A student on my instagram page asked me why there are a lot of verbs ending with 'up'

This is a great question and a little trick that native English speakers will use to emphasise to to describe something more fully.

When you see 'UP' and the end of a verb, it means completely or totally. for example, look at these sentences:


  • I tore my paper. This just means you made a little tear in your paper.
  • I tore up my paper. This means that you complete destoyed the paper and tore it into little pieces.


  • I cut up the vegetable. This means you did a little cutting of the vegetables.
  • I cut up the vegetable. This means that you completely cut the vegetables and prepared them for eating!

Other verbs we can use are

  • break / break up
  • rip / rip up

What others do you know?