Hello, teachers!

Can we omit 'away's and 'up' here?

1. I'm sad to see the flowers withered/wither [away].
2. I'm sad to see the flowers faded/fade [away].
3. I'm sad to see the flowers shriveled/shrivel [up].

Thank you very much.
Best Regards.
Original Post
Yes. The verbs without the particles are correct, but their meanings are different. Without the particles "away" and "up," the verbs lose the feature of "total completion," that is, they do not imply the end of the process.

When a flower withers, it is still there, but in a withered condition. This might happen over a few days after it has been cut and placed in a container in your house. "Wither away" can be used for plants that are still in the ground that come to the end of their growing period and gradually dry up and disappear from view until the next growing season.

The verb "fade away" is similar, although its meaning when used with physical objects is metaphorical. "To fade," when applied to something concrete, means to lose color or strength, but when it is accompanied by "away" it usually implies eventual disappearance, either physical or metaphorical, e.g. in one's memory.

Here's a definition of "fade away" from the Encarta Dictionary at


fade away

intransitive verb

1. gradually disappear: to become gradually fainter or weaker and finally disappear

2. waste away: to become thin and unhealthy

Similarly, when you say

"” I'm sad to see the flowers fade

...you describe the change over time without emphasizing the end of the fading.

The same principle applies to the particle "up." When a flower shrivels, it goes through a process. If you see a flower shrivel, you see the whole process as a single act, but without the final state being the focus. When you see it shrivel up, you see it reach the endpoint of the process, and you're looking at the finished product.

As for using the participial adjectives "withered," "faded" or "shriveled" alone, it's more common to use a degree adverb or other adverbial to modify them, for example,

"” I'm sad to see the flowers so withered/faded/shriveled

"” I'm sad to see the flowers [all] withered/faded/shriveled like that


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