Phrasal Verbs Redundancy

There are many words in English, when combined with a preposition, give new meanings. Such phrases are called phrasal verbs. For instance:

watch (v.)

  • watch over = look after
  • watch out = be careful, caution

put (v.)

  • put on = wear
  • put up = stay
  • put up with = tolerate something unpleasant
  • put off = cancel
  • put out = extinguish (the fire)

… and the list goes on. However not all verbs can be followed by a preposition. It is common (but wrong) to make the following mistakes:

  1. To avoid from overspending, we have to cut down on unnecessary expenses. (X)
    To avoid overspending, we have to cut down on unnecessary expenses. (√)
  2. I think we should discuss about the event that we’re having next week. (X)
    I think we should discuss the event that we’re having next week. (√)

In Example #1, the word “avoid” means to stay away from something, so the word “from” is not necessary. Similarly in Example #2, the word “discuss” means to talk about something, so just omit the word “about”. Can you think of other phrases where it is redundant to put a preposition after a verb?

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Posted on August 5, 2009, in Word Power and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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