– Phrasal-Verbs & Verb Phrases – Letter P –
(to) Apply (some) Pressure – See: Phrasal Verbs, Letter “A”, for “Apply”
(to) Get A Clear Picture (of something) – See: Phrasal Verbs – Letter “G”, for “Get”
- (to) Go Public – This Idiomatic Phrasal-Verb is an Industry Term which is used to describe when a company becomes a publicly traded corporation where-in the stocks of the company are offered to the “Public” to purchase.
(to) Paint The Picture For (someone) – This is an idiomatic verb phrase which is used to mean: To describe and explain something so clearly and precisely that the other person can “see” the picture in his or her mind. This is usually done through the use of analogy and symbolism… “I know that some of these concepts may be a little difficult to understand right away, so let me *paint the picture for you*.”
(to) Pass The Buck – This is a phrase which comes from the “old” world of gambling. It was very common that the handles of knives in those days (and even today) were made of, or decorated with the antlers of male deer, often times referred to as “bucks” (even today there is a very popular and successful knife company called “Buck” knives.)… So in the game of poker, when people would take turns dealing (so-as to remain more “fair”) the people would often *pass the buck* to the person who was the dealer. At least this is the common story. But now this phrase means to “pass” the responsibility for something to another person, and is done because a person lacks integrity… “Politicians are constantly *passing the buck* whenever something goes wrong, and because of this, nothing ever gets done.”
(to) Pay Attention – This is a verb phrase which meant to put one’s focus on something in order to obtain the most information about it… “When the children in school are laughing and playing games with each other while the teacher is speaking, they are not *paying attention*. When the students are listening attentively, taking notes on what the teacher says and asking questions about what they are learning, then they are definitely *paying attention*.”
(to) Play It Safe – This is an idiomatic phrasal verb which is used to say: “to not take any unnecessary risks”… “Most people are so afraid of change and the possibility of a little hardship in their lives that they continually *play it safe*. And because of this, they never live the life of their dreams. Consequently, those that they look up to and admire, constantly say that one needs to take risks… People never listen.”
(to) Play Favorites – This is an idiomatic phrasal verb which refers to the action of favoring one thing or person over another when it is not really appropriate to do so… “Even though the teachers and administrators at school are supposed to act as guides in the children’s lives, it’s clear that they almost always *play favorites* with the students who are act according to the rules of society – and they label the ones who actually show signs of creativity and genius as “trouble-makers” and treat them as if they have a learning disability… all because they ask the question “Why?””
(to) Pool (one’s money / resources with others) – This is a one-word phrasal verb which means to put one’s money and/or resources together with other – usually in equal proportions – in order to achieve something that is beneficial without that thing “costing” too much in time or money for each individual. This is also often done to get someone a rather expensive present instead of everyone getting that person many small ones… “None of us, individually, could afford to rent studio-space for our art on our own, so we *pooled* our money and rented a much larger space that any of us had even hoped for. Now, not only do we have enough space to create our art, but we even have enough space to do private art shows and parties as well.”
(to) Pull (someone’s) Leg – This is a phrase which means to try to fool someone, but in a fun and joking way – not in a way that could hurt or upset them; just for fun… “Bob told me that when he was on vacation in the Caribbean, he met Katie Perry at the bar and they spent the evening drinking margaritas together, but I think he was *pulling* my *leg* because he didn’t have any pictures to prove it.”
(to) Pull A Muscle – This phrasal verb is only slightly idiomatic. This is because it does not mean that a person grabs the muscle and pulls it, but it is the common phrase which is used to describe when a person somehow strains a muscle by over-exerting and causes the muscle to be pulled in a way that is almost tears from the muscle bone that it is attached to, thus the *muscle* and connective tissue gets *pulled*… And that really freakin’ hurts a lot!
(to) Pull (one’s) Own Weight – This is an idiomatic verb phrase which is used to mean: To do all of one’s responsibilities and take care of one’s necessities without asking for or needing the help of anyone else… “Lupe is a really nice girl and the customers like her but she just doesn’t *pull her own weight* around here. She is constantly asking others to help her with the tasks that she should be doing on her own. This makes more work for the others and is starting to cause some real tension.”
(to) Push (someone’s) Buttons – This is an idiomatic phrasal verb which is used to mean: To do something with the expressed intent of causing a specific and known (and usually “negative”) response from someone. When one pushes a specif button or combination of buttons on a computer, a specific result happens. So to do or say a certain thing to a person, when it is known exactly what that person’s response will be, is to *push* that person’s *buttons*… “Many women think that men leave the toilet seat up just to *push their buttons*, but the fact is, most men are not even thinking about it. It just happens.”