How to Use the Phrasal Verb Put


Let’s start off by actually defining put. Put as a transitive verb means to place or to move something. But when English-speakers combine put with prepositions the meaning changes drastically because put can be used as a phrasal verb.


Put on

performing, wearing, or acting

To dress - I am putting on my jacket.

To have a show - We are putting on a Shakespearean play.

To be fake/to act - I am putting on a smile.

To play music - Put on my favorite song!

To change the channel or start a program on the television - Put on the game!

Put off

disliking, procrastinating, waiting

To postpone/delay - I am putting off the meeting.

Feel uncomfortable/to dislike - This situation makes me really put off.

To make someone wait - I am putting her off. I don’t want to talk.

Put up

building, erecting, cleaning

To clean / to store - I am putting my clothes up in my room.

To build - They are putting a new home up for him.

To hang something on a wall - She is putting the new painting up on a wall.

To provide/invest money - I will put up $1,000 for your new business.

To tolerate - I am putting up with him.

To volunteer a candidate - I am putting up myself to help political refugees learn about Web Development.

Put back

reversing, returning

To place something in its original place - I put my books back on the shelf.

To delay - I put back the meeting until 4 PM.

To reverse a clock - We put the clocks back last night.

Put away

clearing, cleaning

To clean up with no specific storage or place - I put away my plates.

To clear away things - I am putting away my plates after dinner.

To eat a lot - I am putting away all of the food on the Table because i didn’t eat anything for lunch

Put down

To place something down - I am putting down my phone.

To criticize someone - Why are you putting me down?

To write or take notes - I am putting this down on paper.

To place someone in bed to sleep - I put the baby down at 6 PM.

To pay a deposit - I am putting down $300 for the apartment.

To kill an old animal - We had to put down my dog last week.


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