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Brush Up on your Phrasal Verbs – Part 2

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Ready to continue learning new phrasal verbs? Today we’re going to focus our attention on the English phrasal verbs “Put Out”, “Fall Out” and “Strike Out”. They might have a preposition in common, but their meanings are completely different!

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1. Put Out

Put Out

In this situation, the man and woman have misunderstood* each other because ‘put out’ has a few different meanings. The woman wants to ask the man if he let the cat out (perhaps into the garden), but he thinks she is asking him whether or not he poured water onto the cat because it was on fire (the cat was not on fire). ‘Put out’ can mean:

1. To put something outside the house
Did you put the cat out?
I must remember to put the rubbish out on Wednesday night.

2. To extinguish** something
The firefighters quickly put out the fire.
You can’t smoke in here, please put your cigarette out.

3. To inconvenience someone or to be annoyed
I don’t want to put you out, but could you drive me to the station?
He was put out because we didn’t invite him to the party.

4. To publish or produce something for the public
We put outEnglish in your Inbox‘ every month.

5. To injure a part of your body by straining yourself
He put his back out trying to lift his sofa.

* To misunderstand: a failure to understand something correctly or in the way it was meant.
** To extinguish: to stop a fire from burning (e.g. using water).


2. Fall Out

Fall out

In the cartoon the birds might ‘separate’ from their nest (fall from the nest onto the ground), or you might fall out of your bed at night!

To fall out’ can also mean to stop being friends with someone because you argued* with them.

I’m not speaking to Jean anymore. We fell out last week when she said she didn’t like my new boyfriend. (We had an argument** because she did not like my new boyfriend)

When using ‘fall out’ in this sense, we can add the preposition ‘over’ to show what the argument was about: We were good friends, but we fell out over a boy we both liked. (We’re not friends anymore because we both liked the same boy)

* To argue: to disagree with someone verbally.
** Argument (noun): an exchange of opposite opinions, typically a heated or angry one.


3. Strike Out

Strike out


What’s happening in the cartoon above? The phrasal verb strike out has the following meaning:

‘To strike out’  to start doing something new while being independent of other people.
After living with his family for 21 years, he decided it was time to strike out on his own.

Now that you’ve seen that learning phrasal verbs can be fun, why not download our Phrasal Verbs e-Book for FREE? Find out all you need to know about the most common phrasal verbs!

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