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John ran up a huge bill at dinner.

John and Sung ran up the hill.

 

      
The privates ran down the sergeant. The doctor ran down the hall.

Phrasal verbs that look the same may carry different meanings.

The one-word verb portion of the phrasal verb can carry the meaning of the clause if the one-word verb is accompanied by an adverbial prepositional phrase. There is no one-word verb that can replace the phrasal verb in meaning. The object of the clause is the object of the preposition.

If the one-word verb portion of the phrasal verb makes no sense without the preposition, the preposition is an integral component of the verb.  In that case, the phrasal verb may be replaced by a one-word verb that carries the same meaning as the phrasal verb, and the object in the clause is the object of the verb.

If you are still confused. study the changes in the sentences below.

 

John and Sung ran. (where? Adverbial prepositional phrase.) They ran up the hill

John ran up a huge bill at dinner. (what? Direct object of verb) John acquired a huge bill at dinner.

The doctor ran. (where? Adverbial prepositional phrase.)  He ran down the hall.

The privates ran down the sergeant. (whom? Direct object of verb.) The privates disrespected the sergeant