What difference does “up” make in these cases?

How do these sentences work? Is there any difference? Sorry if it’s obvious, I’m not a native speaker.

He stitched me up.


He stitched me.

I’m using the verb stitch, but it could be other verbs or tenses. Other examples:

He calls me X He calls me up

She showed in the room X She showed up in the room.

She beat the enemy X She beat up the enemy.


The adverbial particle “up” sometimes merely completes the sense of the verb. This is the case with “stitch somebody up.” While “stitch somebody” is not idiomatic, “stitch somebody up” is.

In other cases, “up” is used to mean “completely,” as in “He ate it up.”

In the other three sentences you mention, adding “up” leads to the formation of a phrasal verb:

  • call somebody up: call somebody on the phone
  • show up: appear
  • beat up: hit severely

Notice that the verbs call, show, beat alone do not carry the more specific meanings mentioned above.

Source : Link , Question Author : Renan , Answer Author : Gustavson

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