Preparing for the 'oposiciones': polysemous phrasal verbs

It is quite frequent for a phrasal verb to have several meanings according to the context. Thus, for example, in a good dictionary, you will probably find about 12 meanings for to go off, and more than 15 for to pick up. We can call these verbs 'polysemous phrasal verbs'.


Test yourself on polysemous phrasal verbs. Find the wrong meaning for each of the following:

1.- to pick sb/sth up
a.- to contract an illness; b.- to collect sb/sth; c.- to arrest sb; d.- to detect (a mistake); e.- to buy (sth cheap, a bargain); f.- to learn (a language); g.- to enter the priesthood; h.- to improve (situation).

2.- to go off
a.- to leave; b.- to divorce; c.- to explode; d.- to ring (alarm clock); e.- to turn sour (milk); f.- to stop liking something or somebody; g.- to happen; h.- to fall asleep.

3.- to knock off
a.- to make fun of somebody; b.- to stop work; c.- to reduce (from a price); d.- to improvise (a song, verses, an article); e.- to arrest; f.- to obtain; g.- to murder; h.- to steal something.

4.- to come in
a.- to arrive (train, bus, plane, ship); b.- to finish a race (in a specified position); c.- to become fashionable; d.- to rise (tide); e.- to get into a car; f.- to win an election and begin governing a country; g.- to be received (call, information, money); h.- to become involved (in a plan, deal, enterprise).

5.- to turn out
a.- to confuse or distract someone from the matter in hand; b.- to produce, to manufacture; c.- to admit openly one’s homosexuality; d.- to empty (one’s pockets); e.- to clean thoroughly (one’s room); f.- to be present (at a meeting); g.- to happen in a particular way; h.- to expel someone from a place.
       6.- to put down

       a.- to place sth on the table; b.- to make a note of sth; c.- to          kill an animal because it is too old or sick; d.- to suppress (a        rebellion); e.- to humiliate; f.- to kneel; g.- to put a baby to         bed; h.- to pay a specified sum as a deposit.


        1-g; 2-b; 3-a; 4-e; 5-c; 6-f

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