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The word "pull" is almost always used as a verb. Use "pull" when you bring something towards you, or when you open something such as a door or a drawer.

simple past past participle
  •  She pulled on the door, but she couldn’t open it.
pulling on a door
  •  He’s pulling a block of stone up a hill.
  •  If he pulls on the rope, his friend will fall out of his chair.

The word "pull" sounds like many other words. Listen to the differences among these:

pull / pole / pool / Paul

There are many verb phrases that make use of the word "pull." Notice how the meaning changes with the addition of a preposition:

  • pull over: go to the side of the road

 I pulled over to the side of the road because my tire was flat.

  • pull into: enter

 Helen pulled her car into the garage and left it there.

  • pull out of: leave; exit

 Jeremy pulled himself out of of the race because his leg hurt.

  • pull up: drive up to a place and stop

 You can pull up to the next window to get your food. (This kind of a sentence is often heard at a drive-thru restaurant like McDonald’s or Burger King.)

  • pull down: take down or off

 The doctor told the man to pull down his pants so that he could see what was wrong with his leg.

  • pull through: survive an accident or a sickness

 After several weeks in the intensive care unit, the little girl pulled through and made a successful recovery.

  • pull off: to accomplish; to be successful

 Their company was able to pull off yet another profitable quarter while other similar companies lost money.

  • pull from: get; choose a person

 We’re lucky to have so many talented people to pull from in this organization.

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This page was first published on July 6, 2012. It was updated on July 25, 2015.



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