Argue about: dispute or quarrel with someone over.
e.g. They often argue about racial injustice over the dinner table.
Argue against: make a case against someone or something.
e.g. The police discovered new evidence that argued against the criminal charge.
Argue back: answer back.
e.g. I wish he would not argue back so much.
Argue down: defeat someone in a debate.
e.g. He tries to argue down everyone who has opposite views.
Argue for: make a case for someone.
e.g. My lawyer will argue for me in court.
Argue into: convince someone to do something.
e.g. I could not argue myself into helping you in this project.
Argue with: challenge someone or something.
e.g. I won’t argue with what you do; after all, it is your choice.
Therefore, learn more prepositional phrases and find out how they are different in meaning with different prepositions.
Talk back: answer impolitely.
e.g. It's rude to talk back to your parents like that.
Talk over: discuss.
e.g. We'll talk over the matter before we see your parents.
Back down: retreat from a position in an argument.
e.g. Knowing that he did not have a valid point, he backed down.
Back out: desert; fail to keep a promise.
e.g. You said you would help us, but you backed out.
Back out of: fail to keep a promise.
e.g. We cannot back out of the contract; we are legally obligated to do what we are supposed to do.
Back up: support
e.g. Are you going to back me up if I decide to go ahead with the project?
Touch on: mention briefly.
e.g. The professor barely touched on the subject of Civil War.
Touch up: repair.
e.g. Can you touch up the scratches on the door?
Prepositions are words that indicate the relationships between various elements within a sentence. In formal English, prepositions are almost always followed by objects.
e.g. The policeman shot (verb) the man (object) with (preposition identifying the man being shot) a knife.
e.g. I put (verb) the pen (direct object) on (preposition indicating the position of the pen) the table (indirect object).
e.g. I put (verb) the pen (direct object) under (preposition indicating the position of the pen) the table (indirect object).
Prepositional phrases always consist of the object and the preposition. Prepositional phrases can act as adjectives or adverbs. When they are used as adjectives, they modify nouns and pronouns in the same way single-word adjectives do. When prepositional phrases are used as adverbs, they also act in the same way single-word adverbs and adverb clauses do, modifying adjectives, verbs, and other adverbs.
Copyright© by Stephen Lau