Pick up – English Phrasal Verb – Online English Lessons

1. To pick up something or somebody (or pick something or somebody up) is to lift something or somebody by using your hands.

Examples of use:

a) She picked up the shells and took them home.

b) She picked the children’s clothes up off the floor.

c) Pick up your toys, please.

d) He picked up his suitcase and put it in the boot of the car.

e) The baby was crying so she picked her up.

2. To pick up something or somebody (or pick something or somebody up) is to collect someone or something that is waiting to be collected.

Examples of use:

a) I will pick you up from school at 3.00pm.

b) Don’t forget to pick up your dry cleaning on your way home.

c) We can pick up our train tickets at the station.

d) The taxi driver picked me up and drove me to the airport.

3. To pick up something, or pick something up, is to buy something cheaply (at a low price).

Examples of use:

a) I picked up some bargains at the supermarket.

b) He went to the car auction and picked up a new car for £2000.

c) You can pick most things up cheaply at the local market.

4. To pick up something (or pick something up) is to stop and do something or get something when you are on your way somewhere, or doing something else.

Examples of use:

a) Can you pick up some milk on your way home, please?

b) I have to leave early this morning because I need to pick up some files on my way to work.

c) I’ll pick a bottle of wine up on my way to your house.

5. If you pick up something, or pick something up, you learn a new skill, or acquire a new habit, easily or casually.

Examples of use:

a) I picked up lots of new English words when I was on holiday in the UK.

b) He didn’t have piano lessons, but he picked it up quickly.

c) Our children have picked up bad behaviour from their cousins.

4. Children pick up a second language very easily.

6. If you pick up a cold, or other illness, you start to suffer from it.

Example of use:

a) He picked up malaria on holiday.

b) I think I’ve picked up a cold.

7. If something picks up, it increases or improves after a slow start or a bad period.

Examples of use:

a) Their new business had a slow start but it picked up after a few weeks.

b) His health has really picked up since his illness in January.

c) The book isn’t very interesting at the beginning, but it picks up in Chapter 2.

8. To pick up speed is to go faster.

Examples of use:

a) The coach picked up speed on the motorway.

b) The runners started the marathon slowly and picked up speed after 10 miles.

9. If the wind picks up it gets stronger.

Examples of use:

a) The wind is picking up.

b) It’s so hot. I hope the wind picks up soon

10. If you pick up the bill, you pay for something or accept responsibility for it.

Examples of use:

a) That was a lovely meal. Let me pick up the bill.

b) The car crash was his fault and so he picked up the bill.

11. A pick-up (noun) is someone, or something, waiting to be picked up by a taxi or other vehicle, or the process of picking up something (or picking something up).

Example of use:

a) You have a pick-up at 24 Parade Road.

b) The taxi driver is out on a pick-up.

c) Pick-ups and deliveries are at the back of the supermarket.

12. To pick up somebody, or pick somebody up, is to start talking to someone you don’t know because you want to start a sexual or romantic relationship with them. Informal English.

Example of use:

a) See that man over there? He just tried to pick me up!

A pick-up (noun, informal) is when somebody starts talking to someone they don’t know because they want to start a sexual or romantic relationship with them.

13. A pick-up (pick-up truck) is a truck with a low-sided open back and a tailgate.

Example of use:

1. He’s bought a new pick-up.

pick up
present simple
pick up and picks up
-ing form
picking up
past simple
picked up
past participle
picked up

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