Keen post here about some of the unofficial grammar rules for English that native speakers follow without thinking about it. With explanations; that’s why it’s a great post. Like this:
WHY “I CHEERED UP MY FRIEND” AND NOT “I CHEERED UP HER”
English has a group of verbs known as phrasal verbs that give language learners a major headache. These are verbs made of multiple words that together give a different meaning than you would expect by simple combination. For example blow up is a phrasal verb because it means “explode” not “blow in an upward direction.” You just have to learn what these mean. They are verbs like call off (cancel), go over (review), and put down (insult). There are hundreds of them.
Phrasal verbs do not all work according to the same rules. Some do not allow an object to come between the parts of the verb: You can say “Don’t pick on your sister” but not “Don’t pick your sister on.” But other phrasal verbs can be separated: You can say “Let’s call off the meeting” or “Let’s call the meeting off.” Native speakers know which ones are separable and which are not without ever looking at a rule book. Non-native speakers have to learn the difference through painstaking experience.
But that’s not all. Even the separable verbs have a restriction on them that native speakers never explicitly learn about. Cheer up is separable. You can say “I cheered my friend up” or “I cheered up my friend.” But if you want to substitute my friend with a pronoun, it must be placed between the parts of the verb. You cannot say “I cheered up her” only “I cheered her up.” For the inseparable verbs, pronouns are no problem: “Don’t pick on her.”
In the rest of English grammar you can substitute a pronoun anywhere you have a noun phrase. Not in this case. But you already knew that, even if you didn’t know you knew that.
Isn’t that great?
Okay, at least, if you’re the sort of person who thinks this kind of thing is great.
Definitely click through and read the whole post if that’s you.