Some weeks ago, I did a video on Youtube about adding the preposition "up" to some simple verbs to form "phrasal verbs".
Remember, this is only done to some verbs.
*eat ---> eat up
*clean ---> clean up
*listen ---> listen up
*pay ---> pay up
*wait ---> wait up
*drink ---> drink up
"Listen up" is a little different than just saying "listen". It does not mean "listen to something that is above you". That would be verb + preposition (up) and this has a physical meaning (direction).
"Listen up" is said in the imperative form and means you want someone to diligently and attentively listen.
So, adding "up" to these simple verbs is like forming a "phrasal verb" because the combination of the verb and "up" forms a slightly different meaning than the verb alone or than the verb with the preposition "up".
When native English-speakers add "up" to some simple verbs, the meaning (usually and almost) stays the same, but for some verbs, if "up" is not added, the sentence sounds a bit strange.
When "up" is added to verbs, these verbs are usually said in the imperative form. So, "up" is added to:
*sound more authoritative - we add "up" to a simple verb when we want the person to comply or obey with our command
"Pay me my money!"
"Pay up!" - if someone owes you money, this sounds more authoritative
"Clean your room"
"Clean up your room!" - this (can) sound more authoritative and is something a parent might say
*make someone do it quickly and diligently
"Eat your lunch."
"Eat up your lunch." - a parent or teacher (or someone else of authority) would say this to a young person to make them eat everything and eat it quickly
*make someone do something fully
"Drink everyone!" -this is rarely said
"Drink up, everyone!" - someone might say this at a party meaning they want everyone to drink all of their (alcoholic) drinks
*make someone do something a little bit
"Wait for me! You are walking too fast" - this is rarely said
"Wait up for me! You are walking too fast." -someone might say this if two people are walking together, and one slow person wants the other person to wait (a little)
Watch the Youtube video here (and subscribe to my Youtube Channel for weekly tutoring videos):
If you have any questions or comments, respond to this post.