The use of prepositions is one of the difficult aspects of learning English. A preposition is a functional word that appears before nouns and relates to some other constructions in the sentence.
A phrasal verb is a combination of a verb and one or more prepositions that functions as a single unit of meaning. Phrasal verbs are commonly used in writing. As an ESL learner, learn some prepositional phrases:
Frown at: scowl at someone or something.
e.g. She frowned at my cat and gave her a kick.
Frown on: show disapproval.
e.g. His parents frown on everything he does.
Drink down: consume something by drinking it.
e.g. He drank down the medicine, and felt better.
Drink in: absorb sight or information.
e.g. He was standing on the beach, trying to drink in the beauty around.
e.g. It would take time to drink in the significance of the message.
Drink under the table: be able to drink more alcohol that someone else.
e.g. I bet I can drink you under the table.
Drink up: consume all of something.
e.g. Do you think you can drink up this bottle of wine?
Hold no brief for: tolerate someone or something.
e.g. I hold no brief for that kind of behavior.
Hold off: delay; restrain.
e.g. The air strike might hold off the enemies for some time.
Hold one's end up: carry one's share of the bargain or burden.
e.g. We expect you to hold your end up and keep your promise to back us up.
e.g. With only that much money left, I don't know how long we could hold out.
Hold still for something: put up with something.
e.g. It is not easy to hold still for that kind of rude remark.
Ground in: instruct.
e.g. We should ground our children in love and compassion as they grow up.
Ground on: form a foundation for.
e.g. His intelligence was grounded on reading books on wisdom.
Dance on air: be very happy.
e.g. When she heard the good news, she was dancing on air.
Dance to another tune: change one,s manner, act very differently.
Copyright© by Stephen Lau