“Bang on the hammer”?

It says, “The next day, Hem and Haw returned with tools. Hem held the chisel, while Haw banged on the hammer until they made a hole in the wall.”

I don’t really get why it says “…Haw banged on the hammer…”

I would understand this part as saying that Haw hit the hammer with something.

Shouldn’t this be “…Haw banged on it with the hammer…” with “it” referring to the chisel?

Answer

The verb bang means to hit something with force, so you are right to think “banged on the hammer” means that he hit the hammer with something, which doesn’t make much sense.

However, the word on here is not used to indicate the object of preposition (for example chisel), as a matter of fact it’s not even a preposition in the fist place, it’s an article, so bang on is a phrasal verb that means something like “he kept using the hammer”.

the article on used with many verbs implies a continuous action, so “bang on” is a phrasal verb, and an intransitive one at that, meaning that it doesn’t require an object. In fact the object is implicit in the sentence(nail or chisel); The reader can guess what the object is.

Attribution
Source : Link , Question Author : Community , Answer Author : Fermichem

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