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Put Off - Phrasal Verb

Video Overview

This video explains the meaning and use of the phrasal verb 'put off' in English. We show you how to use it with some easy examples to help you learn this phrasal verb so you can use it in spoken and Business English.

Video Analysis

The phrasal verb 'put off' has a number of meanings and can be used in both professional and social contexts. To 'put someone off' can mean to discourage them from doing or trying something by making it sound unpleasant or disadvantageous. If you 'put something off', it can also mean to delay or postpone it, usually if there is a problem or an obstacle or you need more time. 'Put off' can also be used to describe the feeling of being distracted or being unable to concentrate or think clearly because of something else, such as noise or somebody talking to you. If you 'turn off' or 'put out' an electrical appliance you can also use 'put off' - such as asking someone to 'put off the lights'. In American English, 'put off' can also mean to stop a vehicle in order to let someone out or drop them off somewhere. As you can see from our additional examples, 'put off' is one of many 'separable' phrasal verbs, where it often broken up with the subject/object placed in the middle. However, as you can see from our video, when you are talking about delaying or postponing something, the words 'put' and 'off' generally stay together; especially if the object follows 'off'.

Additional examples with 'put off' are: 

The work party needs to be postponed because of a huge storm:

"Unfortunately, we will have to put the party off until next month, due to the terrible weather conditions."

Your friend wants to join the gym but thinks it is too expensive:

"I want to join the gym but the high costs put me off."

Your colleague has the option to work from home but chooses to come to the office instead. You ask them why:

"I find it really hard to work from home. All the distractions really put me off getting anything done."


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