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USAGE: phrasal verbs/postpositions

From:Muke Tever <alrivera@...>
Date:Sunday, May 6, 2001, 12:21
From: "Nik Taylor" <fortytwo@...>
> > He [switched on] the light. > > > > Where 'on' doesn't modify 'the light' > > Well, "switch on" is really a single phrasal verb. Altho in this case, > perhaps one could make the argument that it's really "He caused the > light to be on"
Yeah, it is a phrasal verb, but the idea is that _in_ the 'phrase' of it the modifier follows the head.
> > Plus there's the postposition-like objects: > > > > It happened seven years [ago]. > > He looked the table [over] for defects. > > The first is definitely a postposition, but the second is a phrasal > verb, as shown by the fact that one can also say "He looked over the > table for defect". In fact, for me, that sounds a bit better.
Hmm, for me 'looked over the table' is more ambiguous and less natural. [At least, at the moment--but then, it's currently being examined, so there's Uncertainty and all..] What I think it is is that if I wasn't going to say "looked the table over" I'd probably use a different verb ("checked the table"...?). That may just be this example. There is, however, the stock phrase "the world over", which [to me, at least] implies that the postposition 'over' is more attached to 'world' than whatever verb is in the sentence it's used in. *Muke!