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English Language for Law Lesson:  Phrasal Verbs

In my last couple of blog posts for Legal English UK, I have been looking at phrasal verbs that can be used in the fascinating area of English for Law.  In this article, we turn to the letter "P":


Pass off in the context of law is to pretend that something or somebody is something that they are not. For example, ‘the company tried to pass off their copied product as the genuine article’.


Pass up means to decide not to take advantage of an opportunity. For example, ‘the fee earner passed up the opportunity to work for another law firm.'


Pencil in means to make an appointment, but it is not confirmed yet. For example, ‘I’ve pencilled you in for 9am tomorrow.'


Point out means to show somebody what you are referring to. For example, ‘I’ll point him out when we arrive’.


Press for means to strongly urge for something to happen. For example, ‘let’s press for a decision from the board.'


Provide against means to ensure that there is a remedy in place for anything bad happening within a contract. For example, ‘this document provides against any loss of income’.


Provide for in a Legal English context means to make plans to deal with something that may happen in the future. For example, ‘the contract provides for assignment under certain circumstances’.


Put across means to communicate your ideas.  For example, ‘he put across his ideas at the meeting and everybody accepted them.'


Put back means in the context of Business English to move something to a later time or to delay something. For example, ‘the meeting has been put back to 4pm’.  


Put down means: (1) to pay a deposit of some sort. For example, ‘I had to put down a deposit on the purchase of the property’. (2) To criticise somebody and make them feel stupid, especially in front of other people. For example, ‘she’s always putting other people down’. (3) To make notes about something. For example, ‘I’ve put down some thoughts and we can talk about them later.'


Put forward means: (1) to suggest an idea. For example, ‘Steven put forward a great idea during the meeting’. (2) To suggest somebody as a candidate for a particular role. For example, ‘three people have put themselves forward for the project’. (3) To move something to an earlier time or date. For example, ‘the meeting’s been put forward by a few hours’.


Put in means: (1) to pay money into something, whether it is a bank or a business. For example, ‘I have to put in another £50,000.' (2) To contribute effort into something. For example, ‘she put in a lot of hours on that case’. (3) To make an official request. For example, ‘I’ve put in a request for a pay rise’. (4) To include something in a letter or document. For example, ‘you should put in a paragraph explaining the indemnity provisions to the client’.


Put off means to cancel or delay something. For example, ‘we’ll have to put off that decision until I have all the facts.'



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Legal English Phrasal Verbs Part One Legal English Phrasal Verbs Part Two English for Lawyers Lesson London Test of Legal English Skills Course Cambridge Legal English Certificate Legal English Courses in London English for Law Blog