Phrasal-Verbs – Letter P (With Prepositions)

–  Prepositional Phrasal-Verbs – Letter P  –


“I called the meeting today because I just want to make sure that we are all on the same page about what is to be expected with the new project.”

  • (to) Pick (someone) Up / (to) Pick Up (someone) – This is an idiomatic phrasal verb which is used to refer to retrieving someone from some place.  For example:  Driving to the school to to get your children and then bringing them home in your car…  “I’m going to *pick* the kids *up* after I drop off the documents at the printer.”  –  “I have to *pick up* the documents from the printer tomorrow afternoon.”

  • (to) Pick Up The Phone – This is an Idiomatic and Prepositional Verb Phrase which is used to mean:  To answer/accept a phone call.  This phrase comes from the early days of the telephone, when – in order to answer and accept a phone call – it was necessary to literally “pick up” what was called “the receiver”.  Since this was true for so long (and still is for non-mobile & non-wireless phones) the usage of this phrase has continued, even when it is not literally true.

(See Also:  “(to) Hang Up (the phone))

  • (to) Pick Up The Slack (for someone) – This is an idiomatic phrasal verb which means to do the work of another person strictly because that work is not being done, it is important, and the other person is being a “Slacker” or that he or she is at least “Slacking Off” in this situation.

  • (to) Pitch In – This is an idiomatic phrasal verb which simply means:  To Participate; To Contribute…  “Listen buddy!  If you wanna be part of this team, you’re gonna have to *pitch in*!  We’re not going to have you taking credit and not doing any of the work!”

  • (to) Plug Up (something) – This is a phrasal verb which is used to describe blocking some passage-way, in some way which does not allow normal flow through it any longer…  For example, if someone were to pour a few bags of flour into the toilet and try to  flush it down, then that person would probably *plug up* the toilet.  And if a person with allergies to pollen would go around sniffing lots of flowers, that person would probably *plug* his or her nose *up*.   –  (Notice also that this phrasal verb is separable.)

  • (to) Point Out (something) / (to) Point (something) Out – This is a phrasal verb which is used to mean:  “To draw someone’s attention to something”.  This can be done by literally “pointing” at something, or can be done by drawing one’s attention to something by mentioning it or reminding the person about it.  –  (Note also that the phrase “(to) draw (someone’s) attention to (something)” is a synonymous phrase.)

  • (to) Pop By – This is an idiomatic phrasal verb which simply means:  To visit someone or some place (usually un-planned) for a very short period of time…  “I had to go downtown to drop off some documents at the main office, so I decided to *pop by* and visit my friend who works next door to where I had to go.”

  • (to) Pull Off (something) – This is an idiomatic phrasal verb which simply means to accomplish, achieve, or be successful in finishing something.  However the way in which it is used is either as surprise or to indicate that the thing achieved was not necessarily easy to accomplish or that there was a significant chance for failure…  “I was always considered to be a rebellious student in school and everyone always told me that I wouldn’t graduate with my class, but I surprised everyone (including myself) and managed to *pull it off*, and I received my diploma (to the great dismay of the school principal.)” 😉  –  (Also note that this phrasal verb is separable and the subject can go in-between the verb and the preposition.)

  • (to) Put All Of (one’s) Eggs In One Basket – This is a phrase which means:  To put (or invest) all of one’s hopes, dreams, resources, energy, etc. “into” only one thing, which, if it fails, would mean that he or she will have lost everything.  Conversely if you spread your hopes, dreams, etc. around – and one thing (investment) fails, then that person will not have lost everything.

  • (to) Put Away (something) / (to) Put (something) Away – This is an idiomatic separable phrasal verb which means:  to put something (whatever it may be) in a specific or non-specific place because one is either finished with it or at least will not need it for a time and it is being put there (wherever that may be) so that it will not be “in the way” or that it will be protected…  “When I was younger my mother was constantly bothering me to *put* my clothes *away*.”

  • (to) Put (someone) Down – This is an idiomatic phrasal verb which is used to mean:  To say (or somehow communicate) something which is insulting, embarrassing, degrading, or hurtful to another, and causes that person to be very sad or upset.  However this term is almost always used in its phrasal noun form (a *Put-Down* [not usually hyphenated but it should be].)…  “George was really *put down* by the comments that Julia said about him on Twitter.”  –  “The comments that Brad made about George’s new wife were a real *put-down* to Angelina.”  –  (Notice also that the phrasal verb form, is not usually separated.)

  • (to) Put (oneself) In Another’s Position/Shoes – This is an idiomatic phrase which is used to express the action of “empathizing with another person.  To try to understand someone else’s views, opinions, feelings, motivations, etc..  The words “position” and “shoes” can be used interchangeably and mean the same thing; the word “shoes” is just slightly more idiomatic than “position”…  “In order to do better in sales, it is a good idea for the sales-person to *put himself in his customers shoes*.”  –  “*Put yourself in my position*!  If I were your employee, and I showed up late everyday, and then complained every minute I was at work, wouldn’t you fire me too?”

  • (to) Put Off (something) / (to) Put (something) Off – This is an idiomatic separable phrasal verb which is used to mean:  To postpone or delay something to a later time or date…  “I will have to *put off* our meeting until tomorrow as I have a lot of things to do today, which just can’t wait.”

  • (to) Put (someone) Out – This is an idiomatic phrasal verb which is used to mean:  To inconvenience someone.  This phrase is usually used as a social formality and polite ritual saying for when someone invites another to stay at their house (or somehow do something nice for that person).  The second person then says, “Oh no, I wouldn’t want *to put you out*!”  And then there is a ritual of going back and forth saying, “No, it’s not a problem.” – “Really?” – “Of course!” – blah, blah, blah…  The reason for the choice of the preposition can be thought of in this way:  To “Put” someone “Out” of their normal routine (which everyone knows, can be a bit uncomfortable.”

“to do things in the proper order”

But, this phrase is less focused on the “foundational” elements of a process, and is used more to say something like:

“Do steps 1, 2, and 3, before moving on the step 4.”

This is indicated by the fact that one must “put the horse in front of the cart” before that one can expect to get the cart moving anywhere.    (See Also“Build The House From The Ground Up”)

  • (to) Put (someone) Through – [telephone] This is an idiomatic verb phrase which someone is quite likely to hear if he or she is calling a company which has a receptionist or switch-board operator who will transfer one’s call to another person.  So, If that operator or receptionist says to the caller, “One moment, I will *put you through* (to the person being called).” – that means that the operator / receptionist will transfer the call to the appropriate office or extension.

  • (to) Put Up With (Someone/Something) – This is an Idiomatic and Prepositional Verb Phrase which means:  “To Tolerate Something”.  It is not clear why we use the preposition “up”, but it is a very commonly used Verb Phrase and the meaning is universally accepted so (as with many areas of the English language) logic is apparently not necessary…

“I can’t put up with these English lessons that do not explain things clearly, or worse yet, are completely filled with mistakes!”

–  ( Phrasal-VerbsLetter P )  –

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