Number one for English language teachers

Your English: Phrasal verbs: stop

Type: Article

Tim Bowen will stop at nothing to ensure that you and your students have a firm grasp of phrasal verbs.

‘The rebels will stop at nothing to pursue their goal of securing independence for the north of the country’. In other words, they will do whatever is necessary, even if it is illegal or cruel, to achieve their aims.

If you stop by, you visit a person or a place for a short time, as in ‘I was just passing, so I thought I’d stop by for a while’ and ‘I often stop by that shop on my way home from work’. To stop off means to visit somewhere before continuing on to another place, as in ‘We stopped off in town on the way to Jenny’s house’ or ‘Could you stop off at the supermarket and pick up some bread?’

Stop can also be used to replace stay in a number of phrasal verbs in northern British English. Examples include stop away (avoid going to a place), stop in (stay at home) and stop out (not to come home at night). If you stop on, you stay in a place after the time when you usually leave, or after other people have left, as in ‘She decided to stop on for a day or two’.

Again in northern British English, stop up (or stay up) can be used to mean to not go to bed at your usual time, as in ‘He stopped up till the early hours watching the Superbowl’. It can also mean to block something such as a pipe or a hole so that air, water or another substance cannot pass through it, as in ‘They used small pieces of paper to stop up the cracks in the window frame to keep out the draughts’.

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