Hello all, Emotion: smile

I'm trying to understand some phrasal verbs

"To bear down on somebody" means to move quickly towards someone on a threatening way

"To bear" means "to carry" or "to endure". I don't get the meaning of "down" after "bear". Why "down" gives such a meaning ?

"To bear something/somebody out" means to help to prove that something/somebody is true. Why "out" gives such a meaning ?

Is there somebody seeing an explaination for a poor guy as me ?

Thank you by advance for answers ! Emotion: smile
As a native speaker, I don't consciously decompose either "bear down" (in your sense) or "bear out" into component parts. To me, neither is very obviously composed of a particular meaning of "bear" plus a preposition. I think one would need to investigate the origins of these phrases to understand why they mean what they do.

The verb "bear" has a number of other meanings in addition to the ones you list. See e.g. . Now I'm consciously thinking about it, and using that page as a memory-jogger, I suppose "bear down" might be related to "bear" in the sense of "move in a certain direction" (as in, for example, "bear left").
I think it comes from the days of the British Navy. To bear down to take a bearing on the other ship.

I can't verify that so don't bet your house on it.
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
There are many examples of phrasal verbs, where the verb and the preposition are tied to together to give a different meaning than the two words independently.

For example, "look up" a word is different form "look up" to the sky.

There's not much point in trying to find how WHY -- just know they are littered throughout the English language.
Thanks for answers Emotion: smile

On one hand you are right, on another hand there is almost always an explaination interesting to know

And there are so much phrasal verbs, it is easier to learn them with explainations Emotion: smile

I already have a dictionary of etymology, but it hasn't phrasal verbs

The meaning "to move" seems a good explaination

Would you have any idea for "to bear out" ? Emotion: smile
Rdep01Would you have any idea for "to bear out" ?

Unfortunately not.
Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies
Hi Rdep

And even if you knew where the out in bear out came from it still wouldn't help you with other phrasal verbs such as turn out, give out etc. I'm afraid there's not much point in trying to do that.
ok, so there is not an explaination behind each phrasal verb ..

Thank you for info Emotion: smile
Rdep01ok, so there is not an explaination behind each phrasal verb ..

I think that originally there must always have been an explanation or reason: these things weren't made up randomly. With many phrasal verbs the origin is still fairly obvious, but sometimes meanings and usages change over time so that the original derivation becomes obscure to modern speakers.
Site Hint: Check out our list of pronunciation videos.