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Brush Up on your Phrasal Verbs – Part 4

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It´s time to continue our journey through the wonderful world of Phrasal Verbs – let’s learn 3 new ones which can be used in everyday life. To help you to memorize them, download the free eBook to revise and practise them with your classmates, friends and teachers.

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1. Put Down

put down

In this cartoon, the phrasal verb ‘put down’ has two primary meanings.

To stop holding something and place it somewhere.
Slowly put down the gun and keep your hands where I can see them.

Slowly put the gun down and keep your hands where I can see them.

Wait a second! We also use ‘can’t put (something) down’ as an idiom to describe something we are reading that is so interesting that we don’t want to stop reading it.

Have you read the new Harry Potter book? It’s impossible to put down.
The novel was so exciting that I couldn’t put it down. I read it all night.

We’re not done yet – there’s one more meaning to look at before we continue:

‘To put down’ can also mean ‘to say something negative to someone because you want to make them feel less confident.’

Katerina doesn’t like his new boss. He keeps putting people down and the employees are unhappy.


2. Bring Down

bring down

The joke in this cartoon is focusing on a play on the phrasal verb ‘to bring down’. What does ‘bring down’ mean?

‘To bring down’ means ‘to make someone feel sad or depressed, unhappy or exhausted.

This rainy weather is really bringing me down. (The weather is making me feel sad)

Also, you can either go ‘up’ or ‘down’ in an elevator. The second part of the joke is based on the word uplifting – an adjective used to describe something which makes someone feel better or more cheerful:

The singer gave a very uplifting performance.

Note: Elevator is used in American English; Lift is used in British English.


3. Let Down

let down

This cartoon is using ‘let down’ as part of a joke. To understand this joke, we need to look at the two possible meanings of the phrasal verb:

‘To let down’ means to disappoint someone. When we let someone down we disappoint them.

You can trust Cristian to help you. He never lets his friends down.

‘To let down’ also means to lower something. As you can see in the picture, the diver is being let down (lowered) into the sea.

Let down the ladder so that I can climb up.

Would you like to learn more about this topic? Download our Phrasal Verbs eBook now for a chance to test yourself by doing the exercises at the end of the eBook!

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