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roddy

English lesson: To up and...

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roddy

To up and do something - to do something unexpectedly or abruptly.

 

"Where's John?" - "No idea, he upped and left half an hour ago. Didn't say a word."

"Have you heard? Mum's upped and sold the house!"

"You can't just up and cancel the meeting like that..."

 

Is this only British English?

 

 

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Lu

I know this construction (don't know what flavour English it is though, my English is even messier in that respect than my Chinese) but I never knew the 'up' is also declined. I would have said 'He up and left half an hour ago.'

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mungouk

I always thought that was US English... I don't think I heard anyone in the UK say it before. 

 

 

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roddy

Actually I'm wondering about that now. I've now wondered so much I'm not sure what I'd even actually say. I'm going to have to try and sneak up on myself when I'm saying it. 

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mungouk

It definitely would be "upped and left" though, not "up and left", unless maybe spoken by those with English as a second language or whatever (here in Singapore everyone leaves "-ed" off the end of words all the time.  "Sorry, we're close" etc.)

 

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Beelzebro

Definitely heard it here in the UK.

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Lu

Counting google results, it's overwhelmingly 'up and left' and 'up and died' over 'upped and left/died'. But it is of course possible that most people are doing it wrong, or that there is a regional difference.

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mungouk
3 hours ago, Beelzebro said:

Definitely heard it here in the UK.

 

OK, there's a lot of "leakage" from US English into British English.  (When did Brits start saying "any time soon" and "one of the only"?)

Also, despite being English I lived in Scotland for the 10 years before leaving the UK in 2010 (lots of different usage), and haven't been back since. 

 

What am I trying to say?  Probably:  I may be out of touch!

 

 

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陳德聰

Interesting...

 

My first instinct was to say that “upped and left” was categorically wrong, in favour of “up and left.”

 

But then I started imagining a situation where I’m telling a story:

 

”So he’s sitting in the restaurant by himself, right? And then you wouldn’t believe it, the guy just ups and leaves without paying!”

 

I prefer “up and leaves” and “up and left,” but both “upped” and “ups” do not really offend my sensibilities. Cambridge says it’s “American” and gives an example using “up and left,” which I would casually infer means it started in American English and made it’s way to British English, before later losing the inflection on the word up where Brits preserved it.

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Shelley

Its up and leave and past tense is upped and left.

 

I have heard it on both sides of the Atlantic.

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abcdefg
On 5/24/2018 at 5:05 PM, roddy said:

Is this only British English?

 

It's used in the US too, during casual speech. 

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mungouk

 

20 hours ago, 陳德聰 said:

made it’s way to British English, before later losing the inflection on the word up where Brits preserved it.

 

Sounds very plausible.  Brits may do all kinds of careless and reckless things (*ahem* not using the B-word) but most would fight to the death to preserve inflection of the Queen's English.

 

And pick you up on "it's". 😉 

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NinjaTurtle

I would prefer to say "He up and left" rather than "He upped and left." But I would say both examples are correct.

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amytheorangutan

I heard it first in Australia but I think I have heard it in the UK as well.

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li3wei1

I would say more common in the US than in the UK, based on my limited experience. I'd also vote for upped over up for the past tense.

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