LawProse Lesson #153: Phrasal verbs and their corresponding nouns.

LawProse Lesson #153: Phrasal verbs and their corresponding nouns.

Phrasal verbs and their corresponding nouns. A phrasal verb is a verb teamed up with a preposition or adverb (such as up in this sentence). The word after the verb is traditionally called a particle, and it often gives the verb a meaning different from what it would have on its own. (Compare: pass up, pass down, pass out, pass over, pass away.) Generally, a phrasal verb is neither hyphenated nor compressed into a single word {follow up with the legal assistant after the call} {break down the costs of the merger} {spin off the subsidiary}. Many of these phrasal verbs have corresponding noun forms. Some of these nouns are one word {show us the cost breakdown} {the takeoff was smooth} {the late witness caused the holdup}; some are hyphenated {her follow-through was thorough} {the break-in occurred in the middle of the night} {in hindsight, that deal was a rip-off}. A good current desktop dictionary will show whether the noun is hyphenated or solid. If you want a follow-up, or would like to follow up, just let me know. For further reading, see: The Redbook: A Manual on Legal Style § 7.22, at 139-40 (3d ed. 2013). Garner’s Modern American Usage 628-29 (3d ed. 2009). The Chicago Manual of Style § 5.100, at 231 (16th ed. 2010). R.W. Burchfield, The New Fowler’s Modern English Usage 594-95 (3d ed. 1996). William A. Sabin, The Gregg Reference Manual §§ 801-12, at 215-24 (10th ed. 2005).

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