How many different ways can ‘pick up’ be used?


The main definition of PICK UP is to lift something or someone.

Here are two examples:

  • The boy picked up his baby brother and put him to bed.
  • Could you pick up the phone please? It’s ringing but I can’t answer it, because my hands are dirty.

The phrasal verb ‘pick up’ has several different meanings. These are listed below with sentence examples:

To make progress or improve:

  • Business has been picking up since we advertised our new promotion.

To gain, obtain, or casually learn something by opportunity:

  • I picked up Spanish while I was on holiday in Chile.

To collect something:

  • I’m going to pick up my parcel from the post office.

To bring into range of transmission or reception:

  • I managed to pick up the local radio station in my car

To take on as a passenger:

  • The taxi driver picked me up from the hotel.

To cause someone’s health, luck or courage to recover:

  • Why don’t you go on a holiday? Your health might pick up.

To become acquainted with informally or casually:

  • They all go to that bar to pick up girls

To resume or continue something after stopping for a while:

  • Now that you’re back from holiday, you can pick up your previous responsibilities from where you left off.

To accelerate, gain speed:

  • He picked up his speed when he noticed he was being followed.

To put in a good, tidy order:

  • Pick your clothes up and put them where they belong please.


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pick up meanings

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