over- borrowing got you into this state in the first place.
  • Britain's capacity to grow its way out of recession is severely limited.
  • She possessed a powerful forehand and a disconcerting ability to hit her way out of crises.
adapt automate barter bat borrow bowl box build busk buy cook dance dive earn export finance fund grow hit invest jump kick manage market merge network organize paddle paint play produce ride save sell shrink skate ski spend swim tax think trade train walk wrestle write
12 The `cheat' group

These verbs, when used with way, are concerned with achieving something by means of illegal, immoral, or underhand activities.

  • We are still saddled with the corrupt, incompetent, dishonest group of politicians who cheated their way to government a year ago.
  • William had watched disapprovingly as Brian insinuated his way into John's inner circle, becoming, in time, one of John's favourite companions.
  • A former paramedic tricked his way into a job as a hospital doctor and killed a woman patient through lack of care.
336 bamboozle bribe bully burgle butcher cheat dominate dupe fake fiddle flirt gamble grovel hustle insinuate inveigle kill manipulate massacre mislead murder pillage pimp plot plunder rape rig scheme steal trick wangle weasel wheel and deal
13 The `eat' group

These verbs, when used with way, are concerned with consuming the whole of something. This includes:

  • eating and drinking e.g. chew, eat
  • smoking e.g. gasp, puff, smoke

The verb in this group which most frequently has this pattern is eat.

  • Mrs Lorimer chewed her way through a large helping of apple tart.
  • If one home-owner takes steps to kill the termites, the colony simply eats its way through another building.
  • Fiona amazed onlookers by puffing her way through three cigarettes and swigging red wine and schnapps.
  • Yes, he slurps his way through a glass or two as he cooks for us on the television. Why not?
booze chain-smoke chew chomp drink eat feast gasp gnaw graze guzzle lick munch nibble nosh peck puff slice slurp smoke taste work
14 The `work' group

These verbs, when used with way, are concerned with completing a long task carefully, such as reading a book or listening to a record.

  • Mackenzie has made the congregation into a real family simply through preaching his way through the Bible.
  • Leaphorn was thumbing his way through the notebook a second time, making notes in his own notebook.
  • In a far corner of the bar, a pianist with a portable synthesiser works his way through some requests.
leaf listen preach read sift thumb work
15 The `muddle' group

These verbs are concerned with doing something in a stupid or inefficient way.

  • McIver had bumbled his way toward success by making the right mistakes.
  • I guess somehow or other we muddled our way through and things worked out.
botch bumble bungle fumble muddle
337
16 The `laugh' group

These verbs indicate that someone gets somewhere or gets through a period of time while making a sound or putting on an expression, or while doing something involuntarily. This includes:

  • laughing and smiling e.g. grin, smile
  • crying e.g. sob, weep
  • showing a feeling in some other way e.g. blush, shiver
  • His favourite expression is: `There are two ways to die: you can laugh your way to the grave or cry yourself there.'
  • The procession panted its way up the steep hillside.
  • He was trembling when he opened the car door, when he ordered his steak, when he blew his nose. He quaked his way through the entire evening.
  • Britain is set to shiver its way through one of the coldest winters this century.
blush chortle chuckle cry gasp giggle grin guffaw laugh pant pout puff quake shiver shrug shudder sleep smile snore sob sulk titter tut twitch weep yawn
17 The `reason' group

These verbs, when used with way, are concerned with solving a problem by thinking about it.

  • She's lied to the little girl and can't figure her way out of it.
  • He and Dr Watson had reasoned their way to the structure of DNA on only the barest of evidence.
agonize (cannot) figure guess rationalize reason will
18 Verbs with other meanings

There are a number of other verbs which have this pattern.

  • They can also shop their way into serious debt.
  • The film is about four Italian Americans who brawl their way through life in New York's Lower East Side.
barnstorm brawl dream meditate party preen shop
Structure information

a) The noun group following the verb is the Object and the prepositional phrase or adverb group is an Adjunct.

b) This structure has no passive.

338
Other related patterns
V way adv prep

The verb is followed by a noun group with way, an adverb group and a prepositional phrase. Many of the verbs in this section, especially in meaning groups 4,5,6,7,8,9, and 10, also have this pattern.

  • Sam had shown that he could negotiate a complicated system of highways and waterways to find his way back to Seattle.
  • The ferry edged its way out into the river.
V way prep prep

The verb is followed by a noun group with way and two prepositional phrases. Many of the verbs in this section, especially in meaning groups 4,5,6,7,8,9, and 10, also have this pattern.

  • He saw Benedict limping his way down the path to the river.
  • Such exclamations wafted their way from the telephone area onto the floor of the exhibition.
V way to -ing

The verb is followed by a noun group which consists of a possessive determiner and the noun way. This is followed by a prepositional phrase which consists of to and an `-ing' clause.

  • I very much hope you will see your way to advising your client to sign it.
see
5 V n about n
The verb is followed by a noun group and a prepositional phrase which consists of about and a noun group. With some verbs, the preposition is sometimes followed by an `-ing' clause or by a wh-clause. The passive pattern is be V-ed about n.

This pattern has one structure:

  • Verb with Object and Adjunct
    I warned him about the danger.
Active voice: V n about n/-ing/wh
  Verb groupnoun groupaboutnoun group/-ing/wh-clause
SubjectVerbObjectAdjunct  
Headvises senior managersaboutgetting the best out of their teams.
Iaskedhimaboutwhat his record company is like.
Weused to warnhimaboutthe dangers of eating too quickly.
339
Passive voice: be V-ed about n/-ing/wh
  Verb groupaboutnoun group/-ing/wh-clause
SubjectVerbAdjunct  
Several starshad been contactedabouttaking part.
Players were grilled about methods of payments.
Theywere lecturedabouthow to beat crime.
Heshould be notifiedabouther condition.

Verbs with this pattern belong to the following meaning groups:

1 The `tell' group 3 The `feel' group 5 The `reveal' group
2 The `tackle' group 4 The `know' group 6 The `fool' group
1 The `tell' group

These verbs are concerned with verbal communication with someone about something. This includes:

  • advising
  • telling
  • teaching
  • warning
  • asking
  • nagging
  • scolding
  • teasing
  • Their husbands were interrogated about separatist activities.
  • His father played fiddle and taught him about country music.
  • They constantly teased her about her looks, mocking her hairstyle and the clothes she wore.
  • I liked people to tell me about the books they were reading.
The preposition about is sometimes followed by an `-ing' clause or a wh-clause.
  • He dated the decline of their marriage from the time when she had stopped nagging him about never being home.
  • They ruthlessly questioned him about why he hadn't bothered to see Christopher or even find out our address.
advise ask brief caution chide consult cross-examine forewarn grill inform interrogate interview kid lecture nag notify pester press pump question quiz reassure remind scold taunt teach tease tell warn
340
2 The `tackle' group

These verbs are concerned with approaching someone about a topic, often a sensitive or controversial topic. This includes challenging and fighting someone about something.

  • The other women confronted her about the distorted view she has of herself.
The preposition about is sometimes followed by an `-ing' clause or a wh-clause.
  • One of the networks approached him about hosting a science show.
  • I tackled him about how one could live amidst so much poverty.
approach challenge confront contact fight tackle
3 The `feel' group

These verbs are concerned with someone's thoughts or feelings about something. They often occur in questions such as What do you like about...? and clauses such as What I hate about him is...; they do not often have ordinary Objects.

  • What I loved about Gloria was her talent and her independence.
  • What do you think about this threatened strike by professional footballers, then?
The preposition about is sometimes followed by an `-ing' clause.
  • This is what I hate about mowing the lawn. I don't mind mowing the lawn but it's raking up the grass clippings afterwards.
The preposition about is sometimes followed by a noun group and an `-ing' clause.
  • She asked me `What would your husband feel about you working overseas?'
dislike feel hate like love think
4 The `know' group

These verbs are concerned with knowing or finding out about something. The noun group following the verb is always an amount, and the pattern is V amount about n. When these verbs are used in the passive, the amount is the Subject.

  • She frequented the library to find out all she could about the disease.
  • At the end of the conference there was general agreement that much more needs to be found out about the donkey.
The preposition about is sometimes followed by an `-ing' clause or a wh-clause.
  • He may be a brilliant `personality', but he knows nothing about producing a play.
  • We've learned a lot about how to travel with kids and how not to.
The preposition about is sometimes followed by a noun group and an `-ing' clause. This pattern is V n about n -ing.
  • I heard Wally didn't know anything about me going to Canberra and that he was upset about it.
hear know learn
find out
341
5 The `reveal' group

These verbs indicate that something reveals a lot or a little about someone or something. The noun group following the verb is always an amount, and the pattern is V amount about n.

  • Household interiors from the past reveal quite a lot about the people who lived in them.
  • The way you present information says a lot about the way you do business.
reveal say
6 The `fool' group

These verbs are concerned with having the wrong idea about something. The noun group following the verb is always a reflexive pronoun, and the pattern is V pron-refl about n/-ing/wh. The preposition about is usually followed by an `-ing' clause or a wh-clause.

  • Were they fooling themselves about being in love in order to justify what they were doing?
  • In our survey, nearly a quarter agreed they deceived themselves about what they ate.
deceive fool kid
7 Verbs with other meanings

There are three other verbs which have this pattern.

In the case of trouble, the noun group following the verb is always a reflexive pronoun. This pattern is V pron-refl about n.
  • He seemed on the whole to be a naturally solitary person, troubling himself about only a few friends.
In the case of do and say, the noun group following the verb is always an amount. This pattern is V amount about n. The preposition about is sometimes followed by an `-ing' clause.
  • Too many children are dying from malnutrition, preventable diseases, and neglect, and too few adults are doing enough about it.
  • She didn't say anything about seeing a doctor.
Also in the case of do and say, the preposition about is sometimes followed by a noun group and an `-ing' clause. This pattern is V amount about n -ing.
  • He doesn't really say much about me having HIV, but I think it makes him feel better knowing I'm going through this with him.
do say (not) trouble
Structure information

a) The noun group following the verb is the Object, and the prepositional phrase is an Adjunct.

b) This structure has a passive, with the pattern be V-ed about n. The prepositional phrase is an Adjunct.

c) There is only one phrasal verb with this structure, find out, which has the patterns V P amount about n/-ing/wh and V amount P about n/-ing/wh.

342
Other related patterns
V n amount about n

The verb is followed by a noun group, an amount, and a prepositional phrase beginning with about. The passive pattern is be V-ed amount about n.

  • She taught me a lot about plants.
The preposition about is sometimes followed by an `-ing' clause or a wh-clause.
  • He was a good man who taught me a lot about living on the planet and making the most of it.
In the case of trouble, the noun group is always a reflexive pronoun. This pattern is V pron-refl amount about n.
  • The ordinary Frenchman troubles himself very little about politics.
teach tell trouble
6 V n against n
The verb is followed by a noun group and a prepositional phrase which consists of against and a noun group. With some verbs, the preposition is sometimes followed by an `-ing' clause. The passive pattern is be V-ed against n.

This pattern has two structures:

  • Structure I: Verb with Object and prepositional Object
    We'll have to weigh the responsibilities against the rewards.
  • Structure II: Verb with Object and Adjunct
    We insured the house against fire.
Structure I: Verb with Object and prepositional Object
Active voice: V n against n
  Verb groupnoun groupagainstnoun group
SubjectVerbObjectprepositional Object  
The championshipswill matchthe professionalsagainstthe amateurs.
Wehave to weigh the plusesagainstthe minuses.
Passive voice: be V-ed against n
  Verb groupagainstnoun group
SubjectVerbprepositional Object  
Press freedomhas to be balancedagainstthe right to privacy.
Villageis pittedagainstvillage.

Verbs with this structure are all concerned with considering or dealing with two or more different things, people, or groups. We include here the verbs match, pit, and play off, which involve making two or more people or groups compete with or fight each other.

343 The prospects of a better job in a higher housing cost area would have to be balanced against a significant and inevitable fall in living standards.
  • Between 1688 and 1945 Britain participated in twelve wars in which she was pitted against one or more great powers.
  • Union leaders have been playing off one bid against another to try to secure the best possible deal.
  • Nobody ever said being a parent was easy. You have to weigh the responsibilities against the rewards.
Sometimes the noun group following the verb is plural and the noun group following the preposition is one another or each other. In the passive, the Subject is plural.
  • The select committee and the judicial inquiry are being played off against one another.
balance cross-check (usu passive) match pit (usu passive) set (usu passive) set weigh
play off trade off
Structure information: Verb with Object and prepositional Object

a) The noun group following the verb is the Object, and the prepositional phrase is the prepositional Object.

b) This structure has a passive, with the pattern be V-ed against n. The prepositional phrase is the prepositional Object.

c) Though the prepositional phrase in this structure usually comes after the noun group, it sometimes comes before it, especially when the noun group is a long one.
He has a compulsive need to play off against each other the centres of power that surround him.

d) There are only two phrasal verbs with this structure, play off and trade off. The active patterns are V n P against n and V P n (not pron) against n. The Object comes either between the verb and the particle, or after the particle. If the Object comes after the particle, it cannot be a personal pronoun. You say
She played them off against each other
or She played off enemies against each other
but you do not say She played off them against each other.
The passive pattern is be V-ed P against n.

Structure II: Verb with Object and Adjunct
Active voice: V n against n
  Verb groupnoun groupagainstnoun group
SubjectVerbObjectAdjunct  
Sheclinkedher glassagainsthis.
Your policy insuresyouagainst redundancy.
344
Passive voice: be V-ed against n
  Verb groupagainstnoun group
SubjectVerbAdjunct  
The protestswere directedagainstthe central government.
Childrenshould be vaccinatedagainstmeasles.

Verbs with this structure belong to the following meaning groups:

II.1 The `protect' group II.2 The `strike' group II.3 The `level' group
II.1 The `protect' group

These verbs are concerned with protecting someone or something against disease or any other unpleasant event, either physically or metaphorically.

  • The family provides stability and support, which cushions members against the disturbing effects of change.
  • The pot or container in which the plant is growing may be vulnerable to frost and it should be insulated against the cold.
  • He urged people to go to the city centre to protect their government against what he called a coup attempt.
In the case of cover, defend, insure, and protect, the preposition against is sometimes followed by an `-ing' clause.
  • Policies will normally cover you against having to call off your holiday because of a major crisis at home.
  • There is no need for people who live in tower blocks to be insured against being struck by a juggernaut.
In the case of insure 2, the noun group following the verb is always a reflexive pronoun. This pattern is V pron-refl against n. The verb defend 1,2 often has this pattern as well.
  • Women can now insure themselves against contracting breast cancer.
cover cushion defend immunize (usu passive) indemnify inoculate insulate insure protect spray vaccinate (usu passive)
II.2 The `strike' group

These verbs are concerned with striking or putting one thing against another.

  • The Commissioner propped his walnut cane against the bed and sat down.
  • Naomi grabbed her hair, slammed her against the car and started slugging her.
  • He lashed out just once, Dean fell and struck his head against the bannister.
In the case of brace, the noun group following the verb is always a reflexive pronoun. This pattern is V pron-refl against n. The verb flatten often has this pattern as well.
  • She staggered over to her chair and slumped into it, leaning forward and bracing herself against the table.
345 bang brace clink dash drum flatten lean press prop slam strike
II.3 The `level' group

These verbs are concerned with attacking someone or being hostile towards someone. The prepositional phrase indicates the person or people involved.

  • The French champagne producers brought an action against the producers of the elderflower drink to stop them calling it champagne.
  • Child abuse allegations are the worst that can be levelled against an entertainer.
  • Dr Spencer makes out his case against Sir Arthur in a book containing new evidence based on documents and letters held by the Natural History Museum.
bring direct (usu passive) hold level perpetrate (usu passive)
make out
II.4 The `warn' group

These verbs are concerned with warning someone against something. The preposition against is usually followed by an `-ing' clause.

  • Many of his advisers had warned him against involving himself in trying to settle a complicated foreign conflict that was of little interest to most Americans.
caution warn
II.5 Verbs with other meanings

There are three other verbs which have this structure.

  • She feared that he would turn her daughter against her.
In the case of steel, the noun group following the verb is always a reflexive pronoun. This pattern is V pron-refl against n.
  • She waited for the batons to strike, steeled herself against the tear gas, and said a Hail Mary.
decide steel turn
Structure information: Verb with Object and Adjunct

a) The noun group following the verb is the Object, and the prepositional phrase is an Adjunct.

b) This structure has a passive, with the pattern be V-ed against n. The prepositional phrase is an Adjunct.

c) Though the prepositional phrase in this structure usually comes after the noun group, it sometimes comes before it, especially when the noun group is a long one.
We want only to defend against its enemies that which is our priceless heritage: freedom.

d) There is only one phrasal verb with this structure, make out. The active pattern is V P n (not pron) against n. The Object comes after the particle, and it cannot be a personal pronoun. You say 346
I made out a case against him
but you do not say I made out it against him.
The passive pattern is be V-ed P against n.

7 V n as adj
The verb is followed by a noun group and a prepositional phrase which consists of the preposition as and an adjective group. The passive pattern is be V-ed as adj.

This pattern has two structures:

  • Structure I: Verb with Object and prepositional Object Complement
    I saw the question as crucial.
  • Structure II: Verb with Object and prepositional Complement
    That strikes me as right.
Structure I: Verb with Object and prepositional Object Complement
Active voice: V n as adj
  Verb groupnoun groupasadjective group
SubjectVerbObjectprep. Object Complement  
Weacceptthis premiseas fundamental.
She perceivedhimas stupid.
Passive voice: be V-ed as adj
  Verb groupasadjective group
SubjectVerbprepositional Complement  
Such protectioncould be considered as adequate.
A woman aged twentyis describedas critically ill.

Verbs with this structure are all concerned with labelling, interpreting, or regarding someone or something as having a particular quality. The prepositional phrase indicates a description of the Object.

Some verbs, such as brand, condemn, and scorn, indicate that you regard someone or something as bad. Others, such as misrepresent, indicate that you disapprove of the way someone else labels, interprets, or regards someone or something.

  • There are many famous and successful people in this world who have tattoos - it doesn't brand them as unfit to blend into society.
  • A child who considers himself at least as good as other children is one that we might regard as having a reasonable measure of self-esteem.
347 The man gave a murmur that could be construed as polite only by a leap of the imagination.
  • Chicken, cheese, lamb, beef, liver - all have in turn been denounced as dangerous to health.
  • Depending upon your circumstances, you might interpret redundancy as welcome or unwelcome.
  • Her diamond rings marked her out as seriously rich.
  • In psychiatric practice much care is taken to make sure that the occasional physical illness is not passed off as psychological.
  • The growth of free trade internationalism was presented as crucial to the progress of the working man in Europe.
  • His government supports the idea of defining common criteria to use in deciding whether to recognize states as independent.
  • One man regards a glass of water as half full while another views it as half empty.
accept acknowledge acknowledge (usu passive) attack bill brand certify characterize cite class classify conceive condemn confirm consider construe (usu passive) decry denounce depict describe designate diagnose (usu passive) dismiss expose interpret label (usu passive) mention (usu passive) misrepresent perceive pigeon-hole (usu passive) portray present rank rate read (usu passive) recognize regard remember (usu passive) represent reveal (usu passive) scorn see stereotype (usu passive) tout (usu passive) view
mark out pass off write off
Structure information: Verb with Object and prepositional Object Complement

a) The noun group is the Object, and the prepositional phrase is the prepositional Object Complement.

b) This structure has a passive, with the pattern be V-ed as adj. The prepositional phrase is the prepositional Complement.

c) Though the prepositional phrase in this structure usually comes after the noun group, it sometimes comes before it, especially when the noun group is a long one.
Adorno set out to expose as false all claims that the `good' or `just' society had been achieved.

d) There are only three phrasal verbs with this structure, mark out, pass off, and write off. The active patterns are V n P as adj and V P n (not pron) as adj. The Object comes either between the verb and the particle, or after the particle. If the Object comes after the particle, it cannot be a personal pronoun. You say 348
I wrote it off as useless
or I wrote off my attempt as useless
but you do not say I wrote off it as useless.
The passive pattern is be V-ed P as adj.

Structure II: Verb with Object and prepositional Complement
V n as adj
  Verb groupnoun groupasadjective group
SubjectVerbObjectprepositional Complement  
Sheimpressedthe boardascompetent enough.
Hestruckmeas young, vigorous, interesting.

Verbs with this structure are concerned with the impression that someone or something makes on a person. The Object indicates that person. The prepositional phrase indicates a description of the Subject.

  • Mr. White has impressed scores of acquaintances as capable of selling anything.
impress strike
Structure information: Verb with Object and prepositional Complement

a) The noun group is the Object, and the prepositional phrase is the prepositional Complement.

b) This structure has no passive.

8 V n as n
The verb is followed by a noun group and a prepositional phrase which consists of as and a noun group. With some verbs, the preposition is sometimes followed by an `-ing' clause. The passive pattern is be V-ed as n.

This pattern has two structures:

  • Structure I: Verb with Object and prepositional Object Complement
    They chose her as their representative.
  • Structure II: Verb with Object and prepositional Complement
    He struck me as a very sensible person.
349
Structure I: Verb with Object and prepositional Object Complement
Active voice: V n as n/-ing
  Verb groupnoun groupasnoun group/-ing clause
SubjectVerbObjectprep. Object Complement  
Joannadid not dismissMaudeasa fraud.
Goodliffe mentions this as being a safe alternative.
The government has presentedthese changesas major reforms.
Heregardshimselfasbeing too old for the post.
Passive voice: be V-ed as n/-ing
  Verb groupasnoun group/-ing clause
SubjectVerbprepositional Complement  
A person's lifeshould be consideredasbeginning at the moment of birth.
A life sentenceis definedasbeing twenty-five years.
Hehad been mentionedas a possible new Foreign Minister.
The liberatorswere revealedas oppressors.
Phrasal verbs
Active voice: V n P as n/-ing, V P n (not pron) as n/-ing
  Verb groupnoun groupParticleasnoun group/-ing clause
SubjectVerb...Object...Verbprep. Object Complement  
She passedthe child offasher own.
You can puthimdownas a sort of early idol.
Theywon't showthemselvesupas being plain dumb.
  Verb groupParticlenoun groupasnoun group/-ing clause
SubjectVerb   Objectprep. Object Complement  
Theyhave markeddownFieldasthe main danger.
Hehas writtenoffhis colleaguesasbeing unsuitable for promotion.
350
Passive voice: be V-ed P as n/-ing
  Verb groupParticleasnoun group/-ing clause
SubjectVerb   prepositional Complement  
Hewas markeddownasone of the brightest officers.
The state of Kentucky was singled out as being on the cutting edge of reform.

Verbs with this structure belong to the following meaning groups:

I.1 The `name' and `consider' group I.2 The `stamp' group I.3 The `use' group
I.1 The `name' and `consider' group

These verbs are concerned with:

  • thinking of someone in a particular way e.g. conceive, consider
  • giving someone a role or position e.g. appoint, ordain
  • choosing someone to have a role or position e.g. elect, nominate
  • putting someone or something into a class e.g. classify, pigeon-hole
  • talking to someone in a particular way e.g. address
  • criticizing someone because they have particular qualities e.g. denounce, reject
  • representing someone in a particular way e.g. expose, stereotype
  • talking about someone in a particular way e.g. brand, dub

The Subject always indicates a human being.

Within this group some verbs have a positive meaning, such as acclaim, hail, laud, and lionize. Some verbs, such as condemn, dismiss, scorn, and vilify indicate that you regard someone or something as bad. Others, such as caricature and misrepresent, indicate that you disapprove of the way someone else labels, interprets, or regards someone or something.

  • The president is likely to appoint a woman as secretary of the navy.
  • I would characterize the space station as a technology project, not as a science project.
  • I consider him as a friend.
  • A Home Office spokesman has described reports of deaths inside the prison as speculation.
  • It's difficult to express concern about it without being labelled as a racist or a fascist.
  • An obscure engineer had been awarded a remarkable patent, naming him as the inventor of the first microprocessor.
  • Carter is remembered as the president who wore a heavy wool sweater in the White House.
  • The popular press tends to represent him as an environmental guru.
  • The whole story shows him up as a near-criminal.
The preposition as is sometimes followed by an `-ing' clause. 351 Imports have to be certified as coming from holdings that have been free of BSE for two years.
  • I think it's too easy for bands to be written off as sounding like other people.
In the case of announce, class, disguise, establish, fancy, and project, the noun group following the verb is always or often a reflexive pronoun. This pattern is V pron-refl as n/-ing. The verb pass off has the pattern V pron-refl P as n/-ing.
  • She couldn't travel as a woman, so she disguised herself as a man.
  • Like most joyriders, Stuart fancied himself as an expert driver and a match for the police.
  • The medieval mind was fascinated by the thought of a woman passing herself off successfully as a man.
accept acclaim (usu passive) acknowledge acknowledge (usu passive) address adopt announce anoint appoint attack authenticate bill brand caricature cast categorize certify certify (usu passive) characterize choose cite class classify commission (usu passive) conceive conceptualize condemn confirm consider construe count decry define denounce depict describe designate designate (usu passive) diagnose (usu passive) dignify (usu passive) disguise dismiss dub elect enthrone (usu passive) establish expose express fancy give hail herald (usu passive) identify install intend interpret know label (usu passive) laud lionize (usu passive) mention mention (usu passive) misrepresent name nominate ordain parade perceive pigeon-hole (usu passive) pinpoint portray present proclaim project rank rate read (usu passive) be reborn recognize re-elect (usu passive) regard reject remember (usu passive) represent reveal (usu passive) scorn see select stereotype (usu passive) stigmatize tag term tout (usu passive) trumpet typecast (usu passive) view vilify visualize
build up hold up mark down mark off mark out pass off put down show up single out write off
I.2 The `stamp' group

These verbs are used to indicate that something shows the nature of someone or something. Unlike the previous group, the Subject never indicates a human being.

  • It was a performance that stamped him as the star we had been searching for in a season of relative mediocrity.
352 The preposition as is sometimes followed by an `-ing' clause.
  • The card identified him as having brown hair and eyes.
identify mark qualify stamp
I.3 The `use' group

These verbs are concerned with the role that is assigned to something in the course of a particular action.

This is a productive use. There are a lot of verbs which are often concerned with assigning a role to something, for example: We bought the house as an investment, They sold the waste to farmers as fertilizer. The verbs listed here are the ones which are most frequently used in this way.

  • One recent development is the creation of lots of factories which illegally employ children as cheap labour.
  • People have been keeping parrots as indoor pets since Egyptian times.
  • If a substance is marketed as a dietary or nutritional aid, it falls outside the regulations which control medicines.
  • She had moved the peanut butter jar from office to office and used it as a pencil holder.
In the case of promote and treat, the preposition as is sometimes followed by an `-ing' clause.
  • Parents should treat their children as being able to understand the idea of using accents appropriately.
employ intend keep market (usu passive) package (usu passive) promote (usu passive) train treat use
I.4 The `quote' group

These verbs are concerned with quoting someone. The preposition as is always followed by an `-ing' clause.

  • The Washington Post today cited a senior Pentagon official as saying only 25 percent of the unguided bombs were accurate.
  • You, in fact, quoted her as saying, `My friends say I'm the white Aunt Jemima of the women's movement'.
cite quote
I.5 Verbs with other meanings

There is one other verb which has this structure.

  • He fled to France after he was deposed as president.
353 depose (usu passive)
Structure information: Verb with Object and prepositional Object Complement

a) The noun group following the verb is the Object, and the prepositional phrase is the prepositional Object Complement.

b) This structure has a passive, with the pattern be V-ed as n. The prepositional phrase is the prepositional Complement.

c) Though the prepositional phrase in this structure usually comes after the noun group, it sometimes comes before it, especially when the noun group is a long one.
He dismissed as scare stories reports that teachers were being sacked because schools didn't have enough to pay them.

d) Phrasal verb patterns are the same, except that there is also a particle, P. The Object comes either between the verb and the particle, or after the particle. If the Object comes after the particle, it cannot be a personal pronoun. You say
She passed him off as her own
or She passed off the child as her own
but you do not say She passed off him as her own.

Structure II: Verb with Object and prepositional Complement
V n as n
  Verb groupnoun groupasnoun group
SubjectVerbObjectprepositional Complement  
Hebeganhis careeras a wedding photographer.
Sheimpressedmeasan interesting and sensitive person.

Verbs with this structure belong to the following meaning groups:

II.1 The `strike' group II.2 The `begin' and `end' group II.3 The `replace' group
II.1 The `strike' group

These verbs are concerned with the impression that something or someone makes on a person. The Object indicates that person.

  • He always struck me as a very dispassionate and calculating sort of man.
The preposition as is sometimes followed by an `-ing' clause.
  • The bride has impressed me as being equally pleasant and obviously fitted to the noble calling she has chosen.
354 impress strike
II.2 The `begin' and `end' group

These verbs are concerned with beginning, continuing, and ending something. They usually have a human Subject. The prepositional phrase indicates what someone or something was at the beginning or end of their life or career, or what they continue to be.

  • Lloyd Wright began his career as a landscape architect.
  • Stephen Demainbray (1710-1782) was a Huguenot Londoner who ended his life as His Majesty King George III's Astronomer in charge of the Observatory at Kew.
begin continue end finish start
start off start out
II.3 The `replace' group

These verbs indicate that one thing or person takes the place of another.

  • Turkish replaced Arabic as the language of the ruling elite.
replace supplant
II.4 Verbs with other meanings

There is one other verb which has this structure.

  • He looked for a fallen branch that would serve him as a crutch.
serve
Structure information: Verb with Object and prepositional Complement

a) The noun group following the verb is the Object, and the prepositional phrase is the prepositional Complement.

b) This structure has no passive.

c) There are only two phrasal verbs with this structure, start off and start out. The active pattern is V P n (not pron) as n. The Object comes after the particle, and it cannot be a personal pronoun. You say
He started out his career as a clerk
but you do not say He started out it as a clerk.

Other productive uses

A prepositional phrase beginning with as is used with two additional meanings. These uses are productive, that is, they occur with a wide variety of verbs.

1 The prepositional phrase has the meaning `because someone or something has a particular role'. An example is They burned her as a witch, which means that they burned her because (they thought) she was a witch.

355 2 The prepositional phrase has the meaning `in his, her or its capacity as'. An example is The book is widely consulted as an authoritative source on terrorist movements worldwide.
9 V n as to wh
The verb is followed by a noun group and a prepositional phrase which consists of as to and a wh-clause or a noun group. The passive pattern is be V-ed as to wh.

This pattern has one structure:

  • Verb with Object and Adjunct.
    I informed him as to what his legal rights were.
Active voice: V n as to wh/n
  Verb groupnoun groupas towh-clause/noun group
SubjectVerbObjectAdjunct  
A couple of readershave enlightened meas tostandard practice.
He was interrogatingthemas towhat they did in the war.
Passive voice: be V-ed as to wh/n
  Verb groupas towh-clause/noun group
SubjectVerbAdjunct  
Hewas quizzedas tohow he would adapt to the challenge.
Playerswere warnedas totheir future conduct.

This pattern is rather formal, and is used in writing more often than in speech. Verbs with this pattern belong to the following meaning groups:

1 The `advise' group 2 The `limit' group 3 Verbs with other meanings
1 The `advise' group

These verbs are concerned with asking for or giving advice or information.

  • They should be advised as to how to minimize the risks.
  • Our attempts to consult him as to what would be a suitable site have been met evasively.
  • A second jury would have to be carefully educated as to how and why this soft-spoken mother of five had been able to kill the father of her children.
  • Mr Bridge has been informed as to the full extent of the seriousness of his violation.
356 Some directors were apt to take him aside and question him as to the seriousness of his commitment to the theatre.
advise answer ask challenge consult counsel educate enlighten inform instruct interrogate misinform mislead question quiz warn
2 The `limit' group

These verbs are concerned with limiting or restricting someone in a particular way.

  • Since 1883, parliamentary candidates have been limited as to their election spending.
  • A politically appointed person can make an order against somebody, restricting them as to where they can go and what they can do.
limit restrict
3 Verbs with other meanings

There are two other verbs which have this pattern. The noun group following the verb is always a reflexive pronoun. This pattern is V pron-refl as to wh/n.

  • George's contract expires in the summer and he's yet to commit himself as to what the future holds.
  • The buyer should satisfy himself as to the condition of the bird before buying it.
commit satisfy
Structure information

a) The noun group following the verb is the Object, and the prepositional phrase is an Adjunct.

b) This structure has a passive, with the patterns be V-ed as to wh and be V-ed as to n. The prepositional phrase is an Adjunct.

10 V n at n
The verb is followed by a noun group and a prepositional phrase which consists of at and a noun group. The passive pattern is be V-ed at n.

This pattern has three structures:

  • Structure I: Verb with Object and prepositional Object
    He shot a glance at her.
  • Structure II: Verb with Object and prepositional Object Complement
    I put the price at $1,000.
  • Structure III: Verb with Object and Adjunct
    She shouted insults at him.
357?
Structure I: Verb with Object and prepositional Object
V n at n
  Verb groupnoun groupatnoun group
SubjectVerbObjectprepositional Object  
He flasheda loving smileathis new bride.
Shesneakeda glanceat Max.

Verbs with this structure are concerned with directing a look or a smile at someone or something.

  • The maid, her face red with anger, backed out, throwing one last cautionary look at her mistress.
dart direct flash shoot sneak throw
Structure information: Verb with Object and prepositional Object

a) The noun group following the verb is the Object, and the prepositional phrase is the prepositional Object.

b) This structure has no passive.

c) Though the prepositional phrase in this structure usually comes after the noun group, it sometimes comes before it, especially when the noun group is a long one.
Werner at times shot at Anthony a look with a sly smile behind the eyes.

Structure II: Verb with Object and prepositional Object Complement
Active voice: V n at amount
  Verb groupnoun groupatamount
SubjectVerbObjectprep. Object Complement  
The New York Times put the purchase price at about $200 million.
The magazinereckonedhis personal wealthat$2.1 billion.
Passive voice: be V-ed at amount
  Verb groupatamount
SubjectVerbprepositional Complement  
Savings on all the programmesare estimatedattwo million dollars.
The share pricewas setat   531.75.
358? Verbs with this structure are all concerned with estimating, fixing, or maintaining the price, value, or size of something.
  • The interim dividend for the six months to June 30 has been pegged at 1p and the company has promised to maintain the final dividend at 2p.
  • The number of child workers was put at more than 4.8 million.
estimate (usu passive) maintain peg (usu passive) put reckon set (usu passive)
Structure information: Verb with Object and prepositional Object Complement

a) The noun group following the verb is the Object, and the prepositional phrase is the prepositional Object Complement.

b) The structure has a passive, with the pattern be V-ed at amount. The prepositional phrase is the prepositional Complement.

c) Though the prepositional phrase in this structure usually comes after the noun group, it sometimes comes before it, especially when the noun group is a long one.
The resolution sets at thirty percent the ceiling of future oil revenues payable into the compensation fund.

Structure III: Verb with Object and Adjunct
Active voice: V n at n
  Verb groupnoun groupatnoun group
SubjectVerbObjectAdjunct  
Isoldmy houseata profit.
Ishookmy fistathim.
Passive voice: be V-ed at n
  Verb groupatnoun group
SubjectVerbAdjunct  
His remarks were aimed atIndia and Israel.
The students' angeris directedatthe government.
Bombswere thrownatshops in the capital.

Verbs with this structure belong to the following meaning groups:

III.1 The `point' group III.2 The `throw' group III.3 The `shout' group
359?
III.1 The `point' group

These verbs are concerned with pointing or aiming something at someone or something. The thing that is aimed may be:

  • a part of your body such as your fist or finger
  • a weapon
  • a torch or other instrument

Sometimes, as in the case of jab and stab for example, there may be physical contact involved.

  • Alan jabbed a finger at me.
  • The 19-year-old was outside a Birmingham health centre when the boys burst into the phone box and pointed the gun at her.
  • He swung a hammer at her head but missed.
aim direct jab level point shake stab swing
III.2 The `throw' group

These verbs are concerned with throwing something at someone or something.

  • He stepped away from his father and picked up a few stones, started chucking them at the train embankment.
  • They set fire to the prison garage and to a wood store of a carpentry shop, and hurled roof tiles and other missiles at firemen and riot police.
  • Separatists threw a bomb at a house owned by a woman they have accused of being a police informer.
In the case of fling 2, the noun group following the verb is always a reflexive pronoun. This pattern is V pron-refl at n.
  • Suddenly, she flung herself at Andrew and buried her face in his shoulder.
chuck fling hurl throw
III.3 The `shout' group

These verbs are concerned with directing remarks at someone, criticizing or insulting them, or shouting at them. This is a productive pattern: a large number of verbs which involve communication of some kind, usually angry or unpleasant, can be used with this pattern. The verbs listed here are the ones which are most frequently used in this way.

  • These last remarks were directed at a small boy who had been impatiently tapping on the counter with a coin to interrupt the shopkeeper's flow of talk.
  • The Defence Minister stormed out of government in June after allegations of corruption were levelled at him and his family.
  • As several hundred soldiers advance up the hill, they shout and scream insults at the guerillas.
  • I should never have told you that. I knew you'd throw it back at me.
360? aim (usu passive) bark bellow direct growl holler howl hurl level scream shout shriek yell
throw back
III.4 The `buy' group

These verbs are concerned with buying, selling, or putting a value on something.

  • Administration of the department, with its huge offices at Newcastle, is budgeted at 3.9 billion pounds.
  • Estates may sell property at a discount to raise money quickly for taxes.
The noun group following the preposition is often an amount. This pattern is V n at amount.
  • One day Carret was able to buy some bonds at $89, which he then sold at a profit.
budget (usu passive) buy capitalize (usu passive) price (usu passive) quote (usu passive) sell value (usu passive)
III.5 Verbs with other meanings

There are three other verbs which have this structure. In the case of be aimed, the preposition at is usually followed by an `-ing' clause rather than a noun group.

  • A great deal of research has been aimed at developing a safe tobacco cigarette.
In the case of clock, the noun group following the preposition is usually an amount. This pattern is V n at amount.
  • Top winds in the storm have been clocked at about 50 miles an hour.
be aimed clock (usu passive) pitch
Structure information: Verb with Object and Adjunct

a) The noun group following the verb is the Object, and the prepositional phrase is an Adjunct.

b) This structure has a passive, with the pattern be V-ed at n. The prepositional phrase is an Adjunct.

c) Though the prepositional phrase in this structure usually comes after the noun group, it sometimes comes before it, especially when the noun group is a long one.
Over the years they had hurled at each other every curse word they knew.

d) There is only one phrasal verb with this structure, throw back. The active patterns are V n P at n and V P n (not pron) at n. The Object comes either between the verb and the particle, or after the particle. If the Object comes after the particle, it cannot be a personal pronoun. You say
He threw it back at me
or He threw my admission back at me
but you do not say He threw back it at me.
The passive pattern is be V-ed P at n.

11 V n between/among pl-n
The verb is followed by a noun group and a prepositional phrase which consists of between or among and a plural noun group. The passive pattern is be V-ed between/among pl-n.

This pattern has one structure:

  • Verb with Object and Adjunct
    He divided his money among his children.
Active voice: V n between/among pl-n
  Verb groupnoun groupbetween/amongplural noun group
SubjectVerbObjectAdjunct  
UN officialshave mediateda meetingbetweenthe two sides.
Iwould ratehimamongthe fastest bowlers.
Passive voice: be V-ed between/among pl-n
  Verb groupbetween/amongplural noun group
SubjectVerbAdjunct  
Profitsare distributedamongthe policy holders of the fund.
The cleaningshould be sharedbetweenyou and your partner.

Verbs with this pattern belong to the following meaning groups:

1 The `divide' group 2 The `forge' group 3 The `sandwich' group
1 The `divide' group

These verbs are concerned with dividing something between two or more people or groups. When only two people or groups are involved, the preposition is usually between rather than among. When more than two people or groups are involved, you can use either between or among.

  • Drain the noodles and divide them among the individual serving bowls.
  • The tips are divided up equally between the staff, and then added on to their wage packet.
  • Election coverage on radio and television will be split between the party in power and the opposition parties.
distribute (usu passive) distribute divide share (usu passive) split (usu passive)
divide up (usu passive) share out split up
2 The `forge' group

These verbs are concerned with mediating or forging an agreement between two people or groups.

362? The programme aims to forge links between higher education and small businesses.
forge mediate
3 The `sandwich' group

These verbs are concerned with putting something between two or more things, either physically or metaphorically. In the case of sandwich, only the preposition between is used.

  • The liquid crystal is sandwiched between two glass plates, each of which carries a polarising filter.
In the case of interpose, the noun group following the verb is often a reflexive pronoun. This pattern is V pron-refl between/among pl-n.
  • Police forces had to interpose themselves between the two rival groups.
interpose intersperse sandwich
4 The `number' group

These verbs are concerned with considering someone or something to be in a particular group. The prepositional phrase indicates that group. Only the preposition among is used with these verbs.

  • He numbered several Americans among his friends and confessed that he set a high value upon their friendship.
number rank rate
5 Verbs with other meanings

There is one other verb which has this pattern. Only the preposition between is used with this verb. It is sometimes followed by two co-ordinated `-ing' clauses.

  • Mothers are caught between wanting their girls to grow up into lovely women and hating to grow older themselves.
be caught
Structure information

a) The noun group following the verb is the Object, and the prepositional phrase is an Adjunct.

b) This structure has a passive, with the pattern be V-ed between/among pl-n. The prepositional phrase is an Adjunct.

c) There are only three phrasal verbs with this structure, divide up, share out, and split up. The active patterns are V n P between/among pl-n and V P n (not pron) between/among pl-n. The Object comes either between the verb and the particle, or after the particle. If the Object comes after the particle, it cannot be a personal pronoun. You say
He split it up between the children
or He split up the money between the children
but you do not say He split up it between the children.
The passive pattern is be V-ed P between/among pl-n.

363
Other related patterns
V n adj among pl-n

The verb is followed by a noun group, an adjective group, and a prepositional phrase which consists of among and a plural noun group. The adjective is usually high or low.

  • The paradox of the schools' success is that their teaching staff probably rate academic results relatively low among their priorities.
rank rate
V n ord among pl-n

The verb is followed by a noun group, an ordinal number, and a prepositional phrase which consists of among and a plural noun group.

  • One survey ranked her fifth among preferred presidential candidates.
rank
12 V n by n
The verb is followed by a noun group and a prepositional phrase which consists of by and a noun group. With some verbs, the preposition is sometimes followed by an `-ing' clause.

This pattern has one structure:

  • Verb with Object and Adjunct
    He began the day by taking a cool shower.

The passive pattern be V-ed by n is dealt with in this section when it is a genuine passive of a V n by n structure. Note, however, that be V-ed by n may also be the passive of V n. See page xxx. Ch1 Sec2 oth rel patt

Active voice: V n by n/-ing
  Verb groupnoun groupbynoun group/-ing clause
SubjectVerbObjectAdjunct  
Hebegan the daybylaying a wreath at the National Memorial.
Hegrabbedherbythe shoulders.
Passive voice: be V-ed by n
  Verb groupbynoun group
SubjectVerbAdjunct  
Even first-time visitorswere calledbytheir first names.
Some local trainswill be replacedbybuses.
364 Verbs with this pattern belong to the following meaning groups:
1 The `begin' and `end' group 2 The `grab' group 3 The `call' group
1 The `begin' and `end' group

These verbs are concerned with beginning or ending a task, session, career, or period of time. The prepositional phrase indicates what someone does at the beginning or end of this period. We include here the verb preface, which involves saying something before making a remark or a speech; answer, which involves answering a question in a particular way; and crown, which involves finishing your career in a particularly successful way.

With these verbs, the preposition by is usually followed by an `-ing' clause rather than a noun group. Verbs with this meaning do not often occur in the passive.

  • He answered the question by denying that any unusual troop movements were taking place.
  • When my father's education finished, he began his engineering career by building ice factories.
  • The South Korean president has ended his visit to Japan by inviting Emperor Akihito to pay a return visit to South Korea.
  • The senator prefaced his round of questions by saying that everyone makes mistakes and that the committee should be careful not to set too high a standard.
  • He started off this particular interview by saying, `Yes, I think you're on to a good idea.'
answer begin close crown end finish open preface start
finish up start off start out
2 The `grab' group

These verbs are concerned with grabbing or holding someone by a part of their body.

  • He grabbed Rivers by the shoulders and dragged him out of the car.
  • Sunny's father took his protesting daughter with him. He had her by the arm and was propelling her firmly across the gravel to the back entrance to the cafe.
catch grab have hold take
3 The `call' group

These verbs are concerned with calling or knowing someone by their name, or by a particular name.

  • In three years I had never called him by name.
  • For some unexplained reason he seems to have been the only boy in the school who was known by his Christian name and not his surname.
call know
365
4 The `raise' and `lower' group

These verbs are concerned with:

  • raising or lowering a number or value by a particular amount e.g. cut, devalue
  • multiplying or dividing a number or amount by another number e.g. divide, multiply

The noun group following the preposition is always an amount, and the pattern is V n by amount.

  • The Irish government was forced to devalue its pound by 10 percent within the European exchange-rate mechanism.
  • The bank provides customers with a chart to estimate their year's bills and divide the total by twelve.
  • The eruption produced so much ash scientists believe it counteracted the greenhouse effect and lowered temperatures by one to two degrees worldwide.
  • Many resort town employers have raised salaries by 35 to 50 percent in the past year in an effort to attract needed help.
cut devalue divide lift lower multiply raise
5 Verbs with other meanings

There are a few other verbs which have this pattern.

  • He allegedly fathered a child by a woman he had met at an equestrian event in New Zealand.
  • I didn't get it. I think you'd better run it by me again.
father replace run surround
Structure information

a) The noun group following the verb is the Object, and the prepositional phrase is an Adjunct.

b) This structure has a passive, with the pattern be V-ed by n. The prepositional phrase is an Adjunct.

c) Though the prepositional phrase in this structure usually comes after the noun group, it sometimes comes before it, especially when the noun group is a long one.
Inflation has multiplied by about 15 the amount of money a family needs to live on.

d) There are only three phrasal verbs with this structure, finish up, start off, and start out. The active patterns are V n P by -ing and V P n by -ing. The Object comes either between the verb and the particle, or after the particle. If the Object comes after the particle, it cannot be a personal pronoun. You say
He started it off by greeting us all
or He started off the party by greeting us all
but you do not say He started off it by greeting us all.

Productive uses

The pattern V n by -ing is productive: you can use it with a wide range of verbs involving saying or doing something. The prepositional phrase indicates the means by which something is said or done, as in He escaped the law by fleeing the country.

366
13 V n for n
The verb is followed by a noun group and a prepositional phrase which consists of for and a noun group. With some verbs the preposition is sometimes followed by an `-ing' clause. The passive pattern is be V-ed for n.

This pattern has two main structures:

  • Structure I: Verb with Object and prepositional Object
    She bought a present for him.
  • Structure II: Verb with Object and Adjunct
    He begged his father for a loan.
Structure I: Verb with Object and prepositional Object
Active voice: V n for n
  Verb groupnoun group fornoun group
SubjectVerbObjectprepositional Object  
Shehas brought a nice presentforyou.
They had founda portable high chairfor the baby.
Passive voice: be V-ed for n
  Verb groupfornoun group
SubjectVerbprepositional Object  
A roomhas been bookedforhim.
Bison meatis being prescribedforpatients with food allergies.

Verbs with this structure belong to the following meaning groups:

I.1 The `buy' group

These verbs are concerned with doing something for someone.

This is a productive use: any verb that involves doing something for someone can be used with this pattern. The verbs listed here are the ones which are most frequently used in this way.

  • His blue blazer and gray flannel pants had been bought for him at Farmer's boys' department by Miss Dunn herself.
  • She knitted socks and sweaters for the troops.
  • I followed her to the kitchen where she was making coffee for all of them.
  • He used to raise money for charity by taking off all his clothes and jumping in the canal.
In the case of carve and forge, the noun group following the preposition is always a reflexive pronoun. This pattern is V n for pron-refl.
  • Mark has endeavoured to carve an independent career for himself.
  • In the unrelenting world of National Hunt racing, Williamson, 25, has forged a healthy niche for himself.
367 In the case of do, the noun group following the verb is often an amount. This pattern is V amount for n.
  • If you are asking others to do a lot for you, ask or suggest what you might do for them.
book bring buy carve collect cook do fetch find fix forge get knit leave make order play pour prepare prescribe raise secure wangle write
I.2 The `exchange' group

These verbs are concerned with exchanging one thing for another. We include here mistake, which involves thinking that something is something else.

  • The shipment is part of a barter deal exchanging rice for coal and cement.
  • The USA nearly declared nuclear war when its computer mistook the rising moon for a missile attack.
  • Someone swapped the blank for a real bullet. He is lucky to be alive.
barter exchange mistake substitute swap trade
trade off
Structure information: Verb with Object and prepositional Object

a) The noun group following the verb is an Object, and the prepositional phrase is the prepositional Object.

b) This structure has a passive, with the pattern be V-ed for n. The prepositional phrase is the prepositional Object. However, the passive is not frequent with any of the verbs in this group and with some of them, like cook, it does not occur at all.

c) Though the prepositional phrase in this structure usually comes after the noun group, it sometimes comes before it, especially when the noun group is a long one.
He secured for them all a steady ration of clothes and beer.

d) There is only one phrasal verb with this structure, trade off. The active patterns are V n P for n and V P n (not pron) for n. The Object comes either between the verb and the particle, or after the particle. If the Object comes after the particle, it cannot be a personal pronoun. You say
He traded it off for a reduced sentence
or He traded off information for a reduced sentence
but you do not say He traded off it for a reduced sentence.
The passive pattern is be V-ed P for n.

368
Structure II: Verb with Object and Adjunct
Active voice: V n for n/-ing
  Verb groupnoun groupfornoun group/-ing clause
SubjectVerbObjectAdjunct  
Idon't blameyouforbeing upset.
  Forgivemeforintroducing politics into this.
Hepraisedthe two leadersfortheir statesmanship.
Iam not going to punishyouforwhat you have just done.
Passive voice: be V-ed for n/-ing
  Verb groupfornoun group/-ing clause
SubjectVerbAdjunct  
Hewas applaudedforhis exuberant honesty.
Six peoplewere arrested for public order offences.
Carlwas indictedfortampering with public records.
One memberwas reprimandedforfrolicking in the goldfish pond.
Phrasal verbs
Active voice: V n P for n/-ing, V P n (not pron) for n/-ing
  Verb groupnoun groupParticlefornoun group/-ing clause
SubjectVerb...Object...VerbAdjunct  
Wefittedhimoutfora trip to the Baltic.
Theresatoldhimoffforbeing such a baby.
  Verb groupParticle noun groupfor noun group/-ing clause
SubjectVerb   ObjectAdjunct  
Theywill forkoutlarge sumsfortheir pleasures.
Iwas payingoutgood moneyforhis services.
He toldoffLouisaforfidgeting during the programme.
Passive voice: be V-ed P for n/-ing
  Verb groupParticlefor noun group/-ing clause
SubjectVerb   Adjunct  
Hehas been singledoutfordisciplinary action.
Harrywill be tickedofffor being careless with his gun.
369 Verbs with this structure belong to the following meaning groups:
II.1 The `ask' group II.5 The `leave' group II.9 The `allocate' group
II.2 The `praise' group II.6 The `prepare' group II.10 The `schedule' group
II.3 The `condemn' group II.7 The `select' group II.11 The `search' group
II.4 The `reward' and `punish' group II.8 The `pay' group II.12 Verbs with other meanings
II.1 The `ask' group

These verbs are concerned with asking someone for something, or trying to get money or information from them.

  • They asked me for fresh ideas, but I had none.
  • She begged her father for yet another loan.
  • The Government is being pressed for a speedy review of an immigration ban on a Turkish waiter.
  • He pumped her for information.
  • Britain's biggest leisure group may be poised to tap its shareholders for cash, it was rumoured last night.
ask beg beseech implore importune pester press (usu passive) pressure pump tap touch
II.2 The `praise' group

These verbs are concerned with talking or thinking about someone in a positive way, or talking to someone in a positive way, because of what they are, say, or do. The prepositional phrase indicates what they are, say, or do.

  • They have had to accept him for what he is rather than what they would like him to be.
  • I congratulate him and his family for achievements in the past and wish them continued success for the next 100 years.
  • The air force and navy are being praised for the rescue operation.
The preposition for is sometimes followed by an `-ing' clause.
  • I admired this woman for being so persistent among these contemptuous men.
In the case of congratulate 3, the noun group following the verb is always a reflexive pronoun. This pattern is V pron-refl for n.
  • The President and his fellow leaders congratulated themselves for what they said was the most successful military and diplomatic alliance in the history of the world.
accept acclaim (usu passive) admire applaud (usu passive) commend congratulate laud praise
II.3 The `condemn' group

These verbs are concerned with talking or thinking about someone in a critical way, or talking to someone in a critical way, because of what they are, say, or do. The prepositional phrase indicates what they are, say, or do.

  • He said the Security Council has a moral obligation to condemn the US for this incident.
  • I was severely scolded for my cowardice by Mother and Granny after I got home.
The preposition for is sometimes followed by an `-ing' clause. 370 I think you can't fault anybody for saying, OK, I want a better life, and there's got to be a better life somewhere.
  • She had not even reproached him for breaking his promise by not visiting her the night before.
  • Traffic police ticked off a pensioner for jumping a red light but failed to spot a gunman holding a revolver to his heart.
In the case of reproach 3, the noun group following the verb is always a reflexive pronoun. This pattern is V pron-refl for n/-ing. The verb despise often has this pattern as well.
  • I reproached myself very bitterly for having done so little about the care of this baby.
admonish attack berate blame (not) blame castigate censure chide condemn criticize despise (cannot) fault rap reprimand (usu passive) reproach scold slam slate upbraid vilify (usu passive)
tell off tick off
II.4 The `reward' and `punish' group

These verbs are concerned with reacting to something that someone has done or experienced, for example by rewarding or punishing them. The prepositional phrase indicates what they have done or experienced.

  • The 45-year-old lorry driver will be reported for careless driving, failing to stop after an accident and driving without insurance.
  • I had generously rewarded her for her services, which had delighted her.
  • The way things work in the United States, especially today, you can sue anyone for anything.
  • They're wanted for murder and extortion and all other kind of heinous crimes.
The preposition for is sometimes followed by an `-ing' clause.
  • He told officers he wanted to pay them back for locking him up three weeks earlier.
  • There is really no point in trying to punish your cat for hunting - it is a part of his nature.
  • I must thank you for being so kind to me.
In the case of console, the noun group following the verb is often a reflexive pronoun. This pattern is V pron-refl for n.
  • Generous helpings of alcohol helped guests console themselves for the fact that he did not turn up.
arraign (usu passive) arrest commit (usu passive) compensate console excuse execute (usu passive) forgive be forgiven indict (usu passive) prosecute punish recompense remember report (usu passive) reward sue thank try (usu passive) want (usu passive)
haul up (usu passive) pay back
II.5 The `leave' group

These verbs are concerned with leaving someone or something. The prepositional phrase indicates the person, place, or thing that you go to instead.

  • Caroline's marriage ended abruptly when her husband left her for another woman.
desert forsake leave
371
II.6 The `prepare' group

These verbs are concerned with preparing someone or something for a particular task or purpose. We include here clear, which is usually followed by the way or the path.

  • The king is expected to announce later today that he intends to clear the way for a multi-party democracy in his country.
  • She hastens to note that she was not groomed for a show-business career.
  • Sara tried hard to build up her daughter-in-law's strength, to prepare her for motherhood.
  • She put the house up for sale and moved to one of those army retirement homes.
  • He has mastered enough of the complexities of arrangement to write and score a piece for a chamber music ensemble.
The preposition for is sometimes followed by an `-ing' clause.
  • Volkswagen have just given the University of Munich an incredible amount of money to set up a college to train teachers for teaching gifted children.
In the case of brace, gird, prepare 2, and steel, the noun group following the verb is always a reflexive pronoun. This pattern is V pron-refl for n.
  • The security forces will probably have to brace themselves for more attacks and ambushes.
brace clear be designed equip fit (usu passive) fit free gird groom (usu passive) intend (usu passive) prepare prime qualify ready revise score steel train transcribe
fit out put up
II.7 The `select' group

These verbs are concerned with considering or choosing someone or something for a particular role or purpose, or with deciding not to choose them.

  • Miss Halford is claiming sex discrimination after being passed over for promotion to a higher rank on nine occasions.
  • There was no evidence that the employer used seminar attendance to select employees for advancement.
  • Eighteen applicants were shortlisted for interviews.
audition choose interview (usu passive) nominate recommend recruit seek (usu passive) select shortlist (usu passive)
pass over (usu passive) rope in (usu passive) single out
II.8 The `pay' group

These verbs are concerned with charging or paying someone for something, or with paying an amount of money for something. In the case of bill and charge, the Object indicates the person who is asked to pay. In the case of reimburse, the Object indicates the person who is paid. In the case of cough up, fork out, pay out, and shell out, the Object indicates the amount paid. In the case of pay, the Object may be the person who is paid, or the amount paid.

  • The agency bills its clients for the employee hours spent on the campaign.
  • In 1971 the director of the Natural History Museum of Iceland paid nine thousand dollars for a stuffed Great Auk.
  • Pay the gentleman for his services, please.
372 The preposition for is sometimes followed by an `-ing' clause.
  • Hospitals caring for geriatric patients are reimbursed at a predetermined level for prescribing set amounts of drugs.

In the case of ask, cough up, fork out, pay out, and shell out, the noun group following the verb is always an amount. This pattern is V amount for n.

  • British smokers cough up nearly twice as much for a packet of cigarettes as French smokers pay for their Gauloises and Gitanes.
ask bill charge pay reimburse
cough up fork out pay out shell out

The verbs bill, charge, pay, and reimburse also have the pattern V n amount for n.

  • He was shocked when the bank charged him *53110 for the manager's time.
II.9 The `allocate' group

These verbs are concerned with allocating time, money, or other resources for a particular purpose.

  • At their own discretion they can allocate money for research into anything interesting they think their people will be good at.
The preposition for is sometimes followed by an `-ing' clause.
  • 25 per cent of the funds is designated for buying shares.
allocate allow budget commit designate (usu passive) earmark earmark (usu passive) reserve (usu passive) vote
II.10 The `schedule' group

These verbs are concerned with scheduling something to happen at a particular time.

  • The President has scheduled a news conference for this afternoon.
reschedule schedule slate (usu passive) time
II.11 The `search' group

These verbs are concerned with searching somewhere for something. We include here strip-search, which involves searching a person.

  • Seventy officers and a police helicopter combed the streets for seven-year-old Maria.
  • Many universities say they already scour the country for qualified black undergraduates to attend graduate school.
  • Police divers were yesterday searching a remote Scottish mountain loch for two men missing after a plane crashed on a training flight.
comb explore scan scour scout search strip-search (usu passive)
373
II.12 Verbs with other meanings

There are a number of other verbs which have this structure.

  • He did not ask me for lunch; I cannot have been very attractive.
  • Sam Smith is a perceptive operator who exacts swift revenge for errors.
  • I wouldn't say the match holds any more fears for us than any other we have played.
  • Their countries are now paying the penalty for the neglect into which their water supply and sanitation systems have fallen.
  • I was sent for blood tests.
In the case of say 8, the noun group following the verb is always the pronoun this or that. This pattern is V pron for n.
  • They've got ingenuity, I'll say that for them
In the case of say 9, the noun group following the verb is always an amount. This pattern is V amount for n.
  • Last weekend the liberals chose a new chairman, Klaus Kinkel, the foreign minister. He joined the party only two years ago, which says much for its open-mindedness.
ask clear (usu passive) enter exact fight get hold insure name pay sacrifice say sell send set take test (usu passive) tip (usu passive) touch treat wait wire (usu passive)
put down
Structure information: Verb with Object and Adjunct

a) The noun group following the verb is the Object, and the prepositional phrase is an Adjunct.

b) This structure has a passive, with the pattern be V-ed for n. The prepositional phrase is an Adjunct.

c) Phrasal verb patterns are the same except that there is also a particle, P. The Object comes either between the verb and the particle, or after the particle. If the Object comes after the particle, it cannot be a personal pronoun. You say
He told them off for bad behaviour
or He told off the students for bad behaviour
but you do not say He told off them for bad behaviour.

Other structures

In the case of two verbs, know and take, the prepositional phrase is a prepositional Object Complement.

  • After all these years, do you take me for a fool?
know take
Other related patterns
V n amount for n
See meaning group II.8 above.
Patterns described in this section
V n for n
V n for -ing
V pron for n
be V-ed for n/-ing
V pron-refl for n/-ing
V n for pron-refl
V amount for n
V n P for n/-ing
V P n (not pron) for n/-ing
be V-ed P for n/-ing
V n amount for n
374
14 V n from n
The verb is followed by a noun group and a prepositional phrase which consists of from and a noun group. With some verbs, the preposition is sometimes followed by an `-ing' clause. The passive pattern is be V-ed from n.

This pattern has one structure:

  • Verb with Object and Adjunct
    I borrowed the money from my father.
Active voice: V n from n/-ing
  Verb groupnoun groupfromnoun group/-ing clause
SubjectVerbObjectAdjunct  
He borrowedmoneyfromfriends.
The yearshave not erasedthe signs of warfromthe landscape.
The embargopreventsthemfromselling oil.
Passive voice: be V-ed from n/-ing
  Verb groupfromnoun group/-ing clause
SubjectVerbAdjunct  
Theyshould be discouragedfromharbouring grudges.
The top seeds have been eliminated from the World Doubles Championship.
Hewas extraditedfromthe United States.
Three foxeswere savedfrombeing savagely ripped apart.
Phrasal verbs
Active voice: V n P from n, V P n (not pron) from n
  Verb groupnoun groupParticlefromnoun group SubjectVerb...Object...VerbAdjunct   Darren's hair stylemarkshimoutfromthe crowd. What characteristicssetusapartfromother animals?
  Verb groupParticlenoun groupfromnoun group
SubjectVerb   ObjectAdjunct  
Ozone filtersout harmful radiationfromsunlight.
The black nighthad takenawaythe colourfromall things.
375
Passive voice: be V-ed P from n
  Verb groupParticlefromnoun group
SubjectVerb   Adjunct  
The side alleywas walledofffromthe back garden.
A trawlerwas warnedawayfromthe area.

Verbs with this pattern belong to the following meaning groups:

1 The `demand' and `get' group 5 The `stop' group 9 The `rescue' group
2 The `remove' group 6 The `deflect' group 10 The `make' group
3 The `transfer' group 7 The `conceal' group 11 The `absolve' group
4 The `separate' group 8 The `protect' group 12 Verbs with other meanings
1 The `demand' and `get' group

These verbs are concerned with acquiring something from someone or somewhere. This includes:

  • taking something away from its owner e.g. confiscate
  • asking someone for something e.g. demand
  • trying to get something from someone or something e.g. coax
  • getting information from someone or from somewhere e.g. glean
  • Police confiscated video tape from television crews and prevented photographers and reporters from approaching the house.
  • Italian judges and lawyers are staging a one-day national strike to demand more support from the government in the fight against crime.
  • It would be dangerous to draw too many conclusions from these statistics.
  • Angina can occur as the heart finds it difficult to extract enough oxygen from the blood it receives.
  • Inheritance tax will be cut so people can inherit houses from their parents without large penalties.
  • Conclusive evidence emerged this week that money can be stolen from cash dispensers with forged cash cards.
  • They took comfort from the familiar words of the prayer.

The preposition from is sometimes followed by an `-ing' clause.

  • There are plenty of people in this world who get pleasure from hurting other people.
In the case of learn, the noun group following the verb is often an amount. This pattern is V amount from n.
  • Well, my father is a carpenter. I learned a lot from him.
acquire borrow cadge charm choose coax collect confiscate conjure copy crib cull deduce demand derive distil distil (usu passive) draw exact excerpt (usu passive) extort extract extract (usu passive) extrapolate gain get glean hustle infer inherit learn make milk plunder poach propagate pump salvage seek select solicit steal take wheedle wrest wring
376
2 The `remove' group

These verbs are concerned with removing someone or something from somewhere, either physically or metaphorically. We include here verbs like deduct and subtract, which are concerned with taking something away from a total.

  • He was deported from Britain after serving part of a 12-year prison sentence.
  • He's in a stable condition after having surgery to remove a blood clot from the brain.
  • The proper way to measure the real interest rate is to subtract expected inflation from the nominal interest rate.
  • He stood up and lifted his hand to wipe the rain and the sweat from his brow.
In the case of absent, the noun group following the verb is always a reflexive pronoun. This pattern is V pron-refl from n. The phrasal verb tear away often has the pattern V pron-refl P from n.
  • He absented himself from the conference debate to visit a local building society.
  • With a great wrench, he tore himself away from everything that he held most dear.
In the case of clip 8, cut, deduct, and subtract, the noun group following the verb is always or often an amount. This pattern is V amount from n.
  • If you order three items, you can deduct *5315 from the total.
absent abstract avert banish banish (usu passive) chase clear clip crop cut deduct deport (usu passive) dislodge dismiss disqualify distract divert drain drain (usu passive) eject eliminate eliminate (usu passive) erase evict excise exclude exile exile (usu passive) expunge extract extradite (usu passive) flick hound (usu passive) mop pare peel pluck prize pull purge remove roust shave skim squeeze strike subtract take unload wipe withdraw
strip away take away tear away turn out
3 The `transfer' group

These verbs are concerned with moving someone or something from one place to another. We include here verbs concerned with transferring someone from one job or level to another.

  • Its broadcasts will be relayed from a transmitter in the Taiwan port of Keelung.
  • Transferring funds from a Barclays account using a telegraphic transfer would cost a minimum of *5317 for the first *534,400.
divert forward pass (usu passive) promote (usu passive) relay relay (usu passive) send (usu passive) transfer transfer (usu passive) transplant transpose

All the verbs in this group usually have the pattern V n from n to n or the pattern V n from n into n. The verb is followed by a noun group and two prepositional phrases, the first beginning with from and the second beginning with to or into. The passive pattern is be V-ed from n to/into n.

  • He quickly embraced the American work ethic and was promoted from the shop floor to the position of head buyer for the shoe department.
377 We can even arrange for your bank to transfer funds from your account into the trust account each month.
4 The `separate' group

These verbs are concerned with separating someone or something from something, either physically or metaphorically.

  • Unfortunately, he appears unable to distinguish fantasy from reality.
  • It is far preferable to isolate young offenders from their own peer group and not put them in the company of 40 or 50 other persistent young offenders.
  • Her independence of spirit marked her out from her male fellow officers.
  • While it grieved Elaine to be separated from her son, she had agreed, at least during the summer holidays, to send him to her family.
  • An alternative method for smoking cessation is homeopathy, in which you are given capsules or pills with small quantities of nicotine to wean you from the habit.
In the case of detach 2,3, disengage, disentangle 2,3, dissociate 1, distance, shut off, and wean 2, the noun group following the verb is always or often a reflexive pronoun. This pattern is V pron-refl from n, or in the case of shut off, V pron-refl P from n.
  • It is hard for mothers and daughters to disentangle themselves from the emotional web that binds them.
  • It's obvious that you're not in a position to shut yourself off from what needs to be faced.
alienate decouple demerge detach differentiate disassociate disconnect disengage disentangle dissociate distance distinguish divide divorce isolate part separate tell wean
filter out mark off mark out separate out set apart shut off wall off (usu passive)
5 The `stop' group

These verbs are concerned with stopping someone from doing something. This includes:

  • trying to stop someone from doing something
  • prohibiting someone from a place or activity

The preposition from is usually followed by an `-ing' clause rather than a noun group.

  • She has been under house arrest for nearly a year and is banned from the elections.
  • Reports allege that the airport ground crew tried to dissuade the pilot from taking off, fearing problems with the left hand engine.
  • Senate ethics rules prohibit a senator from taking contributions from someone he knows is trying to obtain his influence.
  • Always when things are dull, something new turns up to challenge us and to stop us from settling into a rut.
ban (usu passive) bar (usu passive) debar (usu passive) deter discourage dissuade enjoin inhibit keep preclude prevent prohibit proscribe restrain restrict stop
warn away
378
6 The `deflect' group

These verbs are concerned with changing someone's focus of attention or course of action from something.

  • The war did not deflect him from the path he had long ago taken.
The preposition from is sometimes followed by an `-ing' clause.
  • `We're not going to allow anything to sidetrack us from achieving our goals,' he said.
deflect divert sidetrack
7 The `conceal' group

These verbs are concerned with hiding or keeping something, usually information, from someone.

  • She quickly realized that it was virtually impossible to conceal her family background from her fellow students.
  • What is at issue is how much of the information can be disguised and kept from the other superpower.
conceal hide keep withhold
8 The `protect' group

These verbs are concerned with protecting someone or something from danger or harm.

  • Germany's inter-city trains are sealed and pressurised like aircraft to insulate passengers from the changes in pressure outside.
  • Law is designed to protect society from abuses of power and guarantee citizens and their organizations their rights and freedoms.
  • A temperature of at least 16 degrees C is needed and the plant must be shaded from direct sunshine.
cocoon cushion insulate protect safeguard shade (usu passive) shade shield
9 The `rescue' group

These verbs are concerned with freeing or rescuing someone from danger or difficulty. We include here excuse and exempt, which involve freeing someone from a particular payment or obligation.

  • She has a doctor's certificate and has been excused from games.
  • Thousands of giant clams have been rescued from a tiny island off the coast of Queensland in one of the Australian navy's most unusual operations.
The preposition from is sometimes followed by an `-ing' clause.
  • Fire-fighting ships are still trying to save a Norwegian supertanker from sinking off the coast of Texas.
In the case of extricate 1, the noun group following the verb is often a reflexive pronoun. This pattern is V pron-refl from n.
  • He was quite confident of being able to extricate himself from the mess he had got into.
379 deliver excuse (usu passive) exempt extricate free heal (usu passive) liberate pluck (usu passive) release (usu passive) release rescue save spare (usu passive) spare
10 The `make' group

These verbs are concerned with making something from a particular material or thing.

  • Father explained how to make glass from sand.
  • Neither Japanese, Chinese, nor any other types of chopsticks are manufactured from hardwoods derived from rainforests.
carve construct (usu passive) create fabricate fashion hew (usu passive) machine (usu passive) make (usu passive) manufacture (usu passive) print produce
11 The `absolve' group

These verbs are concerned with saying that someone is not guilty.

  • She felt that she was absolved from sin, that the entire family had received a benediction and was free.
  • In his report, Justice Louis Harms exonerates the police from involvement in the alleged death squads.
absolve exonerate
12 Verbs with other meanings

There are a number of other verbs which have this pattern.

  • Omitting the bacon from the recipe turns it into a simple side dish.
In the case of rouse 2, the noun group following the verb is always a reflexive pronoun. This pattern is V pron-refl from n.
  • Christabel roused herself from her stupor. `What happened?' she said in a whisper.
deflect dispossess draw omit rouse
take away
Structure information

a) The noun group following the verb is the Object, and the prepositional phrase is an Adjunct.

b) This structure has a passive, with the pattern be V-ed from n. The prepositional phrase is an Adjunct.

c) Though the prepositional phrase in this structure usually comes after the noun group, it sometimes comes before it, especially when the noun group is a long one.
Try to exclude from your diet anything which contains sugar.

d) Phrasal verb patterns are the same except that there is also a particle, P. The Object comes either between the verb and the particle, or after the particle. If the Object comes after the particle, it cannot be a personal pronoun. You say
Ozone filters it out from sunlight
or 380 Ozone filters out harmful radiation from sunlight
but you do not say Ozone filters out it from sunlight.

Other related patterns
V n from amount to amount

The verb is followed by a noun group and two prepositional phrases, the first beginning with from and the second beginning with to. Each preposition is followed by an amount. The passive pattern is be V-ed from amount to amount. The phrasal verb patterns are the same except that there is a particle following the verb. These verbs are concerned with increasing or decreasing an amount.

  • The bank lowered its discount rate from 3.75 per cent to 3.25 per cent.
  • The pensionable age for men and women was raised from 60 to 65.
decrease increase lower raise reduce widen whittle down
V n from colour to colour

The verb is followed by a noun group and two prepositional phrases, the first beginning with from and the second beginning with to. Each preposition is followed by a colour word.

  • Blood turned his suit from beige to red.
turn
V n from n to n
See V n from n into n below, and meaning group 3 above.
V n from n into n

The verb is followed by a noun group and two prepositional phrases, the first beginning with from and the second beginning with into. The passive pattern is be V-ed from n into n. These verbs are concerned with changing something from one thing into another.

  • Ford was the builder who transformed the automobile from an expensive curiosity for the wealthy into a commodity for the masses.
change metamorphose transform translate turn See also meaning group 3 above.

The verbs change, transform, and turn also have the pattern V n from n to n.

  • She changed her name from Blanca to Bianca.
Patterns described in this section
V n from n
V n from -ing
be V-ed from n/-ing
V pron-refl from n
V amount from n
V n P from n/-ing
V P n (not pron) from n/-ing
be V-ed P from n/-ing
V pron-refl P from n
V n from amount to amount
be V-ed from amount to amount
V n from n into n
be V-ed from n into n
V n from n to n
be V-ed from n to n
381
15 V n in n
The verb is followed by a noun group and a prepositional phrase which consists of in and a noun group. With some verbs, the preposition is sometimes followed by an `-ing' clause, a wh-clause, a fraction, or a number. The passive pattern is be V-ed in n.

This pattern has two structures:

  • Structure I: Verb with Object and prepositional Object Complement
    We cut the rope in half.
  • Structure II: Verb with Object and Adjunct
    He dipped a biscuit in his tea.
Structure I: Verb with Object and prepositional Object Complement
Active voice: V n in n
  Verb groupnoun groupinnoun group/fraction
SubjectVerbObjectprep. Object Complement  
You may split it in half.
  Tiethe ropeinknots.
Passive voice: be V-ed in n
  Verb groupinnoun group/fraction
SubjectVerbprepositional Complement  
They will be divided in groups of four.
The branchwas snappedinhalf.

Most of the verbs with this structure are concerned with dividing something into pieces. The prepositional phrase indicates the result. We include here fold.

  • Break the cake in pieces and place in a food processor bowl.
  • The market is split in two halves.
The preposition in is sometimes followed by a fraction or number. These patterns are V n in fraction and V n in num.
  • Divide the pastry in half.
  • Next he tore a blank page from his notebook and folded it in two.
break carve chop (usu passive) cut divide fold slice snap sort split
Verbs with other meanings

There is one other verb which has this structure.

  • It was tied in a knot.
tie
382
Structure information: Verb with Object and prepositional Object Complement

a) The noun group is the Object, and the prepositional phrase is the prepositional Object Complement.

b) This structure has a passive, with the pattern be V-ed in n. The prepositional phrase is the prepositional Complement.

c) The prepositional phrase usually comes after the noun group. Sometimes, however, the prepositional phrase comes before the noun group, especially when the noun group is a long one.
He sliced in half the huge lemons with their greenish tinge, and squeezed them.

Structure II: Verb with Object and Adjunct
Active voice: V n in n
  Verb groupnoun groupinnoun group
SubjectVerbObjectAdjunct  
The boltembeddeditselfinthe turf.
His wife shot him in the foot.
The bouquet stirred memories in George.
Passive voice: be V-ed in n
  Verb groupinnoun group
SubjectVerbAdjunct  
The coastline was cloaked in mist.
Heis confirmed in his suspicions.
A hole was drilled in the drawers.
Phrasal verbs
Active voice: V n P in n, V P n (not pron) in n
  Verb groupnoun groupParticleinnoun group
SubjectVerb...Object...VerbAdjunct  
Shecouldn't putitdowninwriting.
Theyhave tangledthemselvesupina blanket.
  Verb groupParticlenoun groupinnoun group
SubjectVerb   ObjectAdjunct  
  Putdowntheir namesinbig letters.
Ihad been turningover the same thoughts in my mind.
383
Passive voice: be V-ed P in n
  Verb groupParticleinnoun group
SubjectVerb   Adjunct  
They might be caught up in fighting.
The agencywas tangledupinlegal red tape.

Verbs with this structure belong to the following meaning groups:

II.1 The `drape' group II.6 The `kick' group II.11 The `ground' group
II.2 The `immerse yourself' group II.7 The `bore' group II.12 The `encapsulate' group
II.3 The `dip' group II.8 The `carve' group II.13 The `train' group
II.4 The `infuse' group II.9 The `join' group II.14 The `arouse' group
II.5 The `ensnare' group II.10 The `involve' group II.15 The `see' group
II.1 The `drape' group

These verbs are concerned with decorating, covering, or enclosing something in something, either physically or metaphorically.

  • Although the rocks were bathed in yellow light fifty feet above our heads, we were standing in deepening gloom.
  • He rested his head against her, letting her cradle him in her arms like an infant.
  • I told her once that I would like to drape her in black velvet.
  • Naomi led me to her bedroom on the second floor where she pointed to her desk which was framed in a patch of wintery light.
  • The copper piping is itself sheathed in armoured plastic hosing, so that if there is a leak, it is contained.
The verb plaster often has the pattern V pron-refl in n.
  • A lot of women that I know, who are really beautiful women, plaster themselves in make up.
bathe bind (usu passive) catch cloak coat cocoon cover (usu passive) cover cradle cup douse drape encase enclose enfold enshroud entomb festoon (usu passive) frame (usu passive) immerse (usu passive) plaster seal sheathe (usu passive) shroud (usu passive) swathe take wrap wreathe wreathe (usu passive)
II.2 The `immerse yourself' group

These verbs are concerned with concentrating very hard on something, so that you do not notice anything else. The noun group following the verb is always a reflexive pronoun, and the pattern is V pron-refl in n.

  • I immersed myself in the writings of this remarkable Japanese writer.
  • Imaginative children lose themselves in fantasy worlds through stories.
bury immerse lose submerge
384
II.3 The `dip' group

These verbs are concerned with putting or moving something somewhere, either physically or metaphorically.

  • The fighting is apparently concentrated in the west and south-east of the city.
  • Wash the fish fillets and dry them, then dip them in the beaten egg.
  • You might try to inculcate a few ideas in him, to show him how wrong he's been acting.
  • I have had a series of operations to insert metal rods in the bones to strengthen them.
  • The founding fathers decreed that all executive power should be vested in the president of the United States.
In the case of lodge, the noun group following the verb is often a reflexive pronoun. This pattern is V pron-refl in n.
  • An unforgettable fragrance has the capacity to lodge itself in the soul forever.
concentrate (usu passive) dip draft dunk embed enter fix implant inculcate insert instil invest jot land lodge pack place settle slot stick throw tuck vest (usu passive)
II.4 The `infuse' group

These verbs are concerned with preparing food. The prepositional phrase indicates what the food is placed in.

  • If you like a strong garlic flavour, infuse the garlic clove in the lemon juice for an hour or two before making the dip.
  • Mix the flour with the spice powder and seasoning, then toss the liver in this seasoned flour.
dilute flamb=e1e infuse macerate marinate toss
II.5 The `ensnare' group

These verbs are concerned with trapping someone somewhere, either physically or metaphorically.

  • The tumultuous times naturally ensnared many a young couple in romantic notions of love and duty, which inspired impetuous romances and ill-conceived marriages.
  • `You will go upstairs and lock yourself in your room,' he repeated.
ensnare entangle lock shut tangle (usu passive)
tangle up
II.6 The `kick' group

These verbs are concerned with doing harm to someone. The prepositional phrase indicates the part of the body that is harmed.

  • The fiery actress punched him on the nose and kicked him in the shins.
  • He survived the attack despite being stabbed in the neck, abdomen and arms.
385 bite blast boot catch elbow hit kick knee knife poke punch shoot slap smack smash stab strike thump
II.7 The `bore' group

These verbs are concerned with making a hole in something, either physically or metaphorically.

  • To bore a hole in a bean, the weevil needs to support itself against a firm surface.
  • We took eighteen tyres with us, having used a sledge hammer to punch three holes in each.
bore drill gouge prick punch
II.8 The `carve' group

These verbs are concerned with writing or making marks in a surface. In the case of etch 3, imprint, and turn over, the meaning is metaphorical.

  • True to his word, Brian had carved their initials in the tree trunk.
  • He repeated the names, as if to imprint them in his mind.
  • I think that you should put your questions down in writing.
carve engrave etch etch (usu passive) imprint (usu passive)
put down turn over
II.9 The `join' group

These verbs are concerned with taking part in an activity along with someone else. The prepositional phrase indicates the activity.

  • Why do you not join your friends in the fight against Fascism?
The preposition in is sometimes followed by an `-ing' clause.
  • These leaders will assist the Commission in identifying which voters are eligible.
  • The leader strikes a bell three times and leads the others in chanting something in a foreign language.
assist join lead
II.10 The `involve' group

These verbs are concerned with making someone become involved in an activity. The prepositional phrase indicates the activity. We include here implicate, which is concerned with making someone appear to be involved in an illegal or immoral activity.

  • The President's habit of embroiling his government in seemingly pointless fights has isolated him from all except his military chiefs.
  • In the tape Amos gave to his brother he implicates Stewart in the scheme.
  • Reflexology involves the patient in their own healing.
The preposition in is sometimes followed by an `-ing' clause.
  • Riding in the car offers a wonderful opportunity to engage your child in observing the surroundings.
386 In the case of involve 3, the noun group following the verb is always a reflexive pronoun. This pattern is V pron-refl in n.
  • He has already started to involve himself in the country's domestic political issues.
embroil employ (usu passive) engage implicate include involve
be caught up
II.11 The `ground' group

These verbs are concerned with providing a physical or metaphorical foundation for something. The prepositional phrase indicates what the foundation is.

  • Until two decades ago, the church's special relationship to the government was enshrined in the constitution.
  • Her books sell because she grounds her ideas in everyday realities, draws her characters compellingly and knows how to tell a good story.
anchor (usu passive) embed (usu passive) enshrine ground
II.12 The `encapsulate' group

These verbs are concerned with representing something or someone in some way. This includes:

  • talking or writing about someone or something e.g. couch, render
  • representing the essential nature of something e.g. capture, encapsulate
  • showing something e.g. incarnate, manifest
  • The argument will probably be couched in the pompous language which newspapers enjoy so much.
  • His ideas were later encapsulated in a book called Democratic Ideals and Reality.
  • The iniquities of the regime are incarnated in one man.
  • The tragedy is rendered in tough, everyday language that assaults the audience with its realism.
capture cast couch (usu passive) embody (usu passive) encapsulate incarnate (usu passive) manifest render
II.13 The `train' group

These verbs are concerned with teaching someone. The prepositional phrase indicates the subject that is taught.

  • You will kindly not instruct me in elementary physics.
  • Attempting to tutor an adolescent in reading yourself, at home, is not recommended.
The preposition in is sometimes followed by an `-ing' clause.
  • Court welfare officers must be trained in communicating with children.
The preposition in is sometimes followed by a to-infinitive clause introduced by a wh-word.
  • It is important that people are trained properly in how to use the system.
instruct school train tutor
387
II.14 The `arouse' group

These verbs are concerned with causing an emotion in someone.

  • He urged people to avoid any action which could arouse fear or passion in others.
arouse stir
II.15 The `see' group

These verbs are concerned with emotions and qualities. The noun group following the verb indicates the emotion or quality. This includes:

  • finding an emotion such as comfort in an activity or situation
  • putting an emotion such as faith in a person or thing
  • seeing a quality in a person or thing

We also include here hold, where the noun group following the verb indicates a person or thing and the prepositional phrase indicates the emotion.

  • Her parents will find comfort in the fact that they have been blessed with a large family.
  • Little by little you'll come to hate me and hold me in contempt.
  • Small wonder that little faith has been placed in the project's findings.
In the case of find and see 6, the preposition in is sometimes followed by an `-ing' clause.
  • The militants see no contradiction in using violence to bring about a religious state.
The verb see 7 is often used in questions such as What do you see in him?
  • Mr Meredith, what do you see in David Duke?
find hold place put see take
II.16 Verbs with other meanings

There are a number of other verbs which have this structure.

  • Quite often a fox'll go across the road in front of me and I'll just catch it in the headlights.
  • The experience gained from a master seaman was invaluable, and confirmed him in his intention to leave school at the earliest opportunity and take to the sea.
  • Throughout the Seventies she was ranked in Britain's top ten.
  • Ken Loach, whose films include Cathy Come Home and Kes, has been rebuffed in his plans to produce Britain's first left-wing soap opera.
  • They toasted one another in champagne.
In the case of assist, interest, and lead, the preposition in is sometimes followed by an `-ing' clause.
  • The following forms are to assist you in understanding the possible risks.
  • Some salesmen tried to interest me in buying property here.
assist catch confirm interest keep lead rank (usu passive) rebuff (usu passive) reflect (usu passive) remand toast

The verb rank also has the pattern V n ord in n. The verb is followed by a noun group, an ordinal, and a prepositional phrase beginning with in. The passive pattern is be V-ed ord in n.

388 Gul is ranked eighth in the world.
Structure information: Verb with Object and Adjunct

a) The noun group following the verb is the Object, and the prepositional phrase is an Adjunct.

b) This structure has a passive, with the pattern be V-ed in n. The prepositional phrase is an Adjunct.

c) The prepositional phrase usually comes after the noun group. Sometimes, however, the prepositional phrase comes before the noun group, especially when the noun group is a long one.
Philip now saw in Arthur the means of John's downfall.

d) Phrasal verb patterns are the same except that there is also a particle, P. The Object comes either between the verb and the particle, or after the particle. If the Object comes after the particle, it cannot be a personal pronoun. You say
He set it down in writing
or He set down the ruling in writing
but you do not say He set down it in writing.

Phrasal prepositions with in

There are some phrasal prepositions which consist of in, a noun group, and another preposition. The phrasal prepositions in the form of, in the light of, in the role of, and in terms of often follow a verb and a noun group, and so appear to be part of the pattern V n in n.

  • Surely Magda hadn't now cast Paula in the role of desirable daughter-in-law?
  • An allergic food reaction can manifest itself in the form of sickness and vomiting.
  • Film has to present ideas in terms of characters.

The prepositional phrase formed with one of these phrasal prepositions is a prepositional Complement or a prepositional Object Complement. These phrasal prepositions follow verbs which indicate that something is expressed in a particular way or that someone or something is given a particular role, such as cast, manifest, or present.

Other related patterns
V amount in n
See page xxx. Ch1 Sec5
V n in num

The verb is followed by a noun group and a prepositional phrase consisting of in and a number such as hundreds or thousands. The passive pattern is be V-ed in num.

  • You could easily believe that his personal friends are numbered in the tens of thousands.
number (usu passive)
See also Structure I above. 389
V n in fraction
See Structure I above.
V n ord in n
See meaning group II.16 above.
Patterns described in this section
V n in n
V n in -ing
be V-ed in n/-ing
V pron-refl in n/-ing
V n P in n/-ing
V P n (not pron) in n/-ing
be V-ed P in n/-ing
V n in num
be V-ed in num
V n in fraction
be V-ed in fraction
V n ord in n
be V-ed ord in n
16 V n into n
The verb is followed by a noun group and a prepositional phrase which consists of into and a noun group. The passive pattern is be V-ed into n.

This pattern has two structures:

  • Structure I: Verb with Object and prepositional Object Complement
    She changed the prince into a frog.
  • Structure II: Verb with Object and Adjunct
    He frightened them into silence.
Structure I: Verb with Object and prepositional Object Complement
Active voice: V n into n
  Verb groupnoun groupintonoun group
SubjectVerbObjectprep. Object Complement  
Hewill convertthe Tudor kitchensinto a living museum.
Wewill divideearly language developmentintotwo stages.
  Shapethe doughinto an oblong.
Passive voice: be V-ed into n
  Verb groupintonoun group
SubjectVerbprepositional Complement  
The coursewas compressedintotwo years.
Intenthas to be translatedintoaction.
Phrasal verbs
Active voice: V n P into n, V P n (not pron) into n
  Verb groupnoun groupParticleinto noun group
SubjectVerb...Object...Verbprep. Object Complement  
The drugschopDNAupintosmall pieces.
  Splitthemupintotwo groups.
390
  Verb groupParticle noun groupinto noun group
SubjectVerb   Objectprep. Object Complement  
Youshould breakdownthe activityinto simple stages.
The boardmight breakupthe groupinto constituent parts.
Passive voice: be V-ed P into n
  Verb groupParticleinto noun group
SubjectVerb   prepositional Complement  
The armyis dividedupintoabout 50 regiments.
The carbon sampleis smashedupintoits constituent atoms.

Verbs with this structure belong to the following meaning groups:

I.1 The `change' group

These verbs are concerned with changing something into something new, or changing its form or shape. We include here verbs such as amalgamate and weld, which are concerned with putting parts together to make a whole. The prepositional phrase indicates the new thing, form, or shape.

  • He said he would work to change the alliance into an economic and political grouping.
  • Brain and offal tissue from sheep is made into meat meal and bone meal, which has been fed to cattle as a protein supplement.
  • He turned away, screwed the paper into a ball and tossed it into the fire.
  • He is well on the way to welding some 130 staff into an efficient, courteous whole.
In the case of form 8, the noun group following the verb is always a reflexive pronoun. This pattern is V pron-refl into n.
  • Diodorus also told of the warrior women of Libya who formed themselves into armies and invaded other lands.
aggregate (usu passive) amalgamate change compress (usu passive) condense convert distil dub (usu passive) form group knit knock make merge metamorphose mould mutate organize process (usu passive) render reorganize roll screw scrunch sculpt shape sublimate transform translate translate (usu passive) transmute turn weave weld work

Many of the verbs in this group also have the pattern V n from n into n. The verb is followed by a noun group and two prepositional phrases, the first beginning with from and the second beginning with into. The passive pattern is be V-ed from n to/into n.

  • He has helped to transform Labour from a disorganised, demoralised rabble into a force which must again be taken seriously.
391
I.2 The `break' group

These verbs are concerned with breaking or dividing something into smaller pieces.

  • The impact broke the truck into three pieces.
  • Traditionally, the English-speaking theatre has been carved up into fairly clear spheres of influence.
  • Cut up the lamb into bite-size pieces, reserving the liver, and start to fry.
  • The old farms along our road were subdivided into two-acre building lots.
break carve chop compartmentalize cut divide resolve rip separate shatter slice smash sort split subdivide (usu passive)
break down break up carve up chop up cut up divide up slice up smash up split up
Structure information: Verb with Object and prepositional Object Complement

a) The noun group following the verb is the Object, and the prepositional phrase is the prepositional Object Complement.

b) This structure has a passive, with the pattern be V-ed into n. The prepositional phrase is the prepositional Complement.

c) Phrasal verb patterns are the same except that there is also a particle, P. The Object comes either between the verb and the particle or after the particle. If the Object comes after the particle, it cannot be a personal pronoun. You say
Cut it up into pieces
or Cut up the lamb into pieces
but you do not say Cut up it into pieces.

Structure II: Verb with Object and Adjunct
Active voice: V n into n
  Verb groupnoun groupintonoun group
SubjectVerbObjectAdjunct  
The casehas frightenedstaff and studentsintosilence.
They trappedhimintoa confession.
The tigersank its teethintohis leg.
His debut albumsentcriticsinto fits of rapture.
Passive voice: be V-ed into n
  Verb groupintonoun group
SubjectVerbAdjunct  
The firmhas been absorbedintoa much larger international firm.
One sidewas being blackmailedintocompliance.
Iwas draftedintothe Air Force.
Hehas been rushedintoconcessions on political pluralism.
392
Phrasal verbs
Active voice: V n P into n, V P n (not pron) into n
  Verb groupnoun groupParticleinto noun group
SubjectVerb...Object...VerbAdjunct  
The governmentis going to ploughthe moneybackintoroad building.
Heworkedhimselfupintoa temper.
  Verb groupParticle noun groupinto noun group
SubjectVerb   ObjectAdjunct  
The ringleaderwould whipup the othersintoa frenzy.
Passive voice: be V-ed P into n
  Verb groupParticleinto noun group
SubjectVerb   Adjunct  
Religious conceptsare carriedoverintopolitical life.
Stainless steel operations were hived off into a joint venture.

Verbs with this structure belong to the following meaning groups:

II.1 The `force', `trick', and `charm' groups II.3 The `put' group II.5 The `breathe' group
II.2 The `send' group II.4 The `incorporate' group II.6 Verbs with other meanings
II.1 The `force', `trick', and `charm' groups

These verbs are all concerned with making someone do something or get involved in something. The prepositional phrase indicates what they are made to do. Many of the verbs in this group are more frequently found in the pattern V n into -ing (see pages xxx-xxx). Ch4 Sec17 They can be divided into five groups.

(i) The `force' group

These verbs are concerned with making someone do something or get involved in something by using insistent verbal persuasion, force, or violence.

  • Behind the kidnappings, it's thought, is an attempt by the drug barons to force the government into peace talks.
  • Smith is serving life without parole for goading Fox into the killing.
  • He deliberately provoked you into argument because he wanted to hear you stand up for the idealism which he fears the war has destroyed.
  • The British and the French have been very careful not to be sucked into the conflict.
  • This conversation in 1932 seems to have been the last attempt the King made seriously to influence his son, or to talk him into marriage.
393 Paul Hallbrook spent 15 years in jail for a bombing in Guildford which he did not commit, because police terrified him into a false confession.
  • Occasionally you'd get a ringleader who would whip up the others into a frenzy.
badger blackmail bludgeon bounce browbeat bulldoze bully chivvy coerce cow drag dragoon force frighten goad intimidate nag panic press press-gang (usu passive) pressure (usu passive) prod provoke push railroad scare stampede steamroller suck (usu passive) talk terrify whip
whip up
(ii) The `trick' group

These verbs are concerned with making someone do something by tricking or deceiving them.

  • Luisa, a small-time crook, inveigles Paco into a plot to swindle Trini out of her savings, and to murder her.
  • The radar will reduce the risk of the international community being tricked into military intervention.
bamboozle con deceive dupe entrap fool inveigle lure trap trick
(iii) The `charm' group

These verbs are concerned with making someone do something by being nice to them in some way or by saying something that pleases them.

  • The ingredient he brought to the job was a talent for marketing his policies and charming his opponents into submission.
  • The government has changed the law in order to tempt foreign companies into exploration for gas and oil.
cajole charm seduce sweet talk tempt
(iv) The `spur' group

These verbs indicate that a person, situation, or event persuades someone to do something, or motivates them to do it.

  • Dealers suggested the market will be soft and sluggish all this week unless unforeseen events galvanize it into action.
  • The friendship could be extremely good for her, for she will catch the enthusiasm and energy and be spurred into action.
galvanize jolt nudge persuade propel seduce spur steer stir tempt
394
(v) Other verbs

There are a number of other verbs that are also concerned with ways of making someone do something.

  • The intention was to shame young drivers into better behaviour on the roads with the threat of a return to L-plates.
chasten (usu passive) condition (usu passive) lull manoeuvre rush (usu passive) shame sidetrack
II.2 The `send' group

These verbs are concerned with putting someone or something into a particular state or situation.

  • Vandals had damaged the electricity sub-station, plunging the streets into darkness.
  • Because teenagers associate driving with maturity, the slightest criticism from a parent is likely to send them into a funk.
In the case of fling, insinuate, launch, plunge 4, talk, throw, and work up, the noun group following the verb is always or often a reflexive pronoun. This pattern is V pron-refl into n, or in the case of work up, V pron-refl P into n.
  • She flung herself into anti-racist work, picketed town halls, opposed the Vietnam War, joined the Black Panthers.
  • He has talked himself into a position where he will have no option but to go.
  • He glared at him malevolently, then worked himself up into another rage.
draw drive fling get insinuate launch plunge send talk throw
work up
II.3 The `put' group

These verbs are concerned with putting something or someone into something, either physically or metaphorically. This includes investing money in something. The prepositional phrase indicates the place where they are put.

  • I drove the Cooper and Bruce McLaren beat me into second place in his similar car.
  • He had booked both of us into the local hotel.
  • Graham handed her the card and she fed the name into a computer.
  • She gulped air into her lungs and rose to her feet, pressing back despair.
  • A needleful of his white blood cells was injected into me.
  • `If anyone can afford to put their money into furniture, now is a very good time to do so,' says Charles Walford of Sotheby's.
absorb (usu passive) air-drop beat book build (usu passive) channel check copy crowd decant deliver dig dip draft (usu passive) draft drag draw dump enter feed fold fork gulp implant infiltrate inject insert interpolate (usu passive) introduce jab (usu passive) leak load lock pack pack (usu passive) pay plough plug plunge poke pour pull pump put 395 scan (usu passive) shoehorn sink slot stick stir thread throw transplant transpose tuck type weave work write
carry over (usu passive) hive off (usu passive) plough back (usu passive)
II.4 The `incorporate' group

These verbs are concerned with incorporating or absorbing someone or something into a system or organization.

  • One needs to learn how to build enjoyment into what happens day in, day out.
  • During the patient's fourth week, he/she attends a continuing care group to be hooked into after-care.
  • Medical schools are only now beginning to incorporate significant geriatric training into their curricula.
absorb (usu passive) accept assimilate build conscript (usu passive) co-opt (usu passive) factor hook (usu passive) incorporate induct integrate yoke
II.5 The `breathe' group

These verbs are concerned with causing someone to have a quality or an idea, or causing something to have a quality. The prepositional phrase indicates the person or thing involved.

  • Tentative efforts were made two or three years ago to breathe some new life into these fossilized organisations.
  • Now scientists believe that memories are etched into our brains with the help of proteins.
  • Grace did her best to inject a note of welcome into her voice.
  • The massive blast struck terror into thousands of innocent office workers and tourists.
breathe drum (usu passive) etch (usu passive) hammer implant infuse inject instil strike
II.6 Verbs with other meanings

There are a number of other verbs which have this structure.

  • I only had an hour to get changed into my dress.
  • They describe how society first victimised them inside its children's homes, which inducted them into a life of crime.
  • I can let you into the secret, but don't tell anyone else.
In the case of read, the noun group following the verb is often an amount. This pattern is V amount into n.
  • The Employment Secretary said: `We must be careful not to read too much into one month's figures.'
396 get changed etch etch (usu passive) induct initiate follow let permit (usu passive) put read slam stretch (usu passive)
Structure information: Verb with Object and Adjunct

a) The noun group following the verb is the Object, and the prepositional phrase is an Adjunct.

b) This structure has a passive, with the pattern be V-ed into n. The prepositional phrase is an Adjunct.

c) Though the prepositional phrase in this structure usually comes after the noun group, it sometimes comes before it, especially when the noun group is a long one.
We must incorporate into the budgets this possible increase in sales.

d) Phrasal verb patterns are the same except that there is also a particle, P. The Object comes either between the verb and the particle, or after the particle. If the Object comes after the particle, it cannot be a personal pronoun. You say
He whipped them up into a frenzy
or He whipped up the crowd into a frenzy
but you do not say He whipped up them into a frenzy.

Other related patterns
V n from n into n
See meaning group I.1 above.
Patterns described in this section
V n into n
be V-ed into n
V pron-refl into n
V pron-refl P into n
V amount into n
V n P into n
V P n (not pron) into n
be V-ed P into n
V n from n into n
be V-ed from n to/into n
17 V n into -ing
The verb is followed by a noun group and a prepositional phrase which consists of into and an `-ing' clause. The passive pattern is be V-ed into -ing.

This pattern has one structure:

  • Verb with Object and Adjunct.
    She nagged him into cutting his hair.
Active voice: V n into -ing
  Verb groupnoun groupinto-ing clause
SubjectVerbObjectAdjunct  
Richard's mother badgeredhimintotaking a Spanish wife.
Shebulliedthe printersintorushing through the invitations.
397
Passive voice: be V-ed into -ing
  Verb groupinto-ing clause
SubjectVerbAdjunct  
Joan's sonwas coercedintogiving evidence against her.
The governmentshould not be pressuredintomaking hasty decisions.

Verbs with this pattern belong to the following meaning groups:

1 The `force' group 2 The `trick' group 3 The `charm' group
1 The `force' group

These verbs are concerned with making someone do something by using insistent verbal persuasion, force, or violence.

  • Scientists use film role models to brainwash fussy youngsters into liking spinach and broccoli.
  • His elder brother literally forced him into cutting his hair.
  • He tried to frighten people into doing what he wanted.
  • The advert's principal task is to nag the user into buying a copy of the program.
  • This provoked the team into rethinking their diagnosis and ordering a number of investigations.
  • Gretchen realized that it had been a mistake to let Molly talk her into coming all the way down to New Orleans.
In the case of talk, the noun group following the verb is often a reflexive pronoun. This pattern is V pron-refl into -ing.
  • When you're not feeling as well as you would like, at least talk yourself into feeling well.
badger blackmail bludgeon bounce brainwash browbeat bulldoze bully chivvy coerce co-opt (usu passive) cow dragoon force frighten goad intimidate manipulate nag panic press press-gang (usu passive) pressure (usu passive) pressurize (usu passive) prod provoke push railroad scare shock stampede steamroller talk terrify
2 The `trick' group

These verbs are concerned with making someone do something by tricking or deceiving them.

  • We've deluded ourselves into thinking that the actual point of life is to be comfortable.
  • Can a machine be built that could fool a human judge into thinking it was a person?
  • A small business went bankrupt after being trapped into paying for two machines when the first one broke down.
  • It is easy to be tricked into thinking that just because twins look alike, their characters are the same.
398 con deceive delude dupe entrap fool hoodwink inveigle lure mislead sucker trap trick
3 The `charm' group

These verbs are concerned with making someone do something by flattering them or by being nice to them in some way.

  • Henry charmed and cajoled people into parting with thousands of pounds.
beguile bribe cajole charm coax entice flatter sweet talk tempt
4 The `spur' group

These verbs indicate that a person, situation, or event persuades someone to do something, or motivates them to do it.

  • Some new acquaintances persuaded us into spending the summer near Kiev.
  • Dining out is a bit of a treat and a psychological boost which can spur you into keeping up with your diet the following week.
  • If you're cleaning the plates of others, don't be tempted into taking even the smallest taste of any leftover uneaten food.
galvanize jolt lead nudge persuade propel seduce spur steer stimulate (usu passive) stir tempt
5 Verbs with other meanings

There are a number of other verbs that are also concerned with ways of making someone do something.

  • Somehow the authorities have to manoeuvre the markets into demanding a cut in interest rates.
chasten (usu passive) condition (usu passive) embarrass lull manoeuvre rush (usu passive) shame sidetrack (usu passive)

The verb put also has this pattern, but it does not have the same meaning as the other verbs.

  • The Seychelles have put a lot of effort into training teachers both at home and abroad.
put
Structure information

a) The noun group is the Object, and the prepositional phrase is an Adjunct.

399 b) This structure has a passive, with the pattern be V-ed into -ing. The prepositional phrase is an Adjunct.
Patterns described in this section
V n into -ing
be V-ed into -ing
18 V n of n
The verb is followed by a noun group and a prepositional phrase which consists of of and a noun group. With some verbs, the preposition is sometimes followed by an `-ing' clause. The passive pattern is be V-ed of n.

This pattern has one structure:

  • Verb with Object and Adjunct
    They convicted him of theft.
Active voice: V n of n/-ing
  Verb groupnoun group ofnoun group/-ing clause
SubjectVerbObjectAdjunct  
The settlementabsolvedthe companyofall criminal responsibility.
  Clear your mindof other thoughts.
Theysuspectedhimofdoing away with Beryl.
Passive voice: be V-ed of n/-ing
  Verb groupofnoun group/-ing clause
SubjectVerbAdjunct  
Peoplewere cheatedoftheir retirement cash.
Theywere convictedofhandling explosives.

Verbs with this pattern belong to the following meaning groups:

1 The `rob' and `free' group 2 The `inform' group 3 The `acquit' and `convict' group
1 The `rob' and `free' group

These verbs are concerned with taking something away from someone, either physically or metaphorically. These include verbs with a positive meaning, like cleanse, cure, and free, as well as those with a negative meaning, like dispossess and rob. The noun group indicates the person from whom something is taken.

  • The family of a sick Nigerian boy are appealing to the public to help them raise funds for an operation to cure him of a crippling disease.
  • The Opposition leaders warned that the Bill might deprive citizens of fundamental rights.
  • The realization that you truly can't control anyone else's actions or feelings can also free you of unnecessary guilt.
  • They were robbed of their wristwatches and shot during the course of the robbery.
  • Heart attacks occur because blockages in blood vessels starve heart muscle of oxygen and nutrients.
400 In the case of divest 1,3, rid 4, and unburden, the noun group following the verb is always or often a reflexive pronoun. This pattern is V pron-refl of n.
  • Gilles finally confesses to the affair, unburdening himself of a secret which his wife has known from the very beginning.
absolve break cheat cleanse clear cure defraud denude deprive disabuse dispossess divest drain (usu passive) free plunder purge relieve relieve (usu passive) rid rob (usu passive) rob starve strip unburden
2 The `inform' group
These verbs are concerned with talking or writing, for example giving someone information, warning someone about something, or reminding someone of something.
  • They seemed mightily pleased, shook hands and assured us of their help if it was ever needed.
  • The Prime Minister's new year broadcast totally convinced me of the need to improve our education system.
  • The spokesman said that the army was not obliged to inform the federal government of its actions.
advise apprise assure convince forewarn inform notify persuade reassure remind warn
3 The `acquit' and `convict' group

These verbs are concerned with declaring or thinking that someone has or has not committed a crime. The noun group indicates the person, and the prepositional phrase indicates the crime.

The preposition of is usually followed by an `-ing' clause.

  • His change of fortune began on the day last June when he was acquitted of assaulting a man in Milwaukee.
  • She was cleared of attempting to murder and causing grievous bodily harm to a 73-year-old woman and a 15-year-old boy.
  • A 15-year-old boy is being held in a special wing at Cardiff prison pending sentence after Newport magistrates convicted him of breaking a teacher's nose.
accuse acquit (usu passive) clear (usu passive) convict suspect
4 Verbs with other meanings

There are a number of other verbs which have this pattern.

  • If Leo could make a true friend of Victor, then his ties with the army would be strong indeed.
The verbs make VP and think 1,14 have this pattern only when they occur in a question, wh-clause, or relative clause beginning with what.
  • `What did you think of the video?' `Well, it's not that bad really.'
In the case of avail, the noun group following the verb is always a reflexive pronoun. This pattern is V pron-refl of n.
  • She is unable to avail herself of legal aid services because her husband's income is taken into account.
401 In the case of ask 2, expect, hear, see, and think, the noun group following the verb is always or often an amount. This pattern is V amount of n.
  • His business was not doing too well so I didn't see much of him, and we were under a lot of financial pressure.
The verbs ask, expect, hear, and see are occasionally used in the passive. The pattern is be V-ed of n, where the amount is the Subject.
  • A lot was expected of Fernando Redondo in midfield, but he failed to reproduce the form he showed with Tenerife.
  • Why has so little been heard of the `fundamental reviews' of government spending?
The verb think also has a passive with the pattern be V-ed amount of.
  • His artistic sketches were thought a lot of locally, Tom said.
In the case of think, the amount is often an adverb.
  • Neil thinks very highly of him indeed.
ask assure avail be born expect hear make make require see think

The verbs compose, comprise, and make up do not have the active pattern V n of n, but they have the passives be composed of, be comprised of, and be made up of (see page xxx). Ch1 Sec2

Structure information

a) The noun group following the verb is the Object, and the prepositional phrase is an Adjunct.

b) This structure has a passive, with the pattern be V-ed of n. The prepositional phrase is an Adjunct.

c) Though the prepositional phrase in this structure usually comes after the noun group, it sometimes comes before it, especially when the noun group is a long one.
This vain battle for identity and for love made of him a new human being.

Patterns described in this section
V n of n
V n of -ing
be V-ed of n/-ing
V pron-refl of n/-ing
V amount of n
be V-ed amount of
19 V n off n
The verb is followed by a noun group and a prepositional phrase which consists of off and a noun group. The passive pattern is be V-ed off n.

This pattern has one structure:

  • Verb with Object and Adjunct
    I crossed her off my list.
Active voice: V n off n
  Verb groupnoun groupoffnoun group
SubjectVerbObjectAdjunct  
I'll borrowsome moneyoffmy family.
They'd clearedall the snowoffthe carpark.
402
Passive voice: be V-ed off n
  Verb groupoffnoun group
SubjectVerbAdjunct  
Light from the lensesis bouncedoffthe mirrors.
Two schoolswere crossedoffthe list.

Verbs with this pattern belong to the following meaning groups:

1 The `peel' group 2 The `cadge' group 3 The `reflect' group
1 The `peel' group

These verbs are concerned with removing something or someone from somewhere, either physically or metaphorically. This includes taking an amount of money or time off something such as a debt or a record. It also includes omitting someone or something from a list.

  • He threatened to boycott the wedding when his estranged wife was left off the guest list.
  • Leo stood by the dresser peeling the foil off a bottle of champagne.
In the case of clip 8, cut 7, and shave 5, the noun group following the verb is always an amount. This pattern is V amount off n.
  • Members of the House and Senate are trying to design a budget which would shave $500 billion off the federal deficit in five years.
break chase clean clear clip cross cut flick kick knock leave lop peel pluck scrape shave skim strike take trim
2 The `cadge' group

These verbs are concerned with acquiring something from someone.

  • He's been cadging meals off me under false pretences for the past two months.
borrow cadge
3 The `reflect' group

These verbs are concerned with bouncing or reflecting light or sound off a surface.

  • Most holograms on public display can be seen when white light is reflected off them.
bounce reflect
403
4 Verbs with other meanings

There are a few other verbs which have this pattern.

  • We kind of bounce ideas off each other.
  • Bill's sister was there to meet them off the train that autumn afternoon.
bounce meet pull throw warn wean
Structure information

a) The noun group following the verb is the Object, and the prepositional phrase is an Adjunct.

b) This structure has a passive, with the pattern be V-ed off n. The prepositional phrase is an Adjunct.

Patterns described in this section
V n off n
be V-ed off n
V amount off n
20 V n on n
The verb is followed by a noun group and a prepositional phrase which consists of on and a noun group. With some verbs, the preposition is sometimes followed by an `-ing' clause or a wh-clause. The passive pattern is be V-ed on n.

With some verbs, the preposition is sometimes upon instead of on. Upon is a more formal or literary word.

This pattern has one structure:

  • Verb with Object and Adjunct
    He played a trick on her.
Active voice: V n on n
  Verb groupnoun grouponnoun group
SubjectVerbObjectAdjunct  
Idon't forcevegetarianism onpatients.
The rebelshave inflictedheavy lossesongovernment forces.
He lavishedattentiononher.
We will put pressureonthe authorities.
McClarenspranga new ideaonhim.
Bitter youngstershave turnedtheir angeronpolice.
Passive voice: be V-ed on n
  Verb grouponnoun group
SubjectVerbAdjunct  
Every detailwas imprintedonhis memory.
Hostile actswere being perpetratedonthe community.
Cheesecan be sprinkledonegg or vegetable dishes.
404
Phrasal verbs
Active voice: V n P on n, V P n (not pron) on n
  Verb groupnoun groupParticleonnoun group
SubjectVerb...Object...VerbAdjunct  
Ican fillhiminonthe background.
Shetookher angeroutonme.
  Verb groupParticlenoun grouponnoun group
SubjectVerb   ObjectAdjunct  
  Pindownsuppliersondelivery dates.
None of themwill putdownanythingon paper.
Passive voice: be V-ed P on n
  Verb groupParticleonnoun group
SubjectVerb   Adjunct  
This worthless paperwas palmedoffonthe state-owned banks.
The young Humeswere thrownbackontheir own resources.

Verbs with this pattern belong to the following meaning groups:

1 The `bestow' group 5 The `focus' group 9 The `carve' group
2 The `impose' group 6 The `pull a gun' group 10 The `base' group
3 The `question' group 7 The `bang' group 11 The `gamble' group
4 The `place' group 8 The `pat on the back' group 12 The `spend' group
1 The `bestow' group

These verbs are concerned with giving something to someone, or doing something pleasant to them.

  • Good looks are used in advertisements and films to confer prestige and power on those who possess them, and this is a value that has been absorbed into our system.
  • Japanese car bosses have heaped praise on British workers who accelerated their factory into profit a year early.
  • It involves a substantial amount of money being settled on that child.
The preposition is sometimes upon instead of on.
  • The King and Queen bestowed their grateful thanks upon Lancelot.
bestow confer heap lavish press settle
405
2 The `impose' group

These verbs are concerned with giving something unpleasant to someone, or doing something unpleasant to them. This includes:

  • blaming something on someone
  • inflicting or imposing something on someone e.g. dump, perpetrate
  • wishing something bad on someone
  • playing a trick on someone e.g. play, pull
  • serving a writ on someone
  • He said the republics brought trouble on themselves by ignoring his presidential decisions and by disregarding the Soviet constitution.
  • Rob dumped his children on the grandparents but my family does not live nearby.
  • Rose grieved privately with her immediate family and did not impose her grief on friends.
  • I did not bring this case to lay blame on my husband. It was the only way to get the insurance.
  • There are consistent reports of electrical torture being practised on inmates.
  • A Home Office spokeswoman said last night: `We have served a writ on Central Television to prevent the programme being screened.'
  • I didn't mean to take my anger out on him, but I couldn't help myself.
  • He told his son that he'd spent his life doing things he hated, and he wouldn't wish that on anyone.
The preposition is sometimes upon instead of on.
  • The reality is that a good therapist or counsellor will not try to foist anything upon a `client'.
In the case of impose 5, the noun group following the verb is always a reflexive pronoun. This pattern is V pron-refl on n.
  • Mrs Griffin said they could not possibly impose themselves on her for dinner, but if they might, they'd just stay for a drink and a chat.
blame bring dump exact foist force impose inflict lay perpetrate (usu passive) pin play practise (usu passive) pull revenge serve spring thrust vent be visited wish
palm off take out
3 The `question' group

These verbs are concerned with speaking or writing about a particular topic. The noun group indicates the person involved. This includes:

  • advising someone e.g. advise, counsel
  • instructing someone e.g. instruct, lecture
  • questioning someone e.g. cross-examine, grill
  • commending someone e.g. compliment, congratulate
  • criticizing someone e.g. pick up
  • accepting an offer or suggestion e.g. take up
  • This guide will brief you on sightseeing and shopping.
  • I congratulated Katherine on her decision to advance her education.
  • Witnesses were cross-examined on only those parts of the statements considered controversial.
  • He wouldn't be drawn on numbers, but said the Saudis would be given all the troops they needed.
406 His hosts will clearly want to question him closely on what he said in Dublin.
  • I'll tell my mummy on you!
The preposition on is sometimes followed by an `-ing' clause or a wh-clause.
  • The prime minister complimented him on leading what she described as the only Conservative government in Eastern Europe.
  • BR made it clear that it would consult its legal advisers on whether court action could be taken to prevent the strikes.
In the case of congratulate 3, the noun group following the verb is always a reflexive pronoun. This pattern is V pron-refl on n.
  • She congratulated herself on her own business acumen.
advise brief challenge commend compliment congratulate consult counsel cross-examine (not) draw (usu passive) grill harangue instruct lecture poll press (usu passive) question quiz update
fill in pick up pin down take up
4 The `place' group

These verbs are concerned with putting or fastening something somewhere, either physically or metaphorically. This includes:

  • concrete actions e.g. perch, sprinkle
  • abstract actions e.g. cast (doubt), throw (light)
  • putting a value or a tax on something
  • The top nature photographer explains how to capture iridescent peacock plumes on film.
  • The World Bank has cast doubt on reports in Argentina that it is to extend loans to the government of four thousand million dollars.
  • The taxes are levied on energy irrespective of the polluting potential of the technology and fuel used to generate that energy.
  • As they all piled in, Kai Lee perched herself on the driver's seat. She could just reach the pedals.
  • The fact that people are willing to pay to reduce risks shows that they set an implicit value on human life.
  • The next Budget should slap a massive tax surcharge on any car with an engine capacity above, say, 1,500cc.
The preposition is sometimes upon instead of on.
  • The Prime Minister placed great weight upon the American role in the Atlantic community.
In the case of cast, place, put 4, and throw 9, the preposition on is sometimes followed by an `-ing' clause or a wh-clause.
  • The prosecutors want to cast doubt on whether Smith has a good character.
  • He said `I have placed particular emphasis on establishing a good rapport and effective dialogue with British industry.'
capture cast centre clip cram impale levy load mount perch place plunk prop put set slap sprinkle (usu passive) throw
throw back (usu passive)
407
5 The `focus' group

These verbs are concerned with focusing your attention, your feelings, or your efforts on someone or something.

  • The public housing authorities were encouraged to concentrate their efforts on slum clearance and redevelopment rehousing.
  • Scientists now pin their hopes on treatment with combinations of drugs - but these hopes are not high.
  • She projected her desires on you.
The preposition is sometimes upon instead of on.
  • These writers assume the historical truth of the crucifixion of Jesus and focus their attention upon its significance.
In the case of turn, the feeling you focus on someone is usually aggressive.
  • The crowd then turned their anger on the Prime Minister and began to wave banners declaring `Spend more money on health.'
The preposition on is sometimes followed by an `-ing' clause or a wh-clause.
  • The debate is centred on whether the country's president should be elected directly by the people or by parliament.
centre (usu passive) concentrate direct fasten fix focus pin project turn
6 The `pull a gun' group

These verbs are concerned with directing a weapon at someone. In the case of fix and train, the object that is directed may also be a camera or radar.

  • I reminded him that Feld had pulled a gun on me and, most probably, had later ransacked my apartment.
fix pull train turn
7 The `bang' group

These verbs are concerned with striking one thing on another, or catching one thing on another. We include here the verb wipe.

  • He shouted out loud in his anger, and banged his fists on the steering wheel.
  • He caught his shirt on a nail.
  • I stared at the phone and drummed my fingers on my desk.
  • She set down the serving fork and wiped her hands on a dish towel.
bang catch drum hammer rap slap snag strike wipe
408
8 The `pat on the back' group

These verbs are concerned with touching or hitting someone, either in a friendly way or in a violent way. The noun group following the verb indicates the person you touch or hit. The prepositional phrase indicates which part of their body you touch or hit. We include here land and plant, where the noun group is a blow or a kiss, for example.

To pat someone on the back may also be metaphorical, meaning to praise someone. When a reflexive pronoun is used (see below), the action is always metaphorical.

  • His fist lashed out, caught her on the side of her face and knocked her down.
  • One by one the uncles rose and shook his hand, patted him on the back and welcomed him home.
  • Mary Ann leaned over and pecked him on the cheek.
  • Marvin tried to plant a Valentine's Day kiss on Ruth's cheek but his peck landed on the side of her neck.
In the case of pat, the noun group following the verb is often a reflexive pronoun. This pattern is V pron-refl on n.
  • The industry is patting itself on the back for being incredibly successful.
beat catch clap clout hit land pat peck plant slap
9 The `carve' group

These verbs are concerned with writing something somewhere, or with etching or carving something onto a surface. In the case of carve, engrave, etch, impress, and imprint, the process is metaphorical - someone impresses something on someone's mind.

  • He will say your name as often as he can, thus engraving it on his memory.
  • I wish to thank my friend Theresa King who encouraged me to develop my ideas and put them down on paper.

The preposition is sometimes upon instead of on.

  • His rune was carved or scratched upon warriors' swords to bring them luck in battle.
In the case of impress 3, the noun group following the verb is often a reflexive pronoun. This pattern is V pron-refl on n.
  • Details in the room were beginning to impress themselves on his mind.
carve engrave etch (usu passive) impress imprint (usu passive) inscribe print scratch superimpose (usu passive) write
put down
10 The `base' group

These verbs are concerned with basing one thing on another, for example basing a theory on facts.

  • They tried to build an empire on shaky foundations.
The preposition is sometimes upon instead of on.
  • A practical program leading toward the abolition of nuclear weapons must be based upon firm principles.
The preposition on is sometimes followed by an `-ing' clause. 409 The whole thing is predicated on whipping up demand for the tournament hotline. The preposition on is sometimes followed by a noun group and an `-ing' clause. This pattern is V n on n -ing.
  • My feminist understanding is predicated on me being a woman and seeing the world through the eyes of a woman in a society that is dominated by men.
base build ground (usu passive) predicate (usu passive) be premised
11 The `gamble' group

These verbs are concerned with gambling. The noun group indicates the stake, that is, what it is that you gamble, such as a pound or your life.

  • I 'll bet a quid on anything, but never more than a fiver.
  • Having decided to wager their lives on a toss of the dice, what value might they attach to the lives of others?
The preposition on is sometimes followed by an `-ing' clause.
  • She gambled a small fortune on hiring a top American publicist to plug her talents.

In the case of bet, gamble, lay, and stake, the preposition is sometimes followed by a noun group and an `-ing' clause. This pattern is V n on n -ing.

  • You wouldn't want to stake your life on the signal being picked up.
bet gamble lay place put stake wager
12 The `spend' group

These verbs are concerned with spending, saving, and wasting time, money, or resources.

  • `I do spend a lot on expensive jewelry and clothing,' she admits.
  • My father thought a university education was wasted on a woman.
The preposition on is sometimes followed by an `-ing' clause.
  • She blew part of the cash on furnishing her flat.
blow save spend waste waste (usu passive)
fork out shell out
13 The `model' group

These verbs are concerned with modelling something on something else, or modelling yourself on someone else.

  • Their organizational structure was patterned on the World War II underground resistance movement.
In the case of model 8, the noun group following the verb is often a reflexive pronoun. This pattern is V pron-refl on n.
  • As far as their preferences and dislikes are concerned, most children tend to model themselves on their parents.
model pattern (usu passive)
410
14 Verbs with other meanings

There are a number of other verbs which have this pattern.

  • Thomas Jefferson sold Congress on the idea of the decimal system for currency
  • He took the opportunity again to urge restraint on the Soviet government in its handling of the crisis.
  • She is a true couturier in that she wants to work individual magic on her clients.
In the case of commit, gorge, preen, and pride, the noun group following the verb is always or often a reflexive pronoun. This pattern is V pron-refl on n.
  • It isn't their diplomatic style to commit themselves on such a delicate issue.
(not) commit decide feed gorge indict judge preen pride remand sell tell urge work
let in
Structure information

a) The noun group following the verb is the Object, and the prepositional phrase is an Adjunct.

b) This structure has a passive, with the pattern be V-ed on n. The prepositional phrase is an Adjunct.

c) Though the prepositional phrase in this structure usually comes after the noun group, it sometimes comes before it, especially when the noun group is a long one. Verbs in meaning group 1 above have this ordering very frequently.
Expensive clothes do not necessarily bestow upon the wearer style or distinction.
Five Alsatian dogs from a private security firm were brought in to impress on the men the seriousness of the situation, and in this they were most successful.

d) Phrasal verb patterns are the same except that there is also a particle, P. The Object comes either between the verb and the particle, or after the particle. If the Object comes after the particle, it cannot be a personal pronoun. You say
She took it out on me
or She took out her anger on me
but you do not say She took out it on me.

Patterns described in this section
V n on n
V n on -ing
V n on wh
be V-ed on n/-ing/wh
V n on n -ing
be V-ed on n -ing
V pron-refl on n/-ing/wh
V n P on n/-ing/wh
V P n (not pron) on n/-ing/wh
be V-ed P on n/-ing/wh
21 V n onto n, V n on to n
The verb is followed by a noun group and a prepositional phrase which consists of onto or on to and a noun group. The passive pattern is be V-ed onto n.

This pattern has one structure:

  • Verb with Object and Adjunct
    He projected his feelings onto her.
411
Active voice: V n onto n
  Verb groupnoun groupontonoun group
SubjectVerbObjectAdjunct  
Iclippedthe cameraon tothe tripod-head.
The telescope mirrorfocuses light onto the small adaptive mirror.
Passive voice: be V-ed onto n
  Verb groupontonoun group
SubjectVerbAdjunct  
The skinhas to be graftedontothe burns.
The imageis scannedon toa photo-sensitive drum.

Verbs with this pattern belong to the following meaning groups:

1 The `stick' group 2 The `scan' group 3 The `focus' group
1 The `stick' group

These verbs are concerned with attaching or joining something to something else.

  • I like to use cut-outs of cartoon characters and sew them onto jeans.
  • Some manufacturers stick plywood strips on to a large sheet of glass to give the impression of separate panes.
attach bolt clamp clip connect graft (usu passive) hitch hook sew solder stick tack tape tie weld yoke
2 The `scan' group

These verbs are concerned with transferring information from one medium to another or one form to another.

  • He then printed the picture onto grade five paper with a soft focus filter under the enlarging lens.
  • The photographer needs only to scan the images onto the computer and then manipulate them until they are perfect.
  • The seeing eye robots pick out the clones they are programmed to select and transfer them onto tapes.
copy print scan (usu passive) transfer
3 The `focus' group

These verbs are concerned with focusing or projecting light or an image onto a surface.

  • The system uses large curved mirrors to focus the sun's rays onto a glass pipe.
  • Once a specimen has been selected, its microscopic image is automatically projected onto a television-sized screen where it can be easily focused and viewed.
412 focus project reflect throw
4 Verbs with other meanings

There are a few other verbs which have this pattern.

  • Johanna did not view herself as having difficulties and tended to project much of the blame and responsibility onto others.
  • A colleague at the `Independent' put me onto the story.
co-opt (usu passive) offload project put
Structure information

a) The noun group following the verb is the Object, and the prepositional phrase is an Adjunct.

b) This structure has a passive, with the pattern be V-ed onto n. The prepositional phrase is an Adjunct.

c) Though the prepositional phrase in this structure usually comes after the noun group, it sometimes comes before it, especially when the noun group is a long one.
We are prone to project onto the other person feelings and reactions which are essentially our own.

Patterns described in this section
V n onto n
V n on to n
be V-ed onto n
be V-ed on to n
22 V n out of n
The verb is followed by a noun group and a prepositional phrase which consists of out of and a noun group. With some verbs, the preposition is sometimes followed by an `-ing' clause. The passive pattern is be V-ed out of n.

This pattern has one structure:

  • Verb with Object and Adjunct
    I dragged the information out of him.
Active voice: V n out of n/-ing
  Verb groupnoun groupout ofnoun group/-ing clause
SubjectVerbObjectAdjunct  
Hefisheda timetableout ofthe drawer.
Shecouldn't getany more informationout ofTed.
Peopleshouldn't makemoneyout ofrunning prisons.
413
Passive voice: be V-ed out of n/-ing
  Verb groupout ofnoun group/-ing clause
SubjectVerbAdjunct  
Theywere connedout ofseveral hundred pounds.
His voicewill be editedout ofthe final film.
Somewere talkedout ofleaving.

Verbs with this pattern belong to the following meaning groups:

1 The `cheat' group 4 The `pluck' group 7 The `shut' group
2 The `screw' group 5 The `force' group 8 The `bail' group
3 The `get' group 6 The `talk' group 9 The `make' group
1 The `cheat' group

These verbs are concerned with fraudulently taking something, usually money, away from someone. The noun group indicates who is deprived of something, and the prepositional phrase indicates what is taken from them.

  • A businessman cheated the Inland Revenue out of *53150 million, a court heard yesterday.
  • He swindled clients out of millions before FIMBRA caught him out.
bilk cheat con defraud do fleece swindle trick
2 The `screw' group

These verbs are concerned with getting something from someone with some difficulty. The noun group indicates what is obtained, and the prepositional phrase indicates who it is obtained from.

This is a productive use: any verb which indicates a way of persuading someone or applying pressure can be used with this pattern. The verbs listed here are the ones which are most frequently used in this way.

  • The families soon discovered that every piece of information had to be dragged out of them.
  • The company has a monopoly position that it uses to screw more money out of people.
  • He didn't try to worm secrets out of you the way so many grown-ups did.
charm coax con drag get prize screw squeeze tease wheedle winkle worm wring
414
3 The `get' group

These verbs are concerned with gaining something from an activity or thing.

  • The attempt to make money out of the historic find has caused outrage.
The preposition out of is sometimes followed by an `-ing' clause.
  • You might get a lot of pleasure out of refurnishing and re-equipping a new home.
In the case of get, the noun group following is often an amount. This pattern is V amount out of n.
  • `Would you recommend the course to other people?' `Yes, I feel I got a lot out of it.'
get make
4 The `pluck' group

These verbs are concerned with removing something from a place or thing. We include here pull VP3, which indicates that a country takes their troops out of an area.

  • Relief workers are still trying to dig people out of the rubble.
  • He plucked a cube of sugar out of the bowl and placed it on his tongue.
  • He said that the Americans and their allies should pull their forces out of the area.
In the case of elbow, the noun group is usually followed by out of the way.
  • He elbowed Crook out of the way and advanced on Woods, his massive beer-gut quivering with indignation.
clip cut dig edit elbow filter fish pluck prize pull take turn write
5 The `force' group

These verbs are concerned with forcing someone to leave a place, position, activity, or state.

This is a productive use: any verb which indicates the use of force or pressure can be used with this pattern. The verbs listed here are the ones which are most frequently used in this way.

  • He said he would oppose moves to force the president out of office.
  • She fears the authorities might kick her out of Barbados.
  • The sixth seed, Michael Chang, has been knocked out of the Australian Indoor Championship in the third round.
  • This was apparently enough to shake Haig out of his complacency.
bomb (usu passive) boot chase chuck drive drum (usu passive) flush force hound (usu passive) jolt kick knock order put shake throw turf turn vote winkle
6 The `talk' group

These verbs are concerned with persuading someone to leave a place or state, or persuading someone not to do something.

This is a productive use: any verb which indicates a way of persuading someone can be 415 used with this pattern. The verbs listed here are the ones which are most frequently used in this way.

  • David Gower has been coaxed out of retirement to captain the Earl of Carnarvon's XI against South Africa.
In the case of talk, the preposition out of is sometimes followed by an `-ing' clause.
  • My mother tried to talk me out of getting a divorce.
coax persuade talk
7 The `shut' group

These verbs are concerned with excluding someone or something. We include here block and blot, which indicate that someone excludes a thought from their mind.

  • You know it can happen but you have to block it out of your mind.
  • They were concerned that they were being left out of the decision-making process.
  • She also bombarded him with cruel abuse and locked him out of the house at night.
  • American semiconductor firms were virtually shut out of the Japanese market.
block blot cut edge freeze leave lock put rule shut squeeze (usu passive)
8 The `bail' group

These verbs are concerned with rescuing someone from a bad situation.

  • We'd bail him out of trouble when he owed money.
In the case of talk, the noun group following the preposition is always a reflexive pronoun. This pattern is V pron-refl out of n. This verb sometimes indicates that someone gets themselves out of a good situation rather than a bad one.
  • I always have the sense that I can talk myself out of trouble.
  • He talked himself out of a job.
bail get pull talk
9 The `make' group

These verbs are concerned with making something. The prepositional phrase indicates the materials or things that are used to make the thing. We include here be born, which indicates that something abstract is created from or produced by something else.

  • His quest for justice was born out of the violence and racism he encountered in his youth.
  • Joe remained as immobile as if he had been carved out of rock.
  • He was very clever with his hands and he enjoyed making new things out of old bits and pieces.
be born carve (usu passive) conjure construct (usu passive) create cut fashion hew (usu passive) make manufacture
conjure up
416
10 Verbs with other meanings

There are three other verbs which have this pattern.

  • Soon it was time to go, and we got changed out of our swimming gear.
  • Schools knock the creative impulse out of their students.
get changed check knock
Structure information

a) The noun group following the verb is the Object, and the prepositional phrase is an Adjunct.

b) This structure has a passive, with the pattern be V-ed out of n.

c) The prepositional phrase in this structure usually comes after the noun group. Sometimes, however, the prepositional phrase comes before the noun group, especially when the noun group is a long one.
It didn't take long before she'd wormed out of him confessions of his other infidelities.

Patterns described in this section
V n out of n
V n out of -ing
be V-ed out of n/-ing
V pron-refl out of n
V amount out of n
23 V n over n
The verb is followed by a noun group and a prepositional phrase which consists of over and a noun group. The passive pattern is be V-ed over n.

This pattern has one structure:

  • Verb with Object and Adjunct
    Spoon the sugar over the fruit.
Active voice: V n over n
  Verb groupnoun groupovernoun group
SubjectVerbObjectAdjunct  
  Brush melted butteroverthe pastry.
The youthspouredkeroseneoverthe floor.
Passive voice: be V-ed over n
  Verb groupovernoun group
SubjectVerbAdjunct  
A portion of his asheswas scatteredoverthe Channel.
Cooling waterwas sprayedoverthe engines.

Most of the verbs with this pattern are concerned with pouring or sprinkling a substance over a surface or over something else.

  • Place the stoned mirabelle plums in the mould and drizzle the liqueur over them.
  • Sprinkle the wheat grains liberally over the soil, water them in, then cover with wet newspaper.
417 The preposition over is sometimes preceded by all.
  • The racoons knock over the rubbish bins in search of food, and strew the contents all over the ground.
brush distribute dribble drizzle pour scatter spoon spray sprinkle strew
Verbs with other meanings

There are three other verbs which have this pattern.

  • Did Laura know something and hold it over Felicity?
fight hold rap
Structure information

a) The noun group following the verb is the Object, and the prepositional phrase is an Adjunct.

b) This structure has a passive, with the pattern be V-ed over n. The prepositional phrase is an Adjunct.

Patterns described in this section
V n over n
be V-ed over n
24 V n to n
The verb is followed by a noun group and a prepositional phrase which consists of to and a noun group. With some verbs, the preposition is sometimes followed by an `-ing' clause. The passive pattern is be V-ed to n.

This pattern has three structures:

  • Structure I: Verb with Object and prepositional Object
    I lent some money to my father.
  • Structure II: Verb with Object and prepositional Object Complement
    He changed his name to Adam.
  • Structure III: Verb with Object and Adjunct
    She devoted a whole chapter to the subject.
Structure I: Verb with Object and prepositional Object
Active voice: V n to n
  Verb groupnoun grouptonoun group
SubjectVerbObjectprepositional Object  
Weexplained the situationto him.
Building societieslendmoney to housebuyers.
Sherentedroomsto university students.
I showed the sketchestomy producer.
418
Passive voice: be V-ed to n
  Verb grouptonoun group
SubjectVerbprepositional Object  
The wall paintingshave been attributedtoa 16th century Sicilian painter.
Personal detailswere being forwardedtothe authorities.
Minimum wagesare to be indexedto inflation.
The carmust be restoredtoits rightful owner.
Phrasal verbs
Active voice: V n P to n, V P n (not pron) to n
  Verb group noun groupParticle tonoun group
SubjectVerb...Object...Verbprepositional Object  
Hemarriedhis daughter offtoa peasant farmer.
Ihave passedmy informationontothe police.
  Verb groupParticlenoun grouptonoun group
SubjectVerb   Objectprepositional Object  
Hemadeouta chequeto his wife.
Pregnant womenmay passonthe diseasetotheir unborn children.
Passive voice: be V-ed P to n
  Verb groupParticletonoun group
SubjectVerb   prepositional Object  
The evidencewas handedovertothe German authorities.
Mops and broomswere loanedouttothe staff.

Verbs with this structure belong to the following meaning groups:

I.1 The `give' group I.4 The `transmit' group I.7 The `link' group
I.2 The `promise' group I.5 The `show' group I.8 The `impart' group
I.3 The `communicate' group I.6 The `sell' group I.9 The `attribute' group
I.1 The `give' group

These verbs are concerned with giving or transferring something to someone. This includes:

  • giving e.g. award, feed, grant
  • bequeathing e.g. leave, will
  • 419
  • lending e.g. lend, loan
  • transferring something e.g. hand, pass
  • transferring responsibility for something e.g. delegate, subcontract
  • allocating or committing money or resources e.g. allot, assign
  • conceding e.g. cede, yield
  • introducing ideas or systems e.g. export, introduce
  • marrying someone to someone
  • dedicating something such as a book or a building to someone
  • The seats are allotted to candidates who have won the most votes according to their parties' percentages.
  • With fewer than twenty agents on the case he couldn't assign this distasteful task to a junior agent.
  • Just before Charles died in November 1700 the court persuaded him to bequeath his whole empire intact to Louis's grandson, Philip of Anjou.
  • Willis was a target for criticism after Liverpool conceded three first half goals to the champions.
  • He took the money home at the end of the week and gave it to his mother to keep shoes on his feet and chickens in the pot.
  • He pledged to introduce real democracy to Chad.
  • I became a dancer. Otherwise I would have been married off to a rich industrialist.
  • The commander in chief said he expected his forces to surrender their arms to United Nations peace-keeping forces early next week.
  • Most scientists here believe that it is at least theoretically possible for the disease to be transmitted to humans.
The preposition to is sometimes followed by an `-ing' clause when the verb involves committing money or resources to a particular cause or activity.
  • NBC Radio's embattled president had committed all available resources to fixing his disastrous prime time schedule.
In the case of arrogate, the noun group following the preposition is always a reflexive pronoun. This pattern is V n to pron-refl.
  • Such non-Catholic religious persons were thereby invisibly tied to the official church, which arrogated jurisdiction over them to itself.
accord administer allocate allot (usu passive) arrogate assign award bequeath bring cede commit concede contribute dedicate dedicate (usu passive) delegate deliver devolve dispense distribute donate entrust export extend feed give grant hand introduce leave lend license loan marry pass pass (usu passive) pay present reallocate remit render restore (usu passive) sacrifice sell serve slip subcontract submit supply surrender transfer transmit vouchsafe will yield
contract out deal out farm out give back hand back hand on hand over loan out make over marry off pass on pay out turn over
I.2 The `promise' group

These verbs are concerned with offering or promising something to someone.

420 Banks in many areas offer free checking accounts to older people or reduce the minimum balance requirements.
  • The company's management will promise higher returns to stockholders.
offer pledge proffer promise
I.3 The `communicate' group

These verbs are concerned with communicating something to someone verbally or in writing. The noun group following the verb may indicate the communication, e.g. address remarks, pen a note, or the content of the communication, e.g. break the news, communicate our ideas. It may also indicate the person involved, e.g. introduce someone, unburden yourself. The prepositional phrase indicates the person who you speak or write to.

We include here nod and wave, which indicate non-verbal communication.

  • She turned and addressed her next remarks to Mary Ann.
  • On 4th December 1700, Philippe, grandson of Louis XIV, bade farewell to the King and his court at the Chateau of Sceaux.
  • Police were last night breaking the news of the tragedy to Faye's parents, who were away on holiday.
  • Words are the tools, the transmitters, by which we communicate our ideas to one another.
  • The contents of any interview with a foreign journalist are divulged immediately to Japanese journalists covering the same story.
  • It's not uncommon for attorneys and other professionals to act as intermediaries and introduce clients to each other.
  • If you feel that your home circumstances necessitate a period of convalescence, mention this to the Ward Sister.
  • Usually, psychologists and psychiatrists agree on a diagnosis and present their findings to the presiding judge.
  • Less than three weeks before he died, Chekhov wrote a letter to his mother in which he told her his health was on the mend.
In the case of address 4 and unburden, the noun group following the verb is often a reflexive pronoun. This pattern is V pron-refl to n.
  • Children soon discover that it is much safer to unburden yourself to a member of the family than just a friend.
address (usu passive) address admit announce bid break commend communicate confess confide describe dictate disclose divulge explain express give impart intimate introduce leak mention murmur nod offer pass pen pencil present propose put read recommend relate relay (usu passive) remember repeat report reveal say suggest teach tell unburden wave write
call out make out pass on report back
I.4 The `transmit' group

These verbs are concerned with sending something such as a message to someone or to a place, for example through the post or by fax.

421 He handed over his report to his secretary, who faxed it to Martin.
  • Controllers barked orders by telephone which were relayed to pilots by radio.
  • Life on board the boats has been transmitted by video to the world's television screens, with scenes of icebergs at dawn, of small yachts ploughing through massive seas.
cable fax forward mail post relay return send telegraph telex transmit wire
I.5 The `show' group

These verbs are concerned with showing something to someone.

  • She displayed the new baby to a group of admiring friends.
  • He promised me I'd admire this part of the country, wanted to show it to me.
demonstrate display show
I.6 The `sell' group

These verbs are concerned with selling, auctioning, or renting something to someone.

  • France and Germany announced they were planning to export reprocessing plants to Pakistan and Brazil.
  • Originally the land was leased either to the aristocracy, the governing monarch or the monasteries, who then sub-leased it to the people.
  • If prices dropped today, would you sell your house to me?
auction (usu passive) export lease let rent sell sub-lease sublet
sell on
I.7 The `link' group

These verbs are concerned with linking two or more things or people, or making a connection between them.

  • The Cuban musicians themselves often liken their musical movement to the works of Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen.
  • The President appeared to link a solution to the Gulf crisis to talks on other Middle East disputes.
  • America's future as a superpower is tied to social justice at home, to a healthy economy and good trading relations with other nations.
The preposition to is sometimes followed by an `-ing' clause. Also, in the case of compare and liken, the verb is sometimes followed by an `-ing' clause instead of a noun group.
  • I like to compare undergoing bypass surgery to paying taxes. The longer it is comfortably and safely put off, the better.
anchor (usu passive) compare connect correlate (usu passive) index (usu passive) liken link match relate tie (usu passive)
match up
422
I.8 The `impart' group

These verbs are concerned with adding a particular quality to a thing, event, or situation.

  • Their political differences only added spice to their relationship.
  • Butter imparts a full, rich taste to a cake.
  • Earle was improving in health, and this fact alone lent a brighter hue to life and its duties.
add bring impart lend
I.9 The `attribute' group

These verbs are concerned with ascribing or attributing a particular thing, feature or quality to someone or something.

  • Society is now assigning no positive value to suffering and is becoming more oriented toward a culture of comfort.
  • The gulf separating him from other children could not be attributed to class differences alone.
  • The fact that witch-hunting flourished in very different religious cultures should make us wary of imputing great significance to any one set of beliefs.
The preposition to is sometimes followed by an `-ing' clause.
  • Kelly attributes her coping ability to growing up in a big family.
The preposition to is sometimes followed by a noun group and an `-ing' clause. This pattern is V n to n -ing.
  • Some officials attribute this to people not knowing where to go.
ascribe assign attach attribute attribute (usu passive) credit impute
put down
I.10 Verbs with other meanings

There are a few other verbs which have this structure.

  • The Puritans hated bear-baiting, not because it gave pain to the bear, but because it gave pleasure to the spectators.
  • Conventional, fixed-rate loans present major risks to lenders.
In the case of lend, the noun group following the verb is always a reflexive pronoun. This pattern is V pron-refl to n.
  • NASA says the current schedule of upcoming shuttle missions does not lend itself to another attempt at a night landing in Florida any time within the foreseeable future.
In the case of owe 3,4 the noun group following the verb is always an amount. This pattern is V amount to n.
  • Their mother worked two jobs, 14 hours a day, to pay for her children's education. `We owe a lot to our mother,' Julie said.
give lend owe pledge present
423
Structure information: Verb with Object and prepositional Object

a) The noun group following the verb is the Object, and the prepositional phrase is the prepositional Object.

b) This structure has a passive, with the pattern be V-ed to n. The prepositional phrase is the prepositional Object.

c) Though the prepositional phrase in this structure usually comes after the noun group, it sometimes comes before it, especially when the noun group is a long one.
The State has arrogated to itself the power and will to reform the moral character of the delinquent and even of the criminal.
I am eager to demonstrate to you the extent of our far-flung scientific endeavor.

d) Phrasal verb patterns are the same except that there is also a particle, P. The Object comes either between the verb and the particle, or after the particle. If the Object comes after the particle, it cannot be a personal pronoun. You say
He passed it on to the police
or He passed on the information to the police
but you do not say He passed on it to the police.

Structure II: Verb with Object and prepositional Object Complement
Active voice: V n to n
  Verb groupnoun grouptonoun group
SubjectVerbObjectprep. Object Complement  
Shechangedher nametoCaroline.
Heconverted the notetocash.
Heraisedhis voicetoa shriek.
Passive voice: be V-ed to n
  Verb grouptonoun group
SubjectVerbprepositional Complement  
Their sentenceshave been commutedtolife imprisonment.
Hehas been promotedtosenior vice president.

Verbs with this structure are all concerned with changing something to something else. We include here the verbs demote and promote when the prepositional phrase indicates a person's new status, as in They promoted him to non-executive Director. We also include keep, which involves letting something stay at the same level.

This is a productive use: any verb which involves change can be used with this pattern. The verbs listed here are those which are most frequently used in this way.

  • Obtain the rate of exchange from your local bank on the day you order and use that figure to convert the pounds to dollars.
  • He had a tendency to drop his voice to a whisper.
  • Security was kept to a minimum this year and the protest passed off peacefully.
424 abbreviate change commute convert decrease demote drop increase keep lower promote raise reduce (usu passive) shorten swell turn
cut down narrow down whittle down

Many of the verbs with this structure also have the pattern V n from n to n. The verb is followed by a noun group and two prepositional phrases, the first beginning with from, and the second beginning with to. The first prepositional phrase indicates what the person or thing originally was, and the second indicates what he, she, or it becomes. The passive pattern is be V-ed from n to n. The phrasal verb patterns are V n P from n to n, V P n (not pron) from n to n, and be V-ed P from n to n.

  • Pope Urban commuted Galileo's sentence from prison to house arrest.
Structure information: Verb with Object and prepositional Object Complement

a) The noun group following the verb is the Object, and the prepositional phrase is the prepositional Object Complement.

b) This structure has a passive, with the pattern be V-ed to n. The prepositional phrase is the prepositional Complement.

c) There are only three phrasal verbs with this structure, cut down, narrow down, and whittle down. The active patterns are V n P to n and V P n (not pron) to n. The Object comes either between the verb and the particle, or after the particle. If the Object comes after the particle, it cannot be a personal pronoun. You say
The police narrowed it down to four
or The police narrowed down their list of suspects to four
but you do not say The police narrowed down it to four.
The passive pattern is be V-ed P to n.

Structure III: Verb with Object and Adjunct
Active voice: V n to n
  Verb groupnoun grouptonoun group
SubjectVerbObjectAdjunct  
Shebanishedhimtothe upstairs attic room.
Hechallengedthe officertoa duel.
A womandenouncedhertothe police.
Passive voice: be V-ed to n
  Verb grouptonoun group
SubjectVerbAdjunct  
Iwas admittedtothe Duke Hospital.
He and his colleagueswere broughtto trial.
Hewas condemnedto death.
The teamwas relegatedtoDivision Two.
425
Phrasal verbs
Active voice: V n P to n, V P n (not pron) to n
  Verb group noun groupParticle tonoun group
SubjectVerb...Object...VerbAdjunct  
She broughthimroundtoher way of thinking.
One of the menhookedthe stereo speakersupto the TV.
Thattakesmebacktomy childhood.
  Verb groupParticlenoun grouptonoun group
SubjectVerb   ObjectAdjunct  
Theyputoffthe matchtoFriday.
Youcan tack onanother 20 percenttothose estimates.
Passive voice: be V-ed P to n
  Verb groupParticletonoun group
SubjectVerb   Adjunct  
The childrenwere packed offtoschool.
Modern hypnosiscan be tracedbacktothe late eighteenth century.

Verbs with this structure belong to the following meaning groups:

III.1 The `devote' group III.7 The `appoint' group III.13 The `condemn' group
III.2 The `limit' and `extend' group III.8 The `lead' group III.14 The `beat to death' group
III.3 The `attach' group III.9 The `betray' group III.15 The `draw attention' group
III.4 The `attract' group III.10 The `invite' group III.16 The `postpone' group
III.5 The `prefer' and `subjugate' group III.11 The `alert' and `blind' group III.17 The `credit' group
III.6 The `banish' group III.12 The `incite' group III.18 The `convert' group
III.1 The `devote' group

These verbs are concerned with devoting or dedicating yourself, your time, or your energy to a particular cause or activity. This includes restricting or tying yourself to one particular activity.

  • With her household now running comparatively smoothly, Eleanor was able to devote still more time to worthy projects outside her home.
The preposition to is sometimes followed by an `-ing' clause.
  • I wouldn't like to be tied to catching the last train home.
In the case of abandon, apply, commit, confine, dedicate, devote, limit, pledge, and restrict, the noun group following the verb is always or often a reflexive pronoun. This pattern is V pron-refl to n/-ing.
  • The Guardian addresses itself to the question of how the Labour opposition should act over the issue.
426 We don't want to commit ourselves to doing anything that might require too much strength, endurance, or time.
  • The report recommended that council members confine themselves to debating broad issues of social policy, leaving the professionals responsible for the detailed execution.
  • The government will continue to dedicate itself to peace.
  • In his preface to The Story of Art, Sir Ernst makes it clear that he limits himself to real works of art and does not consider mere specimens of fashion.
  • Chomsky is not interested in linguistic variation. He restricts himself to grammar, and in particular to core grammar.
abandon address apply commit confine dedicate devote enslave limit pledge restrict rivet (usu passive) tie (usu passive)
give over (usu passive)
III.2 The `limit' and `extend' group

These verbs are concerned with:

  • limiting or restricting yourself or someone else to a particular amount of something
  • limiting a thing or activity to a particular person, thing, or idea
  • extending or generalizing something so that it affects more people or things
  • He now wants to extend his law to all private and public buildings.
  • The American Psychoanalytic Association chose to limit normal membership to licensed physicians.
In the case of limit 6, ration, and restrict 1, the noun group following the preposition is often an amount. This pattern is V n to amount. Where the noun group following the verb is a reflexive pronoun, the pattern is V pron-refl to amount.
  • When our children were young, viewing was rationed to about three times a week.
  • He told him that an excess of sweeteners was aggravating his mother's condition and made him promise to see she restricted herself to six a day.
broaden extend generalize (usu passive) limit ration (usu passive) restrict
boil down (usu passive)
III.3 The `attach' group

These verbs are concerned with attaching, adding, or joining something to something else, either physically or metaphorically.

  • For your free safety check and tyre gauge, affix two different numbered tokens to the coupon.
  • The lawyers argue that, by attaching conditions to public arts funding, Congress suppresses freedom of expression.
  • Tendons are tough fibrous bands of elastic tissue which connect muscles to the bone.
  • Another difference with this year's Williams car is that its engine is coupled to a semi-automatic gearbox.
  • He ran a wire under his bedroom carpet and soldered it to the telephone terminal so he could continue dialling into networks at other people's expense.
  • Security experts wired up dozens of expensive plants to the main alarm system at his mansion.
427 In the case of attach 2,4, the noun group following the verb is often a reflexive pronoun. This pattern is V pron-refl to n.
  • This molecule attaches itself to titanium atoms but not to carbon atoms.
add affix annex append (usu passive) attach bind bolt chain clamp clip connect couple (usu passive) harness (usu passive) hitch hook join knit lash link padlock rope sew shackle solder stick tack tape tether tie weld yoke
connect up hook up link up (usu passive) tack on wire up
III.4 The `attract' group

These verbs are concerned with attracting someone to a person or thing. In the case of attract and draw, the noun group following the verb indicates the person who is attracted. In the case of commend, endear, and recommend, it indicates the thing that someone is attracted to. We include here attract 5, which involves one object attracting another object.

  • Financially, any company wants to attract investors to something new.
In the case of recommend, the Subject always indicates a quality.
  • The qualities that recommended him to the electorate - his apparent diffidence and lack of ambition - may make him vulnerable as prime minister.
In the case of commend and endear, the noun group following the verb is often a reflexive pronoun. This pattern is V pron-refl to n.
  • He is the kind of bluff, witty figure who can endear himself to ordinary men and women.
attract attract (usu passive) commend draw endear recommend
III.5 The `prefer' and `subjugate' group

These verbs are concerned with thinking of something as being better or worse than something else, or with acting as though something is more important than something else.

  • The modern executive woman has probably worked hard at subjugating her maternal instinct to the pursuit of ambition and the extension of her intellectual capacity.
The preposition to is sometimes followed by an `-ing' clause. In the case of prefer, the noun group following the verb is sometimes replaced by an `-ing' clause as well.
  • The goalkeeper seemed to prefer dribbling the ball up the field to defending his goal.
prefer subjugate (usu passive) subordinate
III.6 The `banish' group

These verbs are concerned with sending or taking someone or something to a place. We include here verbs concerned with allowing someone to enter a place or organisation.

  • The US Navy owns most of the island, and has banished the inhabitants to a narrow central strip.
428 When a reporter asked me how to find a cheap airfare to Boston, I ended up directing him to a cut-rate travel agent in San Bruno.
  • A cameraman was plucked to safety yesterday after being trapped for two days inside an active volcano.
  • He borrowed heavily to send his three sons to the best schools.
admit (usu passive) admit assign (usu passive) banish bring (usu passive) commit (usu passive) confine confine (usu passive) consign deport direct extradite (usu passive) pluck (usu passive) refer (usu passive) refer relegate restrict send transfer transfer (usu passive) transplant
bundle off pack off take out

Many of the verbs in this group also have the pattern V n from n to n. The verb is followed by a noun group and two prepositional phrases, the first beginning with from, and the second beginning with to. The first prepositional phrase indicates the original location of the person or thing, and the second indicates where he, she, or it is sent or moved to. The passive pattern is be V-ed from n to n.

  • Twelve of the member countries in the league decided to transfer the organisation's headquarters from Tunisia to Cairo.
III.7 The `appoint' group

These verbs are concerned with appointing someone to a position, or with moving them from one job or role to another. We include here the verb accredit, which involves the recognition that someone has a particular job or position.

  • The proposal is seen as a compromise, following resistance within the police of an earlier plan to appoint graduates to senior police positions.
  • He was apprenticed to a clock-maker in Wick and invented the first electric clock.
  • Archbishop Tutu said: `I am more convinced than ever that theologically and socially it is right to ordain women to the priesthood.'
accredit (usu passive) appoint apprentice (usu passive) demote nominate ordain promote (usu passive) recall recruit relegate (usu passive) transfer upgrade (usu passive)

Many of the verbs in this group also have the pattern V n from n to n. The verb is followed by a noun group and two prepositional phrases, the first beginning with from, and the second beginning with to. The first prepositional phrase indicates the person's original position, and the second indicates their new position. The passive pattern is be V-ed from n to n.

  • Aston Villa had just been relegated from the First Division to the Second, but the new manager was able to lift them back.
III.8 The `lead' group

These verbs are concerned with leading someone somewhere metaphorically, for example to a point in the conversation or to a time in the past.

  • This leads me to my third point. Issues of control.
bring lead
take back
429
III.9 The `betray' group

These verbs are concerned with telling people in authority that someone has done something wrong. The prepositional phrase indicates who the authority is. The implication is usually that the person referred to by the Subject betrays the other person by giving this information.

  • The unnamed protagonist of the drama is a student on the run from his own revolutionary comrades, having betrayed them to the police under torture.
  • My parents didn't talk to me because I grassed him up to the police.
In the case of turn in, the noun group following the verb is often a reflexive pronoun. This pattern is V pron-refl P to n.
  • The third suspect turned himself in to the police department later that afternoon.
betray denounce report shop
grass up turn in
III.10 The `invite' group

These verbs are concerned with inviting someone to take part in something.

  • She invited us to a lavish party to celebrate her fiftieth birthday.
ask challenge invite
III.11 The `alert' and `blind' group

These verbs are concerned with changing someone's awareness of or attitude to a situation. This includes:

  • making someone aware of something e.g. awaken, sensitize
  • blinding or desensitizing someone to something e.g. blind, inure
  • adapting yourself to something e.g. acclimatize, accustom
  • resigning yourself to a situation e.g. reconcile, resign
  • He stopped for a moment to try to adjust his vision to the faint starlight of the night.
  • In the old days he would have been executed for failing to alert the army to the ambush, but the colonel was not in a mood to add blood to blood.
  • His quest to get to the bottom of each case may have blinded him to the practicalities of getting the best deal for the hapless victims.
The preposition to is sometimes followed by an `-ing' clause.
  • After that night almost a year earlier, she had reconciled herself to never seeing him again, and after Sophie's birth, she had stopped wanting to see him.
In the case of acclimatize, accommodate, accustom, adapt 1, adjust, desensitize, reconcile, and resign, the noun group following the verb is always or often a reflexive pronoun. This pattern is V pron-refl to n.
  • It takes time to acclimatize yourself to retirement.
  • He was using his relaxation sessions to desensitize himself to the trauma of his journey.
acclimatize accommodate accustom adapt adjust alert awaken blind desensitize inure reconcile resign sensitize
430
III.12 The `incite' group

These verbs are concerned with putting someone or something in a particular state, or making them behave in a particular way.

  • The party agreed not to threaten armed action, to train its soldiers inside the country, or to incite its supporters to violence.
  • There is enough evidence to suggest that factors such as personality, attitude and moral sense predispose some individuals to criminal behaviour.
  • The presence of a committed fifth member has spurred the band on to their most adventurous effort to date.
The preposition to is sometimes followed by an `-ing' clause.
  • In some areas, the UN team found that communities were reduced to eating wild plants and had access only to very limited supplies of water.
In the case of work up, the noun group following the verb is always a reflexive pronoun. This pattern is V pron-refl P to n.
  • He had worked himself up to such a pitch of indignation that he had to tell me the whole story.
drive incite incline lull move predispose reduce (usu passive) rouse (usu passive)
bring round put up spur on work up
III.13 The `condemn' group

These verbs are concerned with making someone experience something unpleasant.

  • The main aim must be to find these children families and not condemn them to institutions.
In the case of put, the prepositional phrase is always to death.
  • Looking back over the recently ended holocaust, Voltaire claimed that one hundred thousand witches had been put to death.
In the case of subject, the noun group following the verb is often a reflexive pronoun. This pattern is V pron-refl to n.
  • White, not content to train his mind, has also subjected himself to a strict diet.
condemn (usu passive) condemn doom put sentence subject
III.14 The `beat to death' group

These verbs are concerned with:

  • ways of injuring or killing someone
  • ways of affecting someone very strongly e.g. bore, frighten

The verbs concerned with killing or injuring are usually used in the passive. With these verbs, the most frequent prepositional phrase that occurs is to death. The verb bore also occurs with the prepositional phrase to tears.

This is a very productive use: any verb involving injuring or killing can be used with this pattern. The verbs listed here are the ones which are most frequently used in this way.

  • A subsequent investigation revealed the two men had been beaten to death.
  • I wish Alex would take me out, but I'm afraid I bore him to death.
431 Campaigners working on behalf of the family of a man who was crushed to death by a police car are furious that the officers involved are still on duty. In the case of drink, the noun group following the verb is always a reflexive pronoun. This pattern is V pron-refl to n. The verb starve often has this pattern as well.
  • He is now on the third day of his hunger strike. He says he will starve himself to death unless his activists are released from prison.
batter (usu passive) beat (usu passive) blast (usu passive) bore burn (usu passive) choke (usu passive) club (usu passive) crush (usu passive) drink frighten gore (usu passive) kick (usu passive) knife peck scare shoot (usu passive) spear (usu passive) stab (usu passive) starve torture (usu passive)
III.15 The `draw attention' group

These verbs are concerned with directing your own or someone else's attention to something or someone.

  • I'm dipping into the culture, pointing a finger, directing attention to what's there.
  • I want to draw your attention once again to the opportunity of borrowing from individual investors.
  • We have given some thought to the problem of motor traffic, which is clearly one of the biggest sources of pollution.
The preposition to is sometimes followed by an `-ing' clause.
  • Landscape painting finally became a subject in its own right and great artists began to turn their undivided attention to developing this form of painting.
direct divert draw give pay switch turn

Many of the verbs in this group also have the pattern V n from n to n. The verb is followed by a noun group and two prepositional phrases, the first beginning with from, and the second beginning with to. The first prepositional phrase indicates where the person's attention was orginally focused, and the second indicates its new focus.

  • One thing the Democrats have to do is to switch people's attention from the Gulf to the economy and domestic problems.
III.16 The `postpone' group

These verbs are concerned with postponing or rescheduling something to a particular time or date.

  • If I don't use all my holiday allowance one year, can I carry it over to the next year?
  • The date for price reform has been postponed to January 2nd - it was actually supposed to happen this month.
  • The Alton Water Junior Championships has been rescheduled to Saturday, October 2.
backdate postpone (usu passive) reschedule
carry over put back (usu passive) put off

The verb postpone also has the pattern V n until n. The passive pattern is be V-ed until n. The phrasal verbs put back and put off have the patterns V n P until n, V P n (not pron) until n, and be V-ed P until n.

  • The album was originally due out before Christmas but has now been put back until the beginning of next year.
432
III.17 The `credit' group

These verbs are concerned with charging, crediting, or debiting something to a bank account.

  • The preferential overdraft is only available to young workers who credit their salary to their Maxim account.
charge credit debit
III.18 The `convert' group

These verbs are concerned with changing the condition or circumstances of someone or something in some way. The prepositional phrase indicates the nature of the change or the new condition or circumstances.

  • As he braked the car to a halt, he became aware that something was in the vehicle with him.
  • We trudged back through the snow, which was filtering down over the top of my boots and chilling my legs to the bone.
  • He was converted to Christianity and renounced his wealth.
  • Villages and farms were razed to the ground.
  • In his songs he set poetic texts to music.
brake chill convert elevate grind raze (usu passive) relegate restore set tune (usu passive)
turn over
III.19 Verbs with other meanings

There are many other verbs which have this structure.

  • Gently apply the cream to the affected areas.
  • Under the blueprint to be implemented from October, the area around the famous monuments will be barred to all tourist vehicles
  • I had to decide very quickly what was significant and commit it to paper.
  • The guidebooks devoted a paragraph or two to the subject.
  • What have they done to Sam's hair?
  • At worst, wearing a helmet may expose cyclists to greater danger, says Doctor Hillman.
  • I'm going to hold you to your promise, so don't you forget.
  • This is not the first time the work of the grand jury has become public, even though members are sworn to secrecy about the proceedings.
In the case of draw up, help, lower, and treat, the noun group following the verb is always or often a reflexive pronoun. This pattern is V pron-refl to n, or in the case of draw up, V pron-refl P to n.
  • He drew himself up to his full height.
  • Do help yourself to another drink.
In the case of leave 7, the noun group following the preposition is always a reflexive pronoun. This pattern is V n to pron-refl.
  • The giant panda is never left to himself. People keep making him get on jets and meet eligible young females.
In the case of leave 16 and mean 1.3, the noun group following the verb is always an amount. This pattern is V amount to n. 433 Our mothers' approval means a lot to us.
apply apply (usu passive) bar (usu passive) beat be born commit date devote do expose help hold introduce leave (not) lower get married mean mould pip refer sacrifice stretch (usu passive) swear (usu passive) tailor trace transfer treat
draw up hold up (usu passive) make up open up pin down trace back
Structure information: Verb with Object and Adjunct

a) The noun group following the verb is the Object, and the prepositional phrase is an Adjunct.

b) This structure has a passive, with the pattern be V-ed to n. The prepositional phrase is an Adjunct.

c) Though the prepositional phrase in this structure usually comes after the noun group, it sometimes comes before it, especially when the noun group is a long one.
You authorise us to debit to your account any applicable premium or charge.

d) Phrasal verb patterns are the same except that there is also a particle, P. The Object comes either between the verb and the particle, or after the particle. If the verb comes after the particle, it cannot be a personal pronoun. You say
I packed them off to school
or I packed off the children to school
but you do not say I packed off them to school.

Other related patterns
V n adv to amount

The verb is followed by a noun group, the adverb down, off, or up, and a prepositional phrase which consists of the preposition to and an amount.

  • The latter is the money left over when dividends are rounded down to the nearest five cents.
round
V n from n to n, V P n from n to n
See Structure II and meaning groups III.6, 7, and 15 above.
V n until n, V n P until n
See meaning group III.16 above.
Patterns described in this section
V n to n
V n to -ing
be V-ed to n/-ing
V n to n -ing
V pron-refl to n
V n to pron-refl
V n to amount
V pron-refl to amount
be V-ed to amount
V amount to n
V n P to n/-ing
V P n (not pron) to n/-ing
be V-ed P to n/-ing
V pron-refl P to n
V n P to amount
be V-ed P to amount
V n from n to n
be V-ed from n to n
V n until n
be V-ed until n
434
25 V n towards/toward n
The verb is followed by a noun group and a prepositional phrase which consists of towards or toward and a noun group. With some verbs, the preposition is sometimes followed by an `-ing' clause. The passive pattern is be V-ed towards/toward n.

This pattern has one structure:

  • Verb with Object and Adjunct
    She is now directing her talents towards music.
Active voice: V n towards/toward n/-ing
  Verb groupnoun grouptowards/towardnoun group/-ing clause
SubjectVerbObjectAdjunct  
Theycontributed$3towardcosts.
Hedirectedhis effortstowardshelping people.
Passive voice: be V-ed towards/toward n/-ing
  Verb grouptowards/towardnoun group/-ing clause
SubjectVerbAdjunct  
Weare drawntowardsa life of simplicity.
The savingswere puttowardsreducing the deficit.

Verbs with this pattern belong to the following meaning groups:

1 The `direct' group 2 The `push' group 3 The `contribute' group
1 The `direct' group

These verbs are concerned with aiming something at someone or something, usually metaphorically.

  • This show is geared towards younger viewers.
The preposition towards is sometimes followed by an `-ing' clause.
  • Planning is therefore largely directed towards improving or preserving existing living conditions.
direct direct (usu passive) gear (usu passive)
2 The `push' group

These verbs are concerned with causing someone to do something, be attracted to something, or have a particular opinion.

  • O'Keeffe was drawn towards art from an early age.
  • This, coupled with his wife's death, pushed him towards resignation in 1983.
435 draw (usu passive) incline push
3 The `contribute' group

These verbs are concerned with providing part of a sum of money. The prepositional phrase indicates what the money has been or will be spent on.

  • The money will come in very handy. I'll spend it on the house or put it towards a holiday.
The preposition towards is sometimes followed by an `-ing' clause.
  • Any spare money is put towards buying a flock of sheep.
The noun group following the verb is often an amount. This pattern is V amount towards/toward n.
  • The City of Paris is to contribute nine million dollars towards the cost of the French challenger for the Americas Cup.
contribute put
4 Verbs with other meanings

There is one other verb which has this pattern.

  • He feels no bitterness towards the British.
feel
Structure information

a) The noun group following the verb is the Object, and the prepositional phrase is an Adjunct.

b) This structure has a passive, with the pattern be V-ed towards/toward n. The prepositional phrase is an Adjunct.

Patterns described in this section
V n towards n
V n toward n
V n towards/toward -ing
be V-ed towards/toward n/-ing
V amount towards/toward n
26 V n with n
The verb is followed by a noun group and a prepositional phrase which consists of with and a noun group. With some verbs, the preposition is sometimes followed by an `-ing' clause. The passive pattern is be V-ed with n.

This pattern has two structures:

  • Structure I: Verb with Object and prepositional Object
    He has confused fact with fiction.
  • Structure II: Verb with Object and Adjunct
    They covered the walls with wallpaper.
436
Structure I: Verb with Object and prepositional Object
Active voice: V n with n
  Verb groupnoun groupwithnoun group
SubjectVerbObjectprepositional Object  
  Blend the spinach with the egg yolks.
Many people confuse a severe cold with flu.
Youcan intersperseperiods of runningwithperiods of walking.
Passive voice: be V-ed with n
  Verb groupwithnoun group
SubjectVerbprepositional Object  
Education is correlated with income.
The offerwas coupledwitha warning.
Phrasal verbs
Active voice: V n P with n, V P n (not pron) with n
  Verb groupnoun groupParticlewithnoun group
SubjectVerb...Object...Verbprepositional Object  
He has muddled me up with Ian Ogilvy.
Shepairedmeoffwith her brother.
  Verb groupParticlenoun groupwithnoun group
SubjectVerb   Objectprepositional Object  
Hematches up the descriptionswith the actual places.
The bookmuddlesupreal characterswithinvented ones.
Passive voice: be V-ed P with n
  Verb groupParticlewithnoun group
SubjectVerb   prepositional Object  
Europecannot be lumpedtogetherwiththe US.
Their sons had been pairedup with unsuitable women.

Verbs with this structure belong to the following meaning groups:

I.1 The `compare' group I.2 The `combine' group I.3 The `alternate' group
437
I.1 The `compare' group

These verbs are concerned with considering two people, things, or groups as being the same or different, or with treating them as if they were the same or different.

  • Once you've defined what you want to be, you'll need to compare yourself with the competition to determine your strengths and weaknesses.
  • Many of these buildings are excellent, but they have been condemned and lumped together with the worst and most unpopular examples of the modern movement.
  • I couldn't square what I was doing with the view of the world I have tried to transmit to my son.
The preposition with is sometimes followed by an `-ing' clause. Also, the verb is sometimes followed by an `-ing' clause instead of a noun group.
  • Again and again, we seem to confuse talking about an issue with doing something about it.
associate balance bracket (usu passive) compare conflate confuse connect contrast correlate (usu passive) correlate dovetail equate identify link match pair (usu passive) reconcile square
lump together (usu passive) match up mix up muddle up
I.2 The `combine' group

These verbs are concerned with joining or mixing two or more things, physically or metaphorically.

  • Try to combine career and financial aspirations with spiritual values.
  • The most interesting programmes, however, are those that try to fuse technology with culture.
  • In this context, the question of crime is interlinked with the question of human rights.
  • You can treat coco-peat in exactly the same way as you would treat ordinary peat. So you can mix it up with fertiliser and use it for potting.
  • My husband is constantly thrown together with young people through his work.
In the case of combine, link, and mix, the preposition with is sometimes followed by an `-ing' clause. Also, the verb is sometimes followed by an `-ing' clause instead of a noun group.
  • Singer Eileen manages to combine shimmying across the stage with sending her voice soaring up to heaven.
amalgamate blend bond combine conjoin connect couple (usu passive) cross-breed entangle entwine fuse hybridize integrate interconnect interface interlink (usu passive) intertwine interweave link merge mesh mix unify
mix up pair off pair up throw together tie in
438
I.3 The `alternate' group

These verbs are concerned with doing two or more things alternately.

  • The meetings were organized to alternate a speaker with an open meeting.
  • Originally the intention was to intersperse the historical scenes with modern ones.
  • The cooking sessions are punctuated with visits to bakeries, chocolate makers, farms and markets.
In the case of alternate and juggle, the preposition with is sometimes followed by an `-ing' clause.
  • Leslie has managed to juggle a successful career with bringing up Joseph, 5, and Max, 21 months.
alternate intercut intersperse juggle punctuate (usu passive)
I.4 The `juxtapose' group

These verbs are concerned with placing two people, ideas, words, or things together, either physically or in an abstract way. We include here synchronize, which indicates that two activities are done at the same time.

  • This book neatly juxtaposes Van Gogh's letters with his paintings.
  • The camera's shutter mechanism means that flash can be synchronised with the camera at any shutter speed.
juxtapose match partner (usu passive) rhyme synchronize twin (usu passive)
line up match up
I.5 Verbs with other meanings

There are three other verbs which have this structure.

  • He was reconciled with his wife and daughters in his final illness.
In the case of ally and associate, the noun group following the verb is always a reflexive pronoun. This pattern is V pron-refl with n.
  • He can swallow his pride and ally himself with his political enemies.
ally associate reconcile
Structure information: Verb with Object and prepositional Object

a) The noun group following the verb is the Object, and the prepositional phrase is the prepositional Object.

b) This structure has a passive, with the pattern be V-ed with n. The prepositional phrase is the prepositional Object.

c) Phrasal verb patterns are the same except that there is also a particle, P. The Object comes either between the verb and the particle, or after the particle. If the Object comes after the particle, it cannot be a personal pronoun. You say 439
They mixed them up with someone else's
or They mixed up my results with someone else's
but you do not say They mixed up them with someone else's.

Structure II: Verb with Object and Adjunct
Active voice: V n with n/-ing
  Verb groupnoun groupwithnoun group/-ing clause
SubjectVerbObjectAdjunct  
I console myself with writing up my notes.
You can exchange information with other computer users.
He plays football with the staff.
Passive voice: be V-ed with n
  Verb groupwithnoun group
SubjectVerbAdjunct  
The paperwill be printedwithyour own name.
A deal has been struck with the authorities.
Phrasal verbs
Active voice: V n P with n, V P n (not pron) with n
  Verb groupnoun groupParticlewithnoun group
SubjectVerb...Object...VerbAdjunct  
Shepatchedthingsupwithher son.
Theyare takingthe matterupwiththe school.
  Verb groupParticlenoun groupwithnoun group
SubjectVerb   ObjectAdjunct  
Weloadupthe carwithguns.
  Stock up your cupboardwithtins of tomatoes.
Passive voice: be V-ed P with n
  Verb groupParticlewithnoun group
SubjectVerb   Adjunct  
The productsare paddedoutwithfat and water.
Theywere weigheddownwithserious debts.

Verbs with this structure belong to the following meaning groups:

440 II.1 The `provide' group
II.2 The `imbue' group
II.3 The `agree' group
II.4 The `share' group
II.5 The `decorate' group
II.6 The `cover' group
II.7 The `fill' group
II.8 The `flavour' group
II.9 The `shower' group
II.10 The `populate' and `stock' group
II.11 The `greet' group
II.12 The `bore' group
II.13 The `beset' group
II.14 The `busy' group
II.15 The `be born' group
II.16 The `begin' and `end' group
II.17 The `follow' group
II.18 The `replace' group
II.19 The `help' group
II.20 The `charge' group
II.21 Verbs with other meanings
II.1 The `provide' group

These verbs are concerned with giving something to someone or something. The prepositional phrase indicates the thing that is given. This includes:

  • supplying someone with something that they want or need e.g. arm, provide
  • giving someone too much of something, or something they do not want e.g. deluge, land
  • giving someone something that is not what is needed e.g. fob off, palm off
  • giving a particular kind of thing, or giving in a particular way e.g. dose, inject
  • showing approval of someone by giving them something or doing them a service e.g. honour, oblige
  • Old ladies have to like their companions, because they entrust them with their jewels and their personal mail and stuff.
  • Any individual who incites another to commit murder, who furnishes him with the lethal weapon to kill someone, is guilty of the crime as much as the killer is.
  • The government planned to honour him with a brass band concert in his garden.
  • The scientists decided to inject the chimpanzees with a strong dose of live HIV.
  • Too many solicitors are failing to give their clients a clear idea of their charges - until they land them with a huge bill.
  • Joseph Smith made sure that he was never palmed off with inferior stuff.
  • Many additives help to provide us with good and safe food.
arm deluge (usu passive) dope dose endow entrust equip feed fit fix furnish honour infect inject inundate invest issue (usu passive) land lavish leave lumber (usu passive) mail oblige outfit ply present provide regale saddle serve supply treat vest (usu passive)
dose up fit out fix up fob off (usu passive) kit out (usu passive) load down palm off (usu passive)
II.2 The `imbue' group

These verbs are concerned with giving someone or something a quality, feeling, or idea. The prepositional phrase indicates the quality, feeling, or idea.

  • If evolution has endowed us with rich and different personalities, that is probably because such diversity was once good for our survival.
  • He spent a lot of time amongst actors trying to imbue them with a radical spirit.
441 endow (usu passive) fire (usu passive) imbue infect infuse invest (usu passive)
II.3 The `agree' group

These verbs are concerned with doing something jointly with another person. The prepositional phrase indicates the other person involved. This includes:

  • arguing or negotiating with someone e.g. agree, conclude, fight, negotiate
  • playing a game with someone
  • sharing things with someone
  • taking joint responsibility with someone e.g. co-author

All the verbs in this group are reciprocal verbs or ergative reciprocal verbs (see Chapter 6 and Chapter 8).

  • The university might acquire some more property if it can agree a deal with the city council.
  • Alien scientists were transmitting messages to establish contact with other beings.
  • Further talks are being held with the protest leaders.
  • Many prefer to talk these issues through with a careers adviser or close friend.
agree argue bandy clinch clink co-author conclude debate dispute establish exchange fight finalize forge hold negotiate normalize play renew reopen share strike swap trade
patch up talk over talk through
II.4 The `share' group

These verbs are concerned with talking or doing something with someone, but unlike the previous group they are not reciprocal verbs. The activity is not mutual, and only the person indicated by the Subject is responsible for what is done.

  • But who would choose to pick a fight with this man?
  • Yvonne was delighted with her prize and plans to share her payout with daughter-in-law Eileen.
  • Some parents have had success by taking the matter up with the school.
In the case of ingratiate, the noun group following the verb is always a reflexive pronoun. This pattern is V pron-refl with n.
  • This is the sorry sight of someone trying to ingratiate himself with everyone.
check cross-check ingratiate pick share square
take up
II.5 The `decorate' group

These verbs are concerned with changing the appearance of something by adding things to it. This includes:

  • putting a decoration on something e.g. decorate, garland
  • putting a mark on something e.g. brush, daub, smear
  • cutting or printing the surface of something e.g. etch, imprint

The prepositional phrase indicates the additions made.

442 Their blood was used to daub the walls with slogans.
  • The wall facing him was decorated with elaborate dark wood carvings.
  • Each photo is automatically printed with the date on which it was taken.
accessorize brush dab daub deck decorate drape embellish (usu passive) embroider (usu passive) engrave (usu passive) etch (usu passive) festoon (usu passive) frame furnish garland (usu passive) girdle (usu passive) grace (usu passive) hang (usu passive) imprint (usu passive) mark print (usu passive) smear spread stamp stencil streak (usu passive) thread trim (usu passive) wreathe (usu passive)

Some of the verbs in this group also occur in the pattern V n prep/adv, where the prepositional phrase or adverb indicates where the addition is put. Examples of both patterns are We draped the walls with banners and We draped banners across the walls. The verbs in this meaning group with these two patterns are: dab, daub, drape, hang, smear, spread, and thread. See page xxx. Ch4 Sec1

II.6 The `cover' group

These verbs are concerned with putting something around or on top of something, or with covering the surface of something, physically or metaphorically. We also include here line, which indicates that the inside surface of something is covered.

  • In the middle of the table, which was covered with a starched, lace-edged cloth, stood a large bowl of jelly.
  • Every reform was hedged about with pages of rules.
  • The polished floorboards are overlaid with old rugs.
  • The main method for treating waste on site is to top it with an impermeable cap.
In the case of surround 4, the noun group following the verb is always a reflexive pronoun. This pattern is V pron-refl with n.
  • Her technique was to surround herself with strong women and weak men.
cap carpet (usu passive) coat cover cover (usu passive) douse encase line overlay (usu passive) plaster slather surround top wrap
hedge about (usu passive) wrap up

The verbs plaster and slather also occur in the pattern V n prep/adv, where the prepositional phrase or adverb indicates where the addition is put (see page xxx). Ch4 Sec1

II.7 The `fill' group

These verbs are concerned with filling something, physically or metaphorically. The prepositional phrase indicates the things that are put into the container or other thing that is filled.

  • The third drawer was cluttered with an assortment of unconnected items.
  • When we are at the sea we tend to breathe more deeply to fill our lungs with fresh air.
  • Then it was time to pack the bags, load up the vehicles with bikes and trophies, and make for the airport.
  • The air in these caves is saturated with water vapour.
443 In the case of fill 10 and stuff 4, the noun group following the verb is always a reflexive pronoun. This pattern is V pron refl with n. The phrasal verb fill up has the pattern V pron-refl P with n.
  • When your life is filled with interesting activities, you won't need to fill yourself up with food.
choke (usu passive) clutter (usu passive) cram encumber (usu passive) fill flood glut (usu passive) impregnate load overload pack pile (usu passive) saturate (usu passive) soak stack stuff suffuse (usu passive)
clutter up fill up load up

Some of the verbs in this group also occur in the pattern V n prep/adv, where the prepositional phrase or adverb indicates where the things are put. Examples of both patterns are He loaded the van with cartons and He loaded cartons into the van. The verbs in this meaning group with these two patterns are: cram, load, pile, and stuff. See page xxx. Ch4 Sec1

II.8 The `flavour' group

These verbs are concerned with adding a small or measured amount of something into or on to something, physically or metaphorically. The prepositional phrase indicates the thing that is added.

  • Prepare the custard and flavour it with orange-flower water.
  • Compiled by perfume expert Sheila Pickles, the book is scented with Elizabethan Rose fragrance.
  • Each camel trainer has his own ideas about what else to add, and may supplement this diet with honey, date seeds, lemons, local plants, and spices.
  • The seriousness of the president's economic message was tempered with a few light moments.
dilute drizzle dust flavour fortify (usu passive) lace lard leaven perfume perfume (usu passive) scent season spice supplement sweeten temper
pad out
II.9 The `shower' group

These verbs are concerned with scattering objects or a liquid around a place. The prepositional phrase indicates the objects or liquid.

  • Outside, the road was peppered with glass.
  • He will be disfigured for life after being showered with blazing petrol.
  • I would far rather have weeds in my garden than strew the ground with bark or coconut shell chips.
pepper (usu passive) shower (usu passive) shower spatter splash splatter spray spray (usu passive) sprinkle sprinkle (usu passive) squirt strew

Some of the verbs in this group also occur in the pattern V n prep/adv, where the prepositional phrase or adverb indicates where the thing is scattered. Examples of both patterns are I splashed my face with water and I splashed water on my face. The verbs in this meaning group with these two patterns are: spatter, splash, spray, sprinkle, and strew. See page xxx. Ch4 Sec1

444
II.10 The `populate' and `stock' group

These verbs are concerned with providing or populating a place with people or things.

  • It seemed to be entirely peopled with men and women in blue or green suits.
  • His style is typical of the ruling families who populate the foreign ministry with their offspring.
  • Most fields have been sown with rye grass or abandoned to thistles.
  • She stocked her little cupboard with biscuits and snacks.
people (usu passive) plant populate restock sow (usu passive) staff (usu passive) stock
stock up
II.11 The `greet' group

These verbs are concerned with thinking about or reacting towards something or someone in a particular way.

  • She tried to fix me with an honest gaze.
  • First published in France some time ago, the novel was greeted with considerable acclaim.
  • I asked them to treat me with respect.
  • Any newcomers are always viewed with suspicion.
acknowledge answer fix greet (usu passive) meet regard treat view
II.12 The `bore' group

These verbs are concerned with giving someone a particular feeling or telling them something that makes them feel a particular way. The prepositional phrase indicates the cause of the feeling. We include here acquaint and familiarize, which indicate only that someone is told something; face, which indicates that someone is forced to think about something; and confront, which indicates that someone is accused of something.

This is a productive use: any verb which involves making someone think or feel something can be used with this pattern. The verbs listed here are the ones which are most frequently used in this way.

  • The salesmen did everything they could to acquaint the clerks with the details of their products.
  • I won't bore you with private matters.
  • I pulled on a coat and boots and went round right away to confront Muriel with her stupidity and cowardice.
In the case of console, content, and familiarize, the noun group following the verb is always or often a reflexive pronoun. This pattern is V pron-refl with n.
  • I think it's extremely important nowadays to familiarize oneself with computers.
In the case of console and content, the preposition with is sometimes followed by an `-ing' clause.
  • Amy wanted to run round the table and hug her sister, but she contented herself with squeezing her fingers.
445 acquaint amaze bore bother burden confront console content dazzle excite face familiarize strike (usu passive) surprise tantalize tempt traumatize
II.13 The `beset' group

These verbs indicate that someone has problems. The noun group indicates the person or group with the problem and the prepositional phrase indicates the problem.

  • The oil and gas industries are beset with labour production problems.
  • I was racked with envy and then guilt for feeling jealous.
In the case of confront and face, the preposition with is sometimes followed by an `-ing' clause.
  • In a country where it was the norm to combine family and career, women are suddenly being confronted with making a choice - working or staying at home to take care of the kids.
  • In 1955 my wife and I were faced with making the journey from Birmingham to the Isle of Wight following our wedding.
barrage (usu passive) beset (usu passive) confront (usu passive) encumber (usu passive) face (usu passive) rack (usu passive)
weigh down (usu passive)
II.14 The `busy' group

These verbs are concerned with spending your time or energy doing something. The noun group following the verb is always a reflexive pronoun, and the pattern is V pron-refl with n.

  • The other women occupied themselves with their perpetual sewing.
  • Why trouble yourself with small details?
The preposition with is sometimes followed by an `-ing' clause.
  • She snapped on the lights and busied herself with preparing a quick dinner.
busy concern occupy trouble
be taken up
II.15 The `be born' group

These verbs are concerned with having an illness or handicap. The prepositional phrase indicates the illness or handicap.

  • Wilson has been afflicted with knee trouble.
  • I was born with cerebral palsy.
  • He has just been diagnosed with leukaemia.
afflict (usu passive) be born diagnose (usu passive)
lay up (usu passive)
446
II.16 The `begin' and `end' group

These verbs are concerned with beginning or ending a period of time or an event in a particular way.

  • He began the day with a seven o'clock breakfast.
  • Then he closes the show with a simple line, `Shane, we love you,' and walks offstage.
  • In 1950, Butler crowned an impressive career with victory in the national 24-hour championship.
  • You may want to end the session with a hug.
begin close crown end finish open start
II.17 The `follow' group

These verbs are concerned with arranging two things so that one comes before or after the other.

  • He followed college with a few months in Hollywood.
  • It's about time he started following his big words up with actions.
  • Each section is prefaced with a clear introductory essay by one of the editors.
follow preface be prefixed
follow up
II.18 The `replace' group

These verbs are concerned with exchanging one person or thing for another.

  • Red meat can be interchanged with cheese, eggs, and pulses as a source of protein.
  • They now seem to be setting out to replace the people with robots.
In the case of interchange and replace 2, the preposition with is sometimes followed by an `-ing' clause.
  • His balance was good enough to eliminate the usual exercise programme and replace it with walking up and down hill.
interchange replace (usu passive) replace
II.19 The `help' group

These verbs are concerned with helping someone. The prepositional phrase indicates what the help relates to.

  • You might be able to help us with a problem.
  • I opened the door, gave her a sympathetic smile, and helped her off with her coat.
In the case of assist and help, the preposition with is sometimes followed by an `-ing' clause.
  • I was then asked to assist them with raising the profile of the club.
  • I also visit local schools and help young people with applying for jobs.
assist help
help off help on
447
II.20 The `charge' group

These verbs are concerned with believing or saying that someone has done a particular thing or has a particular characteristic.

  • He must credit me with strength I don't have.
The preposition with is sometimes followed by an `-ing' clause.
  • We're going to charge you with allowing your premises to be used to supply heroin.
charge credit
II.21 Verbs with other meanings

There are a number of other verbs which have this structure.

  • I blackmailed him with the fact that he was carrying out illegal operations.
  • Steve caught me with a great punch.
  • Her spare time is taken up with an MBA course and canoeing.
  • The group lists 29 breeds of donkeys, cattle, goats, horses, sheep and swine that are threatened with extinction.
In the case of threaten and trust, the preposition with is sometimes followed by an `-ing' clause.
  • Residents who complain to the police suffer abuse in the street and are threatened with being petrol-bombed.
  • The party has changed sufficiently to be trusted with governing the country.
In the case of concern, the noun group following the verb is always a reflexive pronoun. This pattern is V pron-refl with n.
  • Chapter 2 concerns itself with the methodological difficulties of measuring criminal victimization.
In the case of do, the noun group following the verb is always an amount. This pattern is V amount with n.
  • You can do quite a lot with quite a little money if you channel it in the right direction.
blackmail catch concern do dump (usu passive) leave match take threaten threaten (usu passive) trust
take up
Structure information: Verb with Object and Adjunct

a) The noun group is the Object, and the prepositional phrase is an Adjunct.

b) This structure has a passive, with the pattern be V-ed with n. The prepositional phrase is an Adjunct.

c) Though the prepositional phrase usually comes after the noun group, it sometimes comes before it, especially when the noun group is a long one.
Sceptics are right to treat with caution the results produced using this method.

d) Phrasal verb patterns are the same except that there is also a particle, P. The Object comes either between the verb and the particle, or after the particle. If the Object comes after the particle, it cannot be a personal pronoun. You say 448
He followed it up with another record
or He followed up this success with another record
but you do not say He followed up it with another record.

Other productive uses

A prepositional phrase beginning with with is often used to indicate what someone uses to do something. An example is An ordinary wooden door has been reinforced with steel plates, which means that the steel plates have been used to reinforce the door.

Patterns described in this section
V n with n
V n with -ing
V pron-refl with n/-ing
V amount with n
be V-ed with n/-ing
V n P with n/-ing
V P n (not pron) with n/-ing
be V-ed P with n/-ing
V pron-refl P with n/-ing
27 Less frequent patterns

There are some patterns with noun groups and prepositions which apply to a very small number of verbs. They are collected together in this section.

V n after n

The verb is followed by a noun group and a prepositional phrase which consists of after and a noun group. The noun group following the verb is the Object, and the prepositional phrase is an Adjunct. This structure has a passive, with the pattern be V-ed after n.

  • London's socialist boroughs have delighted in naming their estates after deeply obscure local politicians and barely pronounceable freedom fighters.
In the case of model 8, the noun group following the verb is often a reflexive pronoun. This pattern is V pron-refl after n.
  • The girls had to model themselves after their mother and tend the home.
model name be patterned
V n around/round n

The verb is followed by a noun group and a prepositional phrase which consists of around or round and a noun group. The noun group following the verb is the Object, and the prepositional phrase is an Adjunct. This structure has a passive, with the pattern be V-ed around/round n.

  • She flung herself at him, grabbing him around the collar.
  • For barbecues, wrap bacon around banana chunks, thread on to skewers and grill.
centre grab mould wrap
V n before n

The verb is followed by a noun group and a prepositional phrase which consists of before and a noun group. The noun group following the verb is the Object and the prepositional phrase is an Adjunct. This structure has a passive, with the pattern be V-ed before n.

  • Later that day he was brought before a magistrate and charged with causing grievous bodily harm.
The phrasal verb haul up has the active patterns V n P before n and V P n (not pron) before n. The passive pattern is be V-ed P before n. 449 He was hauled up before a magistrate at Munich Airport Police Station and ordered to pay DM1,600.
bring dangle haul (usu passive)
haul up

The verbs bring and haul also have the pattern V n in front of n. The passive pattern is be V-ed in front of n.

  • He was hauled in front of the Cabinet to explain the blunders.
V n through n

The verb is followed by a noun group and a prepositional phrase which consists of through and a noun group. The noun group following the verb is the Object, and the prepositional phrase is an Adjunct. This structure has a passive, with the pattern be V-ed through n.

  • The second Duke, as Queen Anne's High Commissioner, piloted the 1707 Act of Union through Parliament.
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