English Phrasal Verbs

Practice your English with Caroline Brown


Our next verb is 'to pull' combined with particles. Here is the first lesson about some of the most common. Read the examples carefully then do the exercises on the right.

'to pull apart' means to separate two or more things.

  • I didn't like the dress when I had finished, so I pulled it apart and started again.
  • The teacher had to pull the two boys apart to stop them fighting.

'to pull apart' can also mean to criticise an idea or something written.

  • She pulled my argument apart in about thirty seconds.
  • The newspaper critics pulled his latest novel apart saying it wasn't as good as his last.

'to pull away' is when a vehicle starts moving .

  • He knocked the cyclist over as he was pulling away from the junction.
  • The bus pulled away just as I arrived at the stop.

'to pull back' means to move something in a backwards direction.

  • He thought I was standing too close to the edge so he pulled me back.
  • When I pulled back the covers, I found a little kitten hidden in the bed.

'to pull down' means to demolish a building or other structure.

  • The old theatre was pulled down and replaced by a block of flats.
  • They pulled down a lot of houses when they built the new ring road around the city.

'to pull down' can also mean to move something from a higher position to a lower one.

  • The sun was shining in my eyes so I pulled down the blinds.
  • Her T-shirt was too short. She had to keep pulling it down to cover her stomach.

'to pull in' is when a vehicle is driven to a place to stop.

  • The bank's over there. Stop and pull in behind that car. I'll get out here.
  • We have very little petrol left. We'll have to pull in at the next service station and get some.

'to pull in' can also mean to attract.

  • He's a very popular singer at the moment. He can pull in an enormous crowd.
  • The music festival pulls in huge numbers of tourists every year.

'to pull off' means to succeed in doing something.

  • We'll make a lot of money if we can pull off this deal.
  • I don't know how good she is. Do you think she can pull it off?

'to pull on' means to put on clothes quickly.

  • Come on, get dressed. Pull on a sweater and let's go.
  • When I arrived he was almost ready. He was just pulling on his hat and gloves.


exercise 2

exercise 3

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