When you "file" something, you either submit (give) paperwork to a government agency, or you organize and store paper and important documents. This first set of sentences and questions shows how to use the word "file" as a verb.

  • Have you filed your income taxes yet?
  • If you don’t file your income taxes before April 15, you’ll have to pay a penalty.
  • We need to file a complaint with the police about people speeding in our neighborhood.
  • Amina is going to file a lawsuit against her supervisor for harassing her at work.
  • I file everything alphabetically in my file cabinet.
  • Mary has to file some important paperwork that she’ll need at a later date.

You can also use "file" as a noun:

  • There are several files on Bob’s desk.
  • The file that the police have on the suspect is several inches thick.
  • She’s putting a file into the file cabinet. file cabinet

A "file" is also a tool or a device used for smoothing out a hard surface.

  • The repairman used a file to remove some rough spots on a piece of metal.
  • Rhonda uses a nail file when she takes care of her fingernails.

nail file nail file

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This page was first published on April 13, 2012. It was updated on February 9, 2015.