“Put On” Phrasal Verb Meaning And Examples

Getting ready for a party? Well, it’s not just about putting on your fancy clothes. In the world of English, “put on” has multiple meanings depending on the context. Whether it’s about clothes, costumes, attitude, deception, attachment, or even warm clothing, the phrasal verb “put on” can be quite versatile.

In this text, we will explore the different meanings and examples of the “put on” phrasal verb in the English language. From the literal sense of dressing up to the metaphorical sense of growth and development, we’ll investigate into the various ways this phrasal verb can be used. So, if you’re curious about expanding your understanding of this commonly used expression, keep reading to discover the diverse applications of “put on” and how it can enhance your English language skills.

Key Takeaways

  • The phrasal verb “put on” can have multiple meanings depending on the context.
  • It can refer to physically placing clothing or makeup on your body, playing or starting something like music or movies, organizing or presenting events, or building and assembling things.
  • Figuratively, “put on” can mean pretending or acting in a certain way and exaggerating or embellishing a story.
  • Common collocations with “put on” include putting on makeup, putting on a show, and putting on weight.
  • “Put on” should not be confused with similar phrasal verbs like “wear” or “turn on,” as they have different meanings and uses.

Definition of “put on” as a phrasal verb

Understanding the meaning and usage of the phrasal verb “put on” is essential for expanding your grasp of the English language. In this section, we will explore the basic meaning of “put on” and provide examples of its usage in everyday contexts.

Basic meaning of “put on”

The phrasal verb “put on” has various meanings depending on the context in which it is used. Here are the key definitions:

  1. Place clothing, makeup, lotion, etc., on your body: When you “put on” something, you are physically placing it on your body as a form of dressing up or enhancing your appearance. For example, you might “put on a sweater” before going outside or “put on lipstick” before heading to a restaurant.
  2. Play or start something, like a movie or music: “Putting on” something can also refer to playing or starting it. For instance, you can “put on a movie” once the kids go to bed, or “put on some nice dinner music” to set the mood.
  3. Organize or present an event: “Putting on” an event means organizing or presenting it. This could include organizing a festival, hosting a play, or even putting together a fundraising event.
  4. Build or assemble something: “Putting on” can also mean assembling or building something from separate parts. For example, you can “put together” a furniture piece, like an IKEA wardrobe, or “put up” a shed in your garden.

These are just some of the main meanings of “put on” as a phrasal verb. Now, let’s explore examples of how it is used in everyday contexts.

  1. Putting on clothing: You can “put on your socks” before leaving the house to ensure your feet stay warm. And don’t forget to “put on your new perfume” for a fresh and pleasant scent.
  2. Playing music or movies: If you want to enjoy a relaxing evening, you can “put on your favorite song” and let the rhythm inspire you to dance. Alternatively, you can “put on a movie” to entertain yourself once the kids are asleep.
  3. Organizing events: You might hear someone say, “She put this festival on all by herself,” referring to someone who single-handedly organized a successful festival. Community centers often “put on” plays or performances for the local community to enjoy.
  4. Building or assembling: Whether you’re assembling a piece of furniture or building a structure, like a shed or tent, you can say that you “put it together” or “put it up” once it’s completed.
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Figurative meanings of “put on”

To Pretend or Act in a Certain Way

One of the figurative meanings of the phrasal verb “put on” is to pretend or act in a certain way. This can be seen when someone tries to deceive or trick others by putting on a false persona or behavior. For example, Lucas tried to put on a fake British accent to see if his friends would believe he was from England. In this context, “put on” is used to describe the act of pretending.

To Exaggerate or Embellish a Story

Another figurative meaning of “put on” is to exaggerate or embellish a story. When someone puts on a story, they are adding exaggerated details or making it more dramatic for effect. This can be seen when someone tells a story and adds extra details to make it more interesting or entertaining. It’s important to note that when someone puts on a story, it may not be completely true. They are adding fictional elements to make it more captivating. For example, Jacob put on quite a show when he described his encounter with a wild bear during his camping trip. In this context, “put on” is used to describe the act of embellishing a story.

Remember, the phrasal verb “put on” can have different meanings depending on the context. It can refer to pretending or acting in a certain way, as well as exaggerating or embellishing a story. Paying attention to the situation will help you determine the exact meaning of “put on” in a given context.

Common Collocations with “Put On”

Introduction

Common collocations with “put on”

When using the phrasal verb “put on,” there are several common collocations that can enrich your English language skills. These collocations refer to specific actions or situations in which the verb is frequently used. In this section, we will explore three common collocations with “put on” and provide examples to enhance your understanding.

Put on Makeup

One of the most familiar collocations with “put on” is in the context of applying makeup. Whether you’re getting ready for a special occasion or simply enhancing your everyday look, putting on makeup is a common practice. Consider the following examples:

  • She loves to put on bold lipstick before going out.
  • Before a photoshoot, the model spends hours putting on her makeup.
  • He learned how to put on a natural-looking foundation for a more polished appearance.

Remember, putting on makeup allows you to express your personal style and enhance your features confidently.

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Put on a Show

Another frequently used collocation with “put on” is in the context of organizing or performing a show. This can refer to various forms of entertainment, such as concerts, plays, or exhibitions. Here are some examples:

  • The theater company is putting on a captivating musical this weekend.
  • The school choir is putting on a holiday concert for the community.
  • The art gallery is putting on an exhibition of local artists’ work.

Putting on a show requires careful planning, coordination, and talent to bring joy and entertainment to an audience.

Put on Weight

The collocation “put on weight” is often used to describe the act of gaining weight. It can be related to various factors like lifestyle changes, dietary habits, or medical conditions. Here are a few examples:

  • She has been putting on weight since she started a desk job.
  • After his injury, John put on weight due to his limited mobility.
  • Stress eating during exams caused her to put on a few pounds.

Putting on weight is a natural process that can occur for different reasons, but it’s important to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Summarizing, the phrasal verb “put on” has various collocations that express specific actions or situations. Whether you’re putting on makeup to enhance your appearance, organizing a show to entertain others, or dealing with weight gain, understanding these collocations allows you to communicate effectively in different contexts. Practice using these collocations to strengthen your English language skills and express yourself confidently.

Put On Phrasal Verb Example Sentences

The phrasal verb “put on” has multiple meanings and can be used in various contexts. Here are some example sentences that showcase the different ways you can use the phrasal verb “put on”:

  1. Clothing: She likes to put on her favorite dress and matching shoes for special occasions.
  2. Lights: Can you please put on the lights? It’s getting dark in here.
  3. Weight: After indulging in holiday treats, he seemed to have put on a few extra pounds.
  4. Attitude: He tried to put on a tough attitude, but we all knew he was actually a kindhearted person.
  5. Knob: I need to put on a new knob for the kitchen cabinet.
  6. Sweater: The weather turned chilly, so I had to put on a sweater before heading outside.
  7. Growth: With proper care, the plant began to thrive and put on new leaves.
  8. Clothing (informal): I’m going to put on my favorite jeans and a cool T-shirt for the party.
  9. Gloves: Can you help me put on these gloves? It’s freezing outside.
  10. Music: When I’m feeling down, I like to put on my favorite music.

These example sentences demonstrate different meanings and uses of the phrasal verb “put on.” It can refer to clothing, lights, weight gain, attitude, replacing items, preparing for different weather conditions, growth, and even listening to music. Incorporating this versatile phrasal verb into your vocabulary can enhance your English language skills and allow you to communicate effectively in various situations.

Remember, the key to mastering the phrasal verb “put on” is to understand its different meanings and use it appropriately in different contexts.

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Differences between “put on” and similar phrasal verbs

“Put on” vs “Wear”

When discussing the phrasal verb “put on,” it is important to understand its differences from similar phrasal verbs. One such phrasal verb is “wear.” While both “put on” and “wear” involve clothing, there are distinctions between the two.

  • “Put on” indicates the action of physically placing or dressing oneself in clothing. It implies the initial act of getting dressed. For example, you might say, “I put on my favorite sweater before leaving the house.”
  • On the other hand, “wear” highlights the act of actually having clothing on your body throughout a certain period. It denotes the state of having clothing on or being dressed. For instance, you could say, “I wear comfortable shoes every day to work.”

Summarizing, “put on” refers to the action of getting dressed, while “wear” describes the state of having clothing on your body.

“Put on” vs “Turn on”

Another phrasal verb often confused with “put on” is “turn on.” While both involve taking action, they have distinct meanings.

  • “Put on” is used when referring to starting or playing something, such as music, a movie, or a show. For example, you can say, “I’ll put on some background music while we work.”
  • Conversely, “turn on” involves activating or initiating something, such as a light, a device, or an appliance. For instance, you might say, “Please turn on the lights in the room.”

Summarizing, “put on” is used for starting or playing something, while “turn on” refers to activating or initiating something.

Understanding the differences between “put on” and similar phrasal verbs can enhance your grasp of the English language and improve your overall communication skills. By using these phrasal verbs correctly, you can ensure clarity and precision in your conversations and written expressions. So, keep practicing and incorporating these phrasal verbs into your vocabulary for effective communication in various contexts.

Conclusion

You have now gained a comprehensive understanding of the various meanings and examples of the phrasal verb “put on” in the English language. From placing clothing, makeup, or lotion on your body to starting or playing something like a movie or music, organizing or presenting events, and even building or assembling things, “put on” has a wide range of applications.

You have also explored two figurative meanings of “put on” – pretending or acting in a certain way and exaggerating or embellishing a story. These meanings add depth and nuance to the verb, allowing for more creative and expressive communication.

Besides, you have discovered three common collocations with “put on” – putting on makeup, putting on a show, and putting on weight. Understanding these collocations can greatly enhance your communication skills in different contexts.

Finally, you have learned the differences between “put on” and similar phrasal verbs such as “wear” and “turn on.” This knowledge will ensure clarity and precision in your conversations and written expressions.

By mastering the usage and nuances of “put on,” you are now equipped to communicate more effectively and confidently in English. Keep practicing and exploring new phrasal verbs to further expand your language skills.

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