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Subject:two-word verbs vs. prepositions From:Debbie Campbell <dcamp -at- CS -dot- RICE -dot- EDU> Date:Wed, 14 Dec 1994 09:20:40 -0600
A student came in to my office one day, looked at the text on my screen
(something like "...make sure the computer is turned on.")
and proclaimed, "You have a participle!"
After I figured out that he was trying to say that I had a sentence ending
in preposition -- and after I blasted him for not knowing the difference --
I pointed out that, yes, "on" is a preposition, but here I'm using "turned
on" as a "two-word verb."
I came across this term through teaching ESL (a great hobby if you're an
armchair linguist!), and I was hoping that some of the English types on the
list might mention it.
Other examples of two-word verbs are "pick up," "put down," log in," and,
well, you get the idea. So the next time someone gets on your case about
"participles," whip out the ol' two-word verb explanation. --debbie
PS: Please don't flame me for using passive voice in my example. The
original text was part of a quickie email reply to someone within my group.