Archive for June 30, 2010

separable phrasal verb: pick up (part one)


Many phrasal verbs in the English language have more than one meaning. However, the expression “pick up” has the most number of meanings. I want to spend the next three blog entries going over all of the various meanings. So today I will go over six meanings of this phrasal verb.

1. for someone to put something in their hand and lift it (usually from the ground). For example:

I saw a fifty dollar bill on the ground this morning, so I picked it up and put it in my pocket.

2. to go somewhere and get something from a store (which has often been paid for already). For example:

I picked up your shirts at the dry cleaners earlier. I put them on your bed.

3. to get someone in a car. For example:

Can you pick me up at the station at 9:00 tonight?

I was picked up at the station by my father. (passive voice)

4. to continue a discussion after a break. For example:

It’s time to eat now, so let’s pick this up again after lunch.

5. to buy something. For example:

I picked up a really nice set of golf clubs on sale at the shopping mall.

6. to get an illness like a cold or the flu. For example:

My husband picked up a cold while we were on vacation.

A cold was picked up by several people travelling on the same bus. (passive voice)

Tomorrow I will continue with another six meanings of this expression.

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