V on n

II.18 The 'build' group

These verbs are concerned with using something as a basis or exploiting it. We include here act, which indicates that someone follows advice or instructions, and improve, which indicates that someone produces something better than a previous thing.
So, acting on our director's instructions, we drove off the highway down a rough track that led through the dunes.
I think I was too naive at the time. I didn't capitalize on opportunities.
His classic cocoon-shaped coat with ruched velvet shawl collar simply cannot be improved on.
Many of these verbs are sometimes followed by upon instead of on, especially act, build, capitalize, and improve.
This year we are building upon that success to provide an even better and bigger show.
In the case of cash in, the preposition on is sometimes followed by an '-ing' clause.
In 1979 he was accused of cashing in on being part of the Royal Family.
  • act
  • build
  • capitalize
  • improve
  • improvise
  • piggyback
  • trade
  • work
  • cash in
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