Collocations With The Word Put

Collocations are words that usually go together in English.

Here we are going to look at words that go with 'put' to make useful and popular expressions you will hear in social and professional contexts.

Put pressure on

If you 'put pressure on' somebody, you force or persuade them to do something.


  • I had to put pressure on the team to make sure they completed the task before the deadline.
  • Jane is very competitive, so she often puts a lot of pressure on herself to do well.
  • I need more time to come to a decision. Please stop putting pressure on me!

Put words in (sb's) mouth

When you 'put words in somebody's mouth', you falsely claim they have said a particular thing, or misinterpret what they have said.


  • I never said that, so don't put words in my mouth!
  • The politician accused the interviewer of putting words in her mouth.
  • Don't put words in my mouth. I never said John was a bad worker, I said he seems to have lost his motivation.

Put food on the table

If you 'put food on the table', you earn enough money to provide for yourself and often your family too.


  • I'm working 10 hour days just to put food on the table for my family.
  • Now I've lost my job, I don't know how I'll keep putting food on the table.
  • I don't mind what job I do as long as it puts food on the table.

Put pen to paper

In a business context, this phrase is used to signify the signing of a contract. In a social context, it means to begin writing something.


  • This morning, I put pen to paper on a lucrative deal with a large manufacturing company.
  • The contract has been drawn up. All that's left to do is to get the client to put pen to paper.
  • Mary has always wanted to write a book, but she has yet to get round to putting pen to paper.

Put (sth/sb) first

To 'put something/somebody first' means to treat or consider them as being more important than anything else.


  • Brian is so selfish. He always puts himself first.
  • The promotion would have meant working very long hours, so I turned it down. I have to put my family first.
  • Helen is always putting the company first. She needs to think of her own needs more often.

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