LL Cool J is an American rapper, entrepreneur, and actor from Bay Shore, New York. He has released thirteen studio albums and two greatest hits compilations, including 2008’s Exit 13. He has also appeared in numerous films, including Halloween H20: 20 Years Later, and currently stars as NCIS Special Agent Sam Hanna on the CBS crime drama television series NCIS: Los Angeles.
“Mama Said Knock You Out” is a number-one hit single by LL Cool J from his album of the same name. Before “Mama Said Knock You Out” was released, many people felt that LL Cool J’s career was waning, and his grandmother, who still believed in his talent, told him to “knock out” all his critics. The song was produced by Marley Marl with help from Shadman Kaiser along with LL (taken verbatim from Wikipedia).
Don’t call it a comeback. I been here for years.
Rocking my peers and putting suckers in fear.
Grammar: The Basics
Mama said knock you out
Phrasal verbs are very common in both written and spoken English, and there are hundreds of them to learn! One phrasal verb can have multiple meanings, and it is very easy to get confused.
What is a phrasal verb? It is a special phrase made from a verb and preposition/adverb particle. An object, object pronoun or prepositional phrase sometimes follows a phrasal verb, but an object or preposition is not always required.
- throw up = throw (verb) + up (particle)
- dress up = dress (verb) + up (particle)
- put up with = put (verb) + up (particle) + with (particle)
There are two types of phrasal verbs: inseparable and separable.
Inseparable Phrasal Verbs
If the phrasal verb is inseparable, then never separate the verb and the particle. The verb and particle are always together. Many dictionaries and websites use [in.] to label these verbs.
- I shouldn’t have eaten that old sushi. I got very ill on threw up on the way to work.
- The party is going to be very formal, so you need to dress up.
- She is such an annoying coworker. I can’t put up with her constant complaining!
Separable Phrasal Verbs
If the phrasal verb is separable, then it is possible to separate the verb and the particle. The verb and particle don’t always have to be together. Many dictionaries and websites use [sep.] to label these verbs. There are four patterns with separable phrasal verbs:
verb + particle + object – The verb and particle can remain together with an object, but never with an object pronoun (me, you, him, her it, us, them).
- It’s time to sleep. Please turn off the lights.
Turn off it.
- I can’t figure out this puzzle. It’s difficult to solve.
I can’t figure out it.
verb + object + particle – An object or object pronoun can be between the verb and particle.
- The CEO is running late, so we should hold the meeting off until 3pm.
- I tore her letter up because it made me very angry and sad.
- Can you turn the music down? It’s very late, and I have to wake up early.
verb + object pronoun (me, you, him, her it, us, them) + particle – Object pronouns must always go between the verb and particle.
- She really disappointed the team with her poor decidions. She let us down.
- The light is bothering me. Do you mind turning it off?
- That lasagna is old. We need to throw it out.
Phrasal verbs from LL Cool J’s “Mama Said Knock You Out”
- knock out (sep. phrasal verb) – to make somebody fall asleep or loss consciousness; to eliminate something. The two men were fighting, and the big guy knocked out the other guy. He just lay on the ground like a dead fish.
- pull out (sep. phrasal verb) – to reveal or show something that was hidden. Don’t pull out that picture!
- many other meanings
- come up with (in. phrasal verb) – to think of or create a new idea or solution to a problem. Apple is always coming up with great new products.
- tie up (sep. phrasal verb) – to close something with a knot. Tie up your shoes or you might trip and fall.
- other possible meanings
- come on (in. phrasal verb) – used to tell somebody to work harder or faster. Come on! If we you don’t work harder, you will fail the class!
- take out (sep. phrasal verb) – to move something outside, especially garbage. Take out that garbage. It stinks in here!
- many other meanings
- get down to (in. phrasal verb) – to begin or start work. We need to get down to business and stop goofing around.
- Use a dictionary, website or a lesson from ESLhiphop.com and find any phrasal verb. Tell us what it is.
- Is is separable or inseparable?
- What is the most common meaning?
- Does it have other meanings?
- Can you write an example sentence using it?