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Learn British English: “put” this in your vocabulary


“Put” is another word in the English language with a range of meanings and uses within colloquial expressions. Please see below for some of the most common:


Put (verb)

The general meaning of “put” as a verb is similar to “move”, so if we “put” something somewhere, we move it. But it is incredibly versatile and can describe a huge range of situations. You can combine it with most prepositions, I think.


Put it there.” (Imperative / command)

Put it on top of there.”

Put it under here.”

Put it down.” (This means put it on the floor or a safe surface close by.)

“I like to put a bit of milk in with my tea.”


I strongly recommend you learn and study the above meaning of “put” as a verb, because it is so common and useful and can make your English a lot easier if you are able to use it properly.


Put up with someone / something (phrasal verb)

This means to tolerate an annoying person or situation.

“I can’t stand him!”

“Well, I’m afraid you’re going to have to put up with him for the time being.”

“I’m not happy with the situation but I’m trying the put up with it the best that I can.”


Stay put (phrasal verb)

This means stay where you are, in the same place.

“Shall I come with you?”

“No, just stay put.”

“I was going to go out but I’m too tired. I think I’ll stay put.” (Stay in.)


Put someone down (phrasal verb)

To insult someone, or to make a derogatory comment to them.

“A good teacher never puts their students down.”


Put-down (noun)

A noun related to the above phrasal verb, referring to the insulting comment itself.

“She’s quite nasty – she can always come up with a cutting put-down.”

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