A pet is an animal that people keep for the purpose of companionship or because the animal is interesting. Pets are rarely eaten as food.

hamster hamster

  • Dogs and cats are popular pets.
  • A pet store is a good place to buy a pet animal.
  • When I was a kid, I had a hamster as a pet.
  • It’s not a good idea to keep wild animals as pets.

When "pet" is used as a verb, it means to gently touch an animal or a person in a show of affection.

  • Children love to pet animals.
  • Can you pet a snake or a lizard?
  • Dogs love to be petted. (This is in the passive voice.)
  • Many zoos have within them a smaller petting zoo where small, tame animals can be petted or fed by the visitors to the zoo.

There are some common phrases in English that use the word "pet."

  • All the kids in class say that Angelica is the teacher’s pet. (teacher’s pet = a student who receives favorable treatment when compared to other students.)
  • Cutting one’s fingernails in public is a common pet peeve. (pet peeve = a human behavior that is very irritating)
  • High speed train travel through the state has become the Governor’s pet project. (pet project = a project that is favored over other projects.)

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February 16, 2014