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3 quick and easy PUT phrasal verbs (put on, put up, put down) with practice questions and audio


Phrasal verbs are an essential part of English vocabulary. It is almost impossible to listen to an English conversation and not hear a phrasal verb. In this blog post, we will look at 3 very common phrasal verbs that use the verb put. To keep things simple, we will only look at the most common usages of these phrasal verbs. Make sure you do the practice questions so that you can start using this language today.

As a quick note, all of these phrasal verbs are transitive, which means they need an object. Also, all of these phrasal verbs are separable, which means you can place the object at the end or in the middle of the phrasal verb.

Finally, if you would like to learn more phrasal verbs, you can purchase a copy of my book, 100 Practical English Phrasal Verbs.

Let's begin.

1. Put on

to place something on your body, such as clothes or jewelry, in order to wear it

(Opposite: take off)

"I'll be there in a minute. I'm just putting on my earrings."

"Put your rain boots on. It's wet outside."

"Could you help me put this necklace on?"

"I'll be right there. I'm just putting on my jacket."

Common sentence: "Put it on."

If it's cold outside, you can ask someone to put on a hat. When you wake up in the morning, you (hopefully) put on your clothes. If you go outside, you probably put on your shoes. Anything that you can place on your body, you can put on. This includes watches, rings, necklaces, and bracelets. You can also put on makeup, sunscreen, or other creams and lotions.

Practice: Do you put on sunscreen (also called sunblock or suntan lotion) when you go to the beach? (Example: "Yes, I usually put on sunscreen when I go to the beach.")

2. Put up

to place something on a wall, board, or other vertical surface, in order to display it or to choose a permanent place for it

(Opposite: take down)

"What a beautiful painting. You should put it up in your living room."

"This is a great picture of you and Rosie. You should put it up in your room."

"Administration put up a new job posting in the staff kitchen."

"When did you put that poster up in the living room?"

Common sentence: "I'll put it up tomorrow."

You can put up pictures, posters, shelves, or anything that can be placed on a wall or other vertical surface. You can even put things up in digital spaces. For example, I put up this blog post on my website. Companies can put up job advertisements online, too. Basically, if you can post something, or display something on a vertical surface, you can put it up.

Practice: What was the last thing you put up in your home, or online? (Example: "I put up a painting in my living room last week.")

3. Put down

to place something or someone on a surface, or to lower or release something or someone from an elevated position

(opposite: pick up)

"I never want to put you down."

"The time for the exam has expired. Please put down your pencils."

"Come in. You can put your purse down on that chair."

"Sam, put down your phone. You've been staring at it for the past 30 minutes."

Common sentence: "Put it down."

If someone asks you to put something down, they want you to place it on a surface, or to lower it from an elevated position. If you are carrying something that is heavy, such as two large bags of groceries, you will probably put them down on a table or on another surface. Parents often tell their kids to "put that down" or "put it down" if their kids are holding something that their parents don't want them to hold. As a quick note, this phrasal verb is often separated in use.

Practice: How many ways can you finish this sentence? "Put down..." (Example: "Put down the remote. Put down your fork. Etc.")

That's all for today. Did you find this lesson useful? Please let me know what you liked about it in the comments, and let me know if you have any questions or suggestions. As I mentioned, we have only discussed the most common definitions and uses of these phrasal verbs. To learn the other meanings and uses, pick up a copy of 100 Practical English Phrasal Verbs. It has over 900 examples, only the most current definitions, and it is organized into 20 context-based chapters. Until next time, thanks for clicking, and I wish you success in your studies.

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