HomeQ&A"look it up" and/or "look up it"

"look it up" and/or "look up it"

0
votes

I would like to know if the colocation of this pronoun is correct in both sentences.

I looked it up in the dictionary. I looked up it in the dictionary.

Is it mandatory to place "it" between "looked" and "up"?

5679 views
updated DIC 29, 2014
posted by nila45
Short answer Nila Yes it is - in the sentence you used. - ian-hill, SEP 27, 2009

15 Answers

2
votes

This page explains how English phrasal verbs work: http://www.englishpage.com/prepositions/phrasaldictionary.html

updated SEP 28, 2009
posted by epicfail
2
votes

I agree with the above comments. To say I 'looked up it' is incorrect. However, if you placed a word that you had looked up in the dictionary instead of 'it':

e.g. "I looked up 'potato' in the dictionary." Then this sentence would be correct.

updated SEP 27, 2009
posted by sunehaa
1
vote

Your dictionary abbreviates adverb with "adv" in the entry....

look up 1 [v + o + adv, v + adv + o] a (try to find) ‹ word › buscar* (en el diccionario)

So you can know that "to look up" is a phrasal verb and that you will be well-served by the link provided by Demasiadofro phrasal verbs

There you will find this introduction: 1. A phrasal verb is a verb plus a preposition or adverb which creates a meaning different from the original verb.

The site explains the placement of the adverb or preposition, too. (ps. I suggest that you avoid the word "colocation"...which one understands here from context, but which word is highly unusual in English...in fact, I did not find it in my dictionary:--)

Conveniently, that phrasal verb site also has a link to a site that shows you verbs and their standard prepositions

Also try our Verb + Preposition Dictionary to look up standard verb + prepostion combinations

The site they link you to is this one: verb + preposition dictionary

updated DIC 29, 2014
posted by Janice
"Collocation" is a perfectly good word. One-Look Dictionary Search finds it in 37 on-line dictionaries. - AnnRon, DIC 29, 2014
1
vote

As I didn't see any links to our Reference section, let me point out that we have a Reference article that discusses the topic of this thread.

phrasal verbs

updated SEP 28, 2009
posted by 0074b507
I remember perfectly that this was one of the comments that Robert Austin wrote in one of my threads. Heidita liked so much that she decided to cut and paste in other page. It took me a long time to understand it. - nila45, SEP 27, 2009
You may have read it before we corrected it. It had some serious errors in it. - 0074b507, SEP 27, 2009
Really? Then I will have to copy again. Thank you, Qfreed. - nila45, SEP 28, 2009
1
vote

Other variation where 'it' follows would be while directly referencing what you're looking up, eg, "I looked up it's meaning in the dictionary" or future "I'll look up it's meaning" or using definite artical "I'll look up the meaning of this word".

Otherwise, "it" following could mean looking physically upwards... think boys and girls wearing skirts ("He looked up it!" == "He looked up her skirt!")

updated SEP 27, 2009
posted by AnnoLoki
That is exactly what "look up it" made me think of. ;-) - arnold3, SEP 27, 2009
haha I guess we never grow out of it! - AnnoLoki, SEP 27, 2009
1
vote

Yes, you would only use the first one 'I looked it up in the dictionary'. The other one sounds completely wrong.

I can definitely appreciate where you're coming from though since the verb concept is to 'look up', you would think you could place 'it' immediately after, but nope, english is just cool like that grin.

-Charlius-

updated SEP 27, 2009
posted by Charlius
1
vote

Hi Nila. I agree with the two gentlemen:

I looked it up in the dictionary. correct

I looked up it in the dictionary. incorrect

updated SEP 27, 2009
posted by --Mariana--
0
votes

I can see your struggle. I've noticed that English has an extremely high number of verbs that have a different meaning when you add a preposition at the end of it. Ex: show off, show up, get off, get up, eat up, get out, shape up, shake off, put out.

Each one has different cultural norms of where to put the object, but for prepostitional phrases that are unique, widely used, and change the meaning of the verb a fair amount (like most of the ones I listed), it seems like it is more culturally acceptable to put object pronouns in between the verb and the preposition. Ex: I showed it off, We could shake it off, They will put it out, I would look it up.

When objects are not pronouns, it seems like it is more culturally acceptable to put the object after the prepostition.

Ex: I'm showing off my suit, I'm shaking off all my life's problems, You're putting out the fire. I would look up the definition, I would look up the tube (if there's a big metal tube above you that you need to look up at.)

However, while I'm not a professional, I cannot see how saying "looking up it" is grammatically incorrect. To me, it's simply culturally awkward.

I am torn on the issue of reflexive object pronouns. Somebody help me here!!! Is it more culturally acceptable to say "I show off myself" or "I show myself off." I believe it's the second one.

I know that sometimes, however, placement of the reflexive object pronoun changes the meaning entirely, such as "to get off myself" (somehow I'm on top of myself and need to get off smile) and "to get myself off" (I need to somehow stop myself from being on something).

updated DIC 29, 2014
posted by estasloco
0
votes

I agree with slal5

updated SEP 30, 2009
posted by angelface117
0
votes

Isn't this a "how do you say $250"? For those of you that missed that little adventure, we had quite a spirited conversation about it. No one could agree on whether it was Two Hundred Fifty, or Two Hundred and Fifty. Turns out, it all depends on where you live. Anyway, I (personally) take "look it up" to mean what it says. I regard "look up it" to be like look up the chimney or something. Another variation: Give it a look-up. wink I can hear my wife's father saying to me...I don't know what it means! Why don't you just look that dang thing up!!! "It" doesn't even exist in his construction, but it means the same. wink

updated SEP 27, 2009
edited by ChamacoMalo
posted by ChamacoMalo
"Give it a look-up" hahahaha, priceless...and I'll always remember the two-fiddy debate fondly. - arnold3, SEP 27, 2009
two fiddy sounds just about right to me! - ChamacoMalo, SEP 27, 2009
0
votes

look it up. sounds better

updated SEP 27, 2009
posted by e_e_-_-
0
votes

In the Website of English page, there are several sentences. I am going to copy and paste.

WARNING! Although many phrasal verbs can take an object in both places, you must put the object between the verb and the preposition if the object is a pronoun.

Example: I looked the number up in the phone book.

I looked up the number in the phone book . I looked it up in the phone book. correct

I looked up it in the phone book. incorrect

updated SEP 27, 2009
edited by nila45
posted by nila45
0
votes

i woldnt know

updated SEP 27, 2009
posted by ceceestar16
Cece, it's not helpful to post an answer when you have nothing to add to the conversation. - --Mariana--, SEP 27, 2009
0
votes

Yes it is, but the phrases have different meanings.

updated SEP 27, 2009
posted by BellaMargarita
0
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I see there is a consensus. And my English grammar agrees with you as you can see:

VERBO + PREPOSICIÓN + COMPLEMENTO DIRECTO transitivo (que lleva complemento directo) 1: La preposición va entre en verbo y el complemento directo Looking at him you'd never guess he is a policeman. VERBO + PARTÍCULA ADVERBIAL + COMPLEMENTO DIRECTO transitivo (que lleva complemento directo) 1: Si el complemento es un sustantivo, la partícula adverbial podrá ir detrás del verbo o detrás del complemento

look (something) up: consultar algo -en un libro-

He looked up the word - He looked the word up

2: Si el complemento es un pronombre, la partícula irá siempre detrás.

cheer (somebody) up: animar a alguien

I wanted to get him something to cheer him up.

But the problem is in my dictionary that says this:

look up 1 [v + o + adv, v + adv + o] a (try to find) ‹ word › buscar* (en el diccionario)

I suppose that in the case that this object can be a pronoun, then this pronoun has to be between verb and particle. Don't you think?

updated SEP 27, 2009
posted by nila45
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