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Thursday, March 22, 2012

to put someone on

Example 1:

Jack: I feel so stupid!

Travis: Why?

Jack: Bill and Mark kept telling me that Jennifer, a girl in my English class, really liked me and wanted to go out with me.

Travis: OK. So what's wrong with that?

Jack: Wait...let me finish. So I decided to ask her out to a concert this coming Saturday.

Travis: Yeah, so what happened?

Jack: She started laughing! Then she asked me how I ever got the idea that she would actually date me. It was so embarrassing! I finally realized that Bill and Mark were just putting me on. They thought it would be funny to see me ask Jennifer out when they knew she would never date me.

Travis: Dude, that's bad. You shouldn't believe anything they say from now on!

Example 2:

Trisha: You are never going to believe this, but I just won a trip for two to Hawaii!

Jeff: You are putting me on.

Trisha: No, I'm not putting you on. It's true. And I would like you to come with me.

Jeff: Wow! I'd love to go! We are going to have so much fun!

To put someone on means to joke about something or to tell someone something untrue as a joke. In the first example, Bill and Mark told Jack that a girl liked him when she really did not like him. They were putting him on. In the second example, Trisha was so lucky to win a trip to Hawaii that Jeff thought she was joking or putting him on.

This idiom can be found in the LSI textbook Speaking Savvy. This book is used at LSI schools in the level 5 Listening/Speaking classes. For more information, please visit

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