Home > Particles


About, across, apart, around, aside, away, back, by, down, forward, in, off, on, out, over, round, through, together, up

All particles have a literal meaning: up and down , in and out , on and off , through , away and so on.

They also have metaphorical meanings. For example, when we say Please put out your cigarette, the particle out is not used with the literal meaning of outside but with the metaphorical meaning of ending.

These metaphorical meanings follow a logical pattern shared by many verbs and when new combinations appear they also follow it.

It's very important to become familiar with the metaphorical meanings of particles. This will make phrasal verbs logical and much easier to learn and remember.


To learn the phrasal verb put out try to...

  • Understand the logic of the particle: Out sometimes means ending.
  • Learn a good example: Please put out your cigarette.
  • Remember a couple of collocations: you can put out a cigarette, a fire, the flames.
  • Understand the grammar: you can separate it. You can say put out your cigarette or put your cigarette out.


You should avoid lists of the same verb with all the particles: put away, put by, put across, put down, put in, put on, put out and so on. This creates confusion. You may find this in many books, but there's no logic, nothing to help you learn the verbs. It's just a silly list of unrelated verbs that you will soon forget.