e.g. He didn’t eat much. He just picked at his salad as he’d eaten steak earlier.
Pick on someone = to bully/criticise a weaker person e.g. They used to pick on me when I was younger because I liked to read a lot.
Pick out someone/something = to choose a person/thing from a group e.g. We picked out 10 people to go to the semi-finals.
Pick up = to lift e.g. I couldn’t pick up my child as I had a sore back.
Pick up = to collect a person/thing e.g. Can you pick up some milk on the way back?
Pick something up = to buy cheaply e.g. I picked this pair of shoes up at the mall for 10 dollars.
Pick something up = to start speaking/behaving in a certain way after spending time somewhere. e.g. I picked up the local dialect after a year of working there.
Pick something up = to get an infectious illness e.g. My child picked up a cold from someone in her class.
Pick something up = to get a signal/radio programme e.g. It isn’t very easy to pick up the BBC in my city.
Pick something up = to notice a mistake in a piece of writing e.g. I picked up a spelling mistake on page 3.
Pick something up = to re-start from the point you stopped e.g. Let’s pick up from where we left off last week.
Pick someone up = to put someone in your vehicle e.g. We picked him up and took him to the nearest garage to get a new tyre.
Pick someone up = to arrest someone e.g. The police went to the house party and picked up the owner for questioning.
Pick up = to improve e.g. Business has finally picked up after the recession.
Pick up = to answer the phone e.g. No-one is picking up and I’ve tried calling several times.
Pick up = to become stronger e.g. When we hit the highway we picked up speed.
Pick up after someone = to tidy up e.g. His room is such a mess and his mother has to pick up after him.
Pick up on something = to notice something that others haven’t e.g. Did you pick up on Deepak’s subtle comment?
Pick up on something = to discuss something in detail that someone has mentioned before e.g. I would like to pick up on what the committee said about the rent.