Phrasal Verb P

  • pack away|Put something where it belongs|I PACKED AWAY the suitcases in the loft after we had emptied them.|_
  • pack in|Stop doing something|I’m trying to PACK IN smoking.|_
  • pack it in|Stop doing something (used as an imperative)|The kids were making a fuss, so I told them to PACK IT IN.|_
  • pack off|Send someone away|His boss PACKED him OFF to a regional office.|_
  • pack out|Fill a venue|The stadium was PACKED OUT.|_
  • pack up|Stop doing something|You should PACK UP smoking.|_
  • pad down|Sleep somewhere for the night|I’m too tired to come home; can I PAD DOWN here tonight?|_
  • pad out|Make a text longer by including extra content, often content that isn’t particularly relevant|I couldn’t think of much to write, so I PADDED the essay OUT with a few lengthy quotes.|_
  • pair off|Begin a romantic relationship|They PAIRED OFF shortly after starting university.|1
  • pair off with|Form a pair with someone|I PAIRED OFF WITH Trish for the test.|_
  • pair up|Form a pair|We PAIRED UP for the last activity|_
  • pal about|Be friendly and spend time with someone|We used to PAL ABOUT when we were at school.|_
  • pal around|Be friendly and spend time with someone|We PALLED AROUND at university.|_
  • pal up|Become friends|We PALLED UP when I started working with her.|1
  • palm off|Get someone to accept something that isn’t true|He tried to PALM me OFF with a pathetic excuse.|1
  • pan out|The way a situation develops|I don’t know how things will PAN OUT now the company’s been taken over.|1
  • paper over|Try to conceal a problem without really fixing it|The government tried to PAPER OVER the problems in the proposal, but the press were very critical.|_
  • pare back|If you pare something back, you reduce the size or numbers.|They have had to PARE BACK the services they offer as their funding was reduced.|_
  • pare down|Reduce, decrease|They have PARED DOWN the number of employees as they haven’t been doing well.|1
  • part with|Give something away, especially when you don’t want to|I found it very hard to PART WITH my old CDs when I digitized my collection.|1
  • pass around|Give out to everybody there|The teacher PASSED the handout AROUND.|1
  • pass as|Be believed to be something|Although not qualified, he managed to PASS AS a doctor for years.|_
  • pass away|Die|Sadly, Georgia’s uncle PASSED AWAY yesterday after a short illness.|1
  • pass back|Return|I felt awful when the teacher started to PASS BACK the exam papers.|_
  • pass by|Go past without stopping|I was just PASSING BY when I saw the accident.|1
  • pass down|Transmit information or give property to younger generations|The tales were PASSED DOWN for centuries without changing ay of the words.|_
  • pass for|Be accepted as something, usually when not|You’d be surprised at what PASSES FOR good cooking in many restaurants.|_
  • pass off|Convince something that something is real|I managed to PASS OFF the fake money in the market.|1
  • pass on|Give a message to someone|I’ll PASS the message ON when she gets here.|1
  • pass on to|Change topic or subject|Let’s PASS ON TO the next item on the agenda.|_
  • pass out|Faint, lose consciousness|He got so drunk that he PASSED OUT.|1
  • pass over|Ignore someone and give a job, reward, etc, to someone more junior|They PASSED him OVER and made his assistant the new director.|1
  • pass round|Distribute, give to people present|They PASSED ROUND copies of the handbook.|_
  • pass through|Visit a place without stopping or only stopping briefly|I didn’t see much as I was only PASSING THROUGH the town.|1
  • pass to|Give ownership or responsibility to someone|The shares PASSED TO his daughter when he died.|_
  • pass up|Decline a chance|She PASSED UP the opportunity to go to university because she’d been offered a job.|1
  • pat down|Search or frisk someone|The police PATTED them DOWN for weapons but found nothing.|_
  • patch together|Create or assemble something quickly without much planning|They PATCHED TOGETHER a coalition after the election.|_
  • patch up|Fix or make things better|I tried to PATCH things UP after the argument, but they wouldn’t speak to me.|1
  • pay back|Repay money borrowed|I PAID BACK the twenty pounds I’d borrowed.|1
  • pay down|Pay a debt over time|The British government can’t PAY DOWN the national debt.|_
  • pay for|Purchase|I PAID twenty pounds FOR the book.|1
  • pay into|Deposit money|I PAID the cash INTO my account.|_
  • pay off|Completely repay a debt|The mortgage will be PAID OFF in twenty-five years.|1
  • peck at|Eat very small amounts|The food wasn’t very nice, so I PECKED AT it to look polite.|1
  • peel away|Leave a group by moving in a different direction|Some of the crowd PEELED AWAY to get out of the crush.|_
  • peel away from|Leave a group by moving in a different direction|They PEELED AWAY FROM the crowd and went down a side road.|_
  • peel off|Leave a group by moving in a different direction|When the police blocked the road, a few protesters PEELED OFF and left the march.|1
  • peel off from|Leave a group by moving in a different direction|They PEELED OFF FROM the demonstration when the police arrived.|_
  • peel out|Accelerate rapidly from stationary|Fearing the police, he PEELED OUT in a cloud of tire smoke.|_
  • peg away|Keep working at something|I PEGGED AWAY for weeks before my exams.|1
  • peg down|Fasten something to the ground|We PEGGED the tent DOWN to stop the wind blowing it about.|1
  • peg it|Die|After a long illness, she finally PEGGED IT yesterday.|_
  • peg out|Put washing outside to dry|I PEGGED the washing OUT after it stopped raining.|_
  • pen in|Confine people or animals to an area and prevent them from leaving|The police PENNED the protesters IN.|_
  • pen up|Keep people or animals in a restricted area and prevent them from leaving|The journalists were PENNED UP in an area that was fenced off from the spectators.|1
  • pencil in|Make a provisional appointment|I’ll PENCIL Thursday night IN, but if anything comes up, give me a ring..|_
  • pep up|Make something more interesting|You need to PEP your writing UP.|1
  • perk up|Feel better or happier, make someone feel better or happier|She was ill in bed with flu, but she PERKED UP a bit when some friends dropped by.|1
  • peter out|Lose impetus and stop|Everyone was keen at first, but the enthusiasm PETERED OUT when they saw how long it would take.|1
  • phase in|Introduce gradually|They are PHASING IN the reforms over the next two years.|1
  • phase out|Remove gradually|They have introduced a compact edition of the newspaper and are PHASING OUT the broadsheet edition over the next few months.|1
  • phone in|Telephone your place of work to pass on information|She PHONED IN sick this morning.|_
  • pick apart|Criticise, find fault|The critics PICKED the film APART.|1
  • pick at|Eat unwillingly|I wasn’t very hungry so I just PICKED AT my food.|1
  • pick off|Target individuals to change a group|There were many rebels against the policy, but the government PICKED OFF the leaders.|1
  • pick on|Bother, annoy, criticize or make fun of someone|My friends always PICK ON me because I don’t sing well.|_
  • pick out|Choose|She PICKED OUT the ones she wanted to take and left the rest.|1
  • pick through|Search something that is disordered for something|The police have been PICKING THROUGH the wreckage for clues.|_
  • pick up|Improve|Sales PICKED UP a bit during the Christmas period.|1
  • pick up after|Tidy a mess someone else has made|I always have to PICK UP AFTER him because he leaves things all over the office.|_
  • pick up on|Correct someone when they say something wrong|My teacher PICKS UP ON any mistake I make and corrects me.|_
  • pick yourself up|Recover from a fall or problem|It took him a long time to PICK HIMSELF UP after his wife left him.|_
  • pig off|Used to tell someone to get lost or leave you alone|He told them to PIG OFF and leave him in peace.|_
  • pig out|Eat a lot|The food was great, so I really PIGGED OUT.|1
  • pile in|Enter a place quickly, in a disorganised way|The coach stopped and we all PILED IN.|_
  • pile into|Enter a place quickly, in a disorganised way|We PILED INTO the shop when it opened.|_
  • pile on|Add or give more or something|Work’s crazy- they keep PILING ON the pressure.|_
  • pile out|Leave a place quickly, in a disorganised way|The train eventually arrived and we all PILED OUT.|_
  • pile up|Accumulate|Work just keeps on PILING UP and I really can’t manage to get it all done.|1
  • pin down|Get a fixed idea, opinion, etc, from someone.|I’ve asked him to set a date, but he’s a hard man to PIN DOWN and won’t give a definite answer.|1
  • pin on|Attach the blame to someone|The police tried to PIN the crime ON him.|_
  • pin up|Fix something to a wall, or other vertical surface, with a pin|I PINNED the notice UP on the board|1
  • pine away|Suffer physically because of grief, stress, worry, etc|He’s been PINING AWAY since his wife died and is a shadow of his former self.|1
  • pine for|Want or miss something or someone|The dog’s PINING FOR his owner.|_
  • pipe down|Be quiet (often as an imperative)|The lecturer asked the students to PIPE DOWN and pay attention.|1
  • pipe up|To speak, raise your voice|At first, no one answered, then finally someone PIPED UP.|1
  • pit against|Compete or force to compete|The war PITTED neighbour AGAINST neighbour.|_
  • pit out|Go into the pits (car racing)|He PITTED OUT in the twentieth lap.|_
  • pitch for|Try to persuade someone to give your work, business, a job, etc|He PITCHED FOR the job, but they gave it to someone else.|_
  • pitch in|Work together to help achieve an objective|We were behind schedule, but the others PITCHED IN and we got it done in time.|1
  • pitch into|Criticise severely or attack someone|The shareholders PITCHED INTO the management about their pay rises at the meeting.|1
  • plant out|Put a young plant that has been grown in a pot or greenhouse into the ground|They need to be PLANTED OUT in the spring.|_
  • plate up|Put food onto a plate to serve|PLATE UP and drizzle with salsa verde.|_
  • play about|Be silly|Please stop PLAYING ABOUT.|_
  • play along|Pretend to agree or accept something in order to keep someone happy or to get more information|I disagreed with the idea but I had to PLAY ALONG because everyone else liked it.|1
  • play around|Be silly|The children were PLAYING AROUND and being annoying.|1
  • play at|Pretend to be something|He just PLAYS AT being a lawyer- he never wins a case.|_
  • play away|Be sexually unfaithful when away from home|He travels abroad a lot and his wife thinks he PLAYS AWAY.|_
  • play back|Listen to or watch something you’ve recorded|We PLAYED the recording BACK to see if it was OK.|1
  • play down|Try to make something seem less important|The Government has tried to PLAY DOWN the importance of the minister’s resignation.|1
  • play off|Play a game to decide who the winner is|As both teams had the same points, they PLAYED OFF to decide the winner.|1
  • play on|Continue playing a sport though there might be a reason to stop|It looked like a foul, but the referee told them to PLAY ON.|_
  • play out|Progress, often till it finishes|Let’s see how things PLAY OUT.|1
  • play up|Behave badly|The children PLAYED UP all evening and drove the babysitter mad.|1
  • play up to|Flatter someone|I’m PLAYING UP TO my boss at the moment because I want the promotion.|_
  • play upon|Exploit a weakness|They are PLAYING UPON people’s concerns to get their way.|_
  • play with|Touch and move something to occupy your hands|He can’t stop PLAYING WITH his beard.|_
  • plead out|Plead guilty to get a reduced sentence or fine|The CEO PLEADED OUT and blamed the CFO for the fraud.|_
  • plough back|Re-invest money you have made into a business|We PLOUGHED BACK all the profits to grow the company.|_
  • plough into|Collide into at speed|The bus skidded and PLOUGHED INTO the bus stop.|_
  • plough on|Continue doing something you don’t want to|It was really boring, but we PLOUGHED ON.|1
  • plough through|Eat a big meal|We PLOUGHED THROUGH all seven courses.|_
  • plough up|Break the surface of soil|The tractor PLOUGHED UP the field so they could sow the seed.|_
  • plow back|Re-invest money you have made into a business|We PLOWED BACK all the profits to grow the company.|_
  • plow into|Collide into at speed|The bus skidded and PLOWED INTO the bus stop.|_
  • plow on|Continue doing something you don’t want to|It was really boring, but we PLOWD ON.|_
  • plow through|Eat a big meal|We PLOWED THROUGH all eight courses.|_
  • plow up|Break the surface of soil|The tractor PLOWED UP the field so they could sow the crop|_
  • pluck at|Pull or fiddle with something nervously|He was PLUCKING AT his cuffs during the interview.|1
  • pluck up|Muster, acquire, gather|They PLUCKED UP the courage to complain.|_
  • plug away|Do something with determination despite any difficulties|She found it very difficult at first, but kept PLUGGING AWAY until she mastered it.|1
  • plug in|Connect machines to the electricity supply|He PLUGGED the TV IN and turned it on full blast.|1
  • plug into|Be involved with, get information about|They’re PLUGGED INTO the underground music scene.|1
  • plump down|Put something in a place without taking care|He PLUMPED his bag DOWN and kicked his shoes off.|1
  • plump for|Choose|I PLUMPED FOR the steak frites.|1
  • plump up|Make something like a cushion bigger and softer by shaking it|I PLUMPED UP the pillow and lay down.|1
  • plump yourself down|Sit down heavily|She PLUMPED HERSELF DOWN next to me and started asking me what had happened.|_
  • point out|Make someone aware of something|He POINTED OUT that I only had two weeks to get the whole thing finished.|1
  • poke about|Move things around or search in a casual way to try to find something|I POKED ABOUT in my CD collection to see if I could find it.|_
  • poke around|Move things around or search in a casual way to try to find something|I POKED AROUND in my desk to see if the letter was there.|_
  • polish off|Finish, consume|She POLISHES OFF half a bottle of gin every night.|1
  • polish up|Improve something quickly|I need to POLISH UP my French before I go to Paris.|1
  • pony up|Pay for something|I had to PONY fifty dollars UP for the meal.|1
  • poop out|Get too tired to do something|I was going to write my essay, but I POOPED OUT and went to bed instead.|1
  • poop out on|Fail to keep an appointment|We were supposed to meet yesterday, but she POOPED OUT ON me at the last minute.|_
  • pootle along|Travel in a leisurely way|We were POOTLING ALONG at thirty miles an hour.|_
  • pop down|Travel somewhere to visit|Why don’t you POP DOWN and see us during the holidays?|_
  • pop down to|Go somewhere quickly to do something, often to buy or get something|I am POPPING DOWN TO the shops to get some coffee.|_
  • pop in|Visit for a short time|He POPPED IN for a coffee on his way home.|1
  • pop off|Talk loudly, complain|He’s always POPPING OFF when things don’t suit him.|1
  • pop out|Go out for a short time|I’m just POPPING OUT to the shops. Do you need anything while I’m out?|1
  • pop up|Appear, like windows and boxes opening on a computer screen.|The dialogue box POPPED UP up when I pressed Enter.|1
  • pore over|Read, look at or study carefully|She PORED OVER the report looking for mistakes.|_
  • potter about|Spend time doing little things for pleasure|On Saturday mornings, I POTTER ABOUT the garden if the weather’s fine.|_
  • potter around|Spend some time doing little things for pleasure|I POTTERED AROUND, sorting out my CDS and a few other things.|1
  • pour down|Rain hard|It POURED DOWN all day so we had to remain indoors.|1
  • pour forth|Emerge from a place in large numbers|Useless statistics POUR FORTH from him.|1
  • power down|Cut the electricity supply to a computer or electronic device|I POWERED DOWN my computer and went for lunch.|_
  • power off|Cut the electricity to a computer or device to turn it off|You mustn’t POWER it OFF while it is updating.|_
  • power up|Turn a computer or electronic device on so that it is ready to use|I POWERED UP my laptop and started work.|_
  • prattle on|Talk too much|Geoff just PRATTLED ON instead of giving a straight answer.|_
  • press ahead|Continue with something|They PRESSED AHEAD with the elections despite the violence.|_
  • press for|Apply pressure to get permission or to obtain something|The workers are PRESSING FOR better pay and conditions.|_
  • press forward with|Continue or go ahead with a project, process, plan, etc|The government are PRESSING FORWARD WITH the new law.|_
  • press into|Bring or force into use|When the line was breached, reserve troops were PRESSED INTO service.|_
  • press on|Continue with something|We PRESSED ON to get to our destination before night fell.|1
  • press upon|Pressure someone to accept something offered|The invitations were PRESSED UPON us and it was hard to say no.|_
  • prey on|Catch and kill an animal for food|Spiders PREY ON insects.|_
  • prey upon|Catch and kill an animal for food|Cats PREY UPON birds and mice.|_
  • price in|Include the affects of possible future events when assessing the value of something|Speculators have PRICED IN the risk of a war breaking out.|_
  • price up|Charge more for something|In rural areas where they have a monopoly, some garages PRICE UP fuel because there’s nowhere else to buy it.|_
  • print out|Make a hard copy of a computer document|He PRINTED OUT the letter and checked through it carefully.|_
  • prop up|Support something, both physically and financially, politically, etc.|The council have PROPPED UP the museum for years with grants.|1
  • pry out|Obtain information someone is unwilling to give up|It took us ages to PRY OUT the answer from her.|_
  • psych out|Work out or anticipate someone’s intentions|We have to try to PSYCH OUT our rivals.|_
  • psych up|Prepare someone mentally|I PSYCHED myself UP for the exam.|1
  • pucker up|Move your lips into position to receive a kiss|She PUCKERED UP when he leant forwards to kiss her.|_
  • pull ahead|Overtake, move in front|The lorry was going slowly but we managed to PULL AHEAD.|1
  • pull apart|Destroy an argument, theory, etc|My tutor PULLED my essay APART.|_
  • pull away|When a vehicle moves from a place|The car PULLED AWAY from the lights at high speed.|1
  • pull back|Score a goal or point when losing|They were two-nil down until five minutes before the end, when they PULLED BACK a goal.|1
  • pull down|Demolish|They PULLED the old cinema DOWN to build a new shopping mall.|1
  • pull for|Support|Who will you be PULLING FOR in the final?|_
  • pull in|When a train arrives at a station|The train PULLED IN and we rushed to meet her as she got off.|1
  • pull off|Manage to do something difficult or tricky|No-one thought that she would be able to do it, but she PULLED it OFF in the end.|1
  • pull on|Put clothes on|I PULLED ON a jumper when the sun went in.|_
  • pull out|Start moving (train)|The train was PULLING OUT when I got there.|1
  • pull over|Stop by the side of the road|The police PULLED the car OVER|1
  • pull through|Recover from and illness or problem|At one stage it looked as if she was going to die, but she PULLED THROUGH in the end.|1
  • pull to|Close a door or window that has been left open|Could you PULL the door TO, please?|_
  • pull together|Work together as a team|If we all PULL TOGETHER, we’ll have it finished in no time.|1
  • pull up|Slow and stop a car|The cab PULLED UP outside my house and I got out.|1
  • pull yourself together|Become calm or regain control of your emotions|He was so angry that he couldn’t PULL HIMSELF TOGETHER.|_
  • pump (money) into|Invest in something|The government will PUMP funds INTO the health service.|_
  • pump in|Invest, put money in|The government will PUMP funds IN.|_
  • pump out|Remove liquids coming in using a pump|We had to PUMP OUT the water coming into the ship.|_
  • pump up|Encourage, make someone feel confident|The coach PUMPED the team UP before the match.|_
  • push about|Bully, treat badly|They PUSHED him ABOUT because he couldn’t fight back.|_
  • push ahead|Continue, especially when something is difficult|Some people wanted to halt the project, but they decided to PUSH AHEAD.|_
  • push along|Leave, go home|It’s seven o’clock and I’d better be PUSHING ALONG.|_
  • push around|Bully, treat badly|My boss likes to PUSH us AROUND.|1
  • push in|Get in a queue without waiting|She just PUSHED IN the queue in front of me at the supermarket checkout.|_
  • push off|Go away (imperative)|He told them to PUSH OFF and leave him alone.|_
  • push on|Continue|They ran into problems but decided to PUSH ON regardless.|1
  • push out|Force someone to leave|Even though she was a popular leader,they PUSHED her OUT.|1
  • push over|Push someone or something with enough force to make them or it fall|He PUSHED the glass OVER and spilled the drink.|_
  • push through|Force something to be accepted or legal|They PUSHED the regulations THROUGH despite the opposition.|1
  • put across|Communicate, convey a message|He found it difficult to PUT ACROSS what he wanted to say at the meeting.|1
  • put away|Put something back in the correct place|He PUT the dictionary BACK on the shelf after he’d finished the crossword.|1
  • put back|Rearrange something for a later time|The AGM has been PUT BACK until July the seventeenth.|1
  • put by|Save for the future|I try to PUT some money BY every month towards our summer holiday.|_
  • put down|Kill an animal because it’s old, ill, etc.|He had his dog PUT DOWN because it was in a lot of pain from its tumours.|1
  • put down for|Commit to make a payment|PUT me DOWN FOR 50p per mile.|_
  • put down to|Give as an explanation|He didn’t score many, but we can PUT that DOWN TO inexperience|_
  • put forward|Propose, suggest or nominate|She PUT FORWARD a plan to cut costs.|1
  • put in|Install|They had to PUT IN a whole new central heating system because the house was so cold.|1
  • put in for|Make a request|He PUT IN FOR a transfer to the new branch.|_
  • put off|Postpone|The concert’s been PUT OFF until next month because the singer’s got a throat infection.|1
  • put on|Get fat|He’s PUT ON a lot of weight since he gave up smoking.|1
  • put out|Broadcast|Several charities PUT OUT an appeal on TV for money for the victims of the flooding in Mozambique.|1
  • put over|Successfully execute (a scam, trick, etc.)|They PUT OVER a clever practical joke on us.|1
  • put through|Connect someone by phone|Could you PUT me THROUGH to extension 259 please.|1
  • put together|Assemble|I PUT TOGETHER the bookcase I bought at Ikea.|1
  • put towards|Make a financial contribution|She PUT $250 TOWARDS the cost of the repairs and we had to pay the rest.|_
  • put up|Allow someone to stay at your house for a night or a few days.|She PUT me UP for the night because I’d missed the last bus and there were no night buses running.|1
  • put up to|Encourage someone to do something|His friends PUT him UP TO stealing it.|_
  • put up with|Tolerate|I can’t PUT UP WITH my neighbour’s noise any longer; it’s driving me mad.|_

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