Phrasal Verbs

15 Postponed Phrasal Verbs in English

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Postponed Phrasal Verbs in English

Let’s learn 15 postponed phrasal verbs and level up your English speaking and writing. These phrasal verbs for postponed will enrich your vocabulary and boost your fluency.

Understanding “Postponed”

Before we explore the postponed phrasal verbs, let’s grasp the concept of “postponed.” The term “postponed” is an adjective used to describe something that has been rescheduled or delayed to a later time or date than originally planned. When an event, activity, appointment, or task is postponed, it means that it will not happen at the initially scheduled or expected time but has been moved to a later time.

For example:

  • If a meeting that was supposed to occur today is postponed until tomorrow, it means the meeting will now take place on the following day instead.
  • If a concert is postponed due to bad weather, it means the concert organizers have decided to reschedule it for a later date when the weather conditions are more favorable.
  • If you postpone a dentist appointment, it means you’ve requested to change the appointment to a later time or date than the one originally set.

In essence, “postponed” indicates a temporary delay or rescheduling of something that was initially planned or expected to occur sooner. It’s a term often used when circumstances or conditions necessitate a change in timing.

15 Postponed Phrasal Verbs

Now, let’s go ahead and explore postponed phrasal verbs and the phrasal verbs related to “postponed” in English.

1. Call Off

Imagine you’re planning a picnic, but the weather decides not to cooperate. What do you do? You “call off” the picnic. It means to cancel or postpone an event or plan. “Sorry, folks, we have to call off the picnic due to rain.”

Call Off Phrasal Verb Examples:

  • They had to call off the soccer match due to heavy rain.
  • The company decided to call off the annual conference because of the pandemic.
  • Sarah had to call off her birthday party because she got sick.
  • The airline called off several flights because of the snowstorm.
  • The teacher had to call off the field trip because not enough students signed up.

2. Put Off

Procrastination is a common human trait, isn’t it? When you delay doing something you should do, you “put it off.” “I can’t put off studying for my English exam any longer!”

Put Off Phrasal Verb Examples:

  • Don’t put off doing your homework until the last minute.
  • I keep putting off cleaning the garage; it’s a mess now.
  • She put off going to the doctor even though she wasn’t feeling well.
  • If you put off paying your bills, you’ll face late fees.
  • We can’t put off making a decision any longer; we need to choose a vacation destination.

3. Hold Off

Sometimes, you need to delay taking action or making a decision. That’s when you “hold off.” “Let’s hold off on buying that new car until we’ve saved enough.”

Hold Off Phrasal Verb Examples:

  • The manager decided to hold off on implementing the new policy until further notice.
  • We should hold off on making dinner until our guests arrive.
  • The coach told the team to hold off on practicing because of the thunderstorm.
  • The teacher asked the students to hold off on asking questions until she finished the lecture.

4. Brush Off

Imagine someone is trying to give you constructive criticism, but you ignore it. You’re “brushing it off.” “Don’t brush off feedback; it can help you improve.”

Brush Off Examples:

  • He tried to brush off his mistakes, but they were affecting the project.
  • She brushed off her friend’s concerns about her health.
  • Don’t brush off criticism; it can help you grow.
  • The manager brushed off the customer’s complaints, which only made things worse.
  • It’s not polite to brush off someone’s invitation to a social event.

5. Write Off

When you decide that something isn’t important or achievable, you “write it off.” “Don’t write off your dreams just because they seem difficult.”

Write Off Phrasal Verb Examples:

  • Don’t write off the possibility of getting the job just because the interview was tough.
  • Some people write off learning a new language as too difficult.
  • Despite the setbacks, he refused to write off his business idea.
  • She regretted writing off her old car; it still had some life left in it.
  • The team decided to write off the game as a loss and focus on the next one.

6. Put Aside

Let’s say you decide to save a portion of your allowance for a special purchase. You “put aside” money for that. “I’m putting aside $20 each week for a new video game.”

Put Aside Phrasal Verb Examples:

  • Every month, I make sure to put aside a portion of my salary into my savings account.
  • Despite my busy schedule, I try to put aside some time each evening to pursue my hobbies, like painting.
  • It’s essential to put aside some money for emergencies, like unexpected medical expenses or car repairs.
  • We’re excited about our summer vacation, so we’ve been diligently putting money aside for our trip to Europe.
  • To excel in my exams, I need to put aside distractions and dedicate more time to studying.

7. Shut Out

To exclude or postpone someone or something from a group or activity is to “shut them out.” “They shut out new admissions from the school until further notice.”

Shut Out Phrasal Verb Examples:

  • The talented goalkeeper managed to shut out the opposing team, preventing them from scoring a single goal.
  • The club shuts out new members until they update their membership requirements.
  • The team was open to new suggestions, but they had to shut out impractical ideas to focus on the project’s goals.
  • The government tried to shut out sensitive information to maintain national security.

8. Hold Over

Imagine a movie’s release date gets pushed to a later date. It’s “held over.” “The highly anticipated movie’s release was held over due to production delays.”

Hold Over Phrasal Verb Examples:

  • The company decided to hold over the product launch until they resolved the last-minute quality issues, ensuring a successful debut.
  • They had to hold over the construction project because of a shortage of materials caused by a supplier’s delay.
  • Due to a family emergency, they had to hold over their vacation plans and reschedule their flights.
  • The restaurant couldn’t accommodate us at our reserved time, so they offered to hold over our reservation for a later slot.

9. Push Back

Sometimes, deadlines need to be postponed to accommodate additional work. You “push back” the deadline. “We had to push back the project deadline to ensure quality.”

Push Back Phrasal Verb Examples:

  • They had to push back their vacation plans by a few days because their passports weren’t ready in time for their original departure date.
  • Due to bad weather conditions, the airline had to push back the flight departure time by two hours.
  • The manager had to push back the weekly team meeting to the afternoon to allow everyone to finish their tasks.
  • The software company decided to push back the software’s release date to fix some last-minute bugs.
  • The unexpected delay in the delivery of construction materials forced them to push back the completion date for the new building by a month.

10. Hold Up

Bad weather might delay construction work. In this case, the project is “held up.” “Construction was held up due to heavy rain.”

Hold Up Phrasal Verb Examples:

  • The accident on the highway held up traffic for hours, causing a massive delay in everyone’s commute.
  • The daring bank robbery held up the entire bank for nearly half an hour before the police arrived.
  • Technical issues with the video conferencing software held up the start of the online meeting.
  • The package delivery was held up due to adverse weather conditions, causing it to arrive a day later than expected.
  • The film shoot was held up because of the actor’s unexpected illness, leading to a rescheduling of the scenes.

11. Set Aside

If you reserve time or money for a specific purpose, you “set it aside.” “I’ve set aside an hour each day for exercise.”

Set Aside Phrasal Verb Examples:

  • It’s wise to set aside a portion of your income for unexpected expenses or emergencies.
  • To excel in your exams, it’s essential to set aside dedicated study time each day.
  • Despite their busy schedules, they always make sure to set aside quality family time on weekends.
  • She used a special shelf in her library to set aside her favorite books for easy access.
  • He sets aside time every morning for meditation and reflection to help him focus on his personal goals.

12. Back Off

When someone needs space or you want to postpone an action, you “back off.” “I had to back off and give my friend some space.”

Back Off Phrasal Verb Examples:

  • When you feel someone invading your personal space, it’s okay to politely ask them to back off a little.
  • Helicopter parents tend to hover over their children; it’s essential for them to back off a bit and let their kids make some decisions.
  • Sometimes colleagues can become too intrusive; it’s important to know when to back off and respect each other’s boundaries.
  • If someone seems uncomfortable or uninterested in a conversation at a social event, it’s a good idea to back off and give them space.
  • Online discussions can get heated, but it’s wise to back off from an argument if it’s becoming unproductive and hurtful.

13. Stand Down

Temporarily stepping back from a responsibility or position is “standing down.” “The manager decided to stand down from his role for personal reasons.”

Stand Down Phrasal Verb Examples:

  • After the ceasefire agreement was reached, the troops were instructed to stand down from their combat positions.
  • The mayor announced his intention to stand down as the city’s leader at the end of his term.
  • The protesters agreed to stand down peacefully after their demands were heard and addressed by the authorities.
  • The firefighters were asked to stand down once the wildfire was under control.
  • The captain decided to stand down temporarily due to an injury, allowing another player to lead the team in the upcoming matches.

14. Pass Over

If you decide to choose one option over another, you “pass over” the other option. “The committee decided to pass over the old proposal in favour of the new one.”

Pass Over Phrasal Verb Examples:

  • Despite his years of hard work, they decided to pass him over for the promotion, choosing someone with more experience.
  • She was disappointed when the company passed her over for the job she had applied for, despite her qualifications.
  • The talented actor was surprised when they passed him over for an Academy Award nomination, even though his performance was critically acclaimed.
  • After carefully examining the menu, they decided to pass over the exotic dishes and chose something more familiar.
  • During the schoolyard game, they had to pass over one of their friends because the teams were uneven.

15. Play Down

To make something seem less important than it is, you “play it down.” “She tried to play down her achievements, but they were truly remarkable.”

Play Down Phrasal Verb Examples:

  • Instead of admitting to the error, he tried to play it down and avoid taking responsibility for the problem.
  • She tended to play down her health issues, not wanting to worry her family.
  • He played down the significance of the party, but everyone could tell he was excited about it.
  • The coach didn’t want to put too much pressure on the team, so he played down their chances of winning the championship.
  • When asked about the rumors, he tried to play them down, saying they were just baseless gossip.

Incorporate these postponed phrasal verbs into your English conversations and writing, and you’ll find yourself expressing ideas with greater precision and fluency. Remember, practice makes perfect, so don’t put off using these phrasal verbs in your everyday life!


We hope this guide has helped you grasp the concept of postponed phrasal verbs. They’re like hidden gems in the English language, waiting for you to discover and use them. So, delay no more – practice, and watch your English skills shine brighter!

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