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Phrasal verbs are made when we use a main verb with another word (or words) to change the meaning of the main verb.
There are lots of different phrasal verbs with ‘put’. We’ll cover some of the most useful ones in this lesson.

Note: Remember, as for all phrasal verbs, phrasal verbs with ‘put’ are best used in spoken English and informal written English. It is often best to avoid using them in formal writing and even in some formal spoken situations (for example, you should avoid using them in Part 3 of the IELTS speaking test).

‘Put’ examples

  • put through
  • put back
  • put down
  • put down to
  • put off
  • put on
  • put up
  • put up with
  • put out


‘Put’ (through) examples

  • put (someone) through (to someone else)

1. “Can I speak to Mr Smith please?”  “Yes, please hold the line a moment. I’ll put you through to him now.” (connect a person to another person so they can talk on the telephone)

‘Put’ (back) examples

  • put back (something)

1. Today’s meeting has been put back to Friday as the Manager has been called away on urgent business. (postpone)

‘Put’ (down) examples

  • put (someone) down

1. Sharon is always putting other people down; I wish she wouldn’t! (criticise in public)

  • put (something) down

2. I have put my name down on the volunteer list to help with the charity event! (write something, add to a listing)

  • put down (an animal)

3. My cat was very old and very sick so it was the kindest option to have him put down. (end the life of an old / sick / dangerous animal)

  • put down (something – prices)

4. The government is putting down the price of cigarettes from next week. (decrease)

‘Put’ (down to) examples

  • put (something) down to (something)

1. He is always so irritable these days. I put it down to the fact that he’s working too many hours. (give as an explanation to something)

‘Put’ (off) examples

  • put off (something)

1. We’ll have to put off our dinner date until next week as I’m so busy. (postpone)

  • be put off (something)

2. I was put off travelling there when I heard about the conflict. (feel negative about something that you used to like)

‘Put’ (on) examples

  • put on (weight)

1. I‘ve put on so much weight lately; I need to join a gym. (become heavier / fatter)

  • put on (something false)

2. They like to give the impression they are very rich but it’s all put on; I know they are actually struggling with cashflow. (pretend, deceive, create a false impression)

  •  put on (an item of clothing)

3. Put on a warm jacket before you go out. It’s freezing! (dress in an item of clothing)

‘Put’ (up) examples

  • put up (something – prices)

1. The government is putting up the price of cigarettes from next week. (increase)

  • put (someone) up

2. My cousin is coming to visit from America and we’re going to put him up while he’s in the UK. (provide hospitality to someone)

‘Put’ (up with) examples

  • put up with (something)

1. Parents of teenagers often have to put up with their bad moods. (tolerate, endure)

‘Put’ (out) examples

  • put (someone) out

1. We’d love to stay with you thank you. As long as it won’t put you out. (trouble or disturb someone)

  • put out (something that is burning)

2. Can you please put out that cigarette? You are not allowed to smoke here.

  • put out (a signal or broadcast)

3. The station put out such a strong signal that it interrupted all other broadcasts. (transmit)

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