Phrasal Verb: Pull over

Yesterday, I was watching Mike & Molly (an American sitcom) and during a dialog someone said a sentence with a very common phrasal verb: pull over. There wasn’t any dictionary close at hand. So, just out of curiosity, I decided to google it. The first entry made me happy; to my surprise it was a topic in the forum. In this topic, EE members were talking about the phrasal verb pull over.

I share with you Thomas’ explanation:

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To pull over, when referring to vehicles, usually means to leave the main part of a roadway (not necessarily the paved section) and stop. A car that has pulled over on a road has stopped near the road and its wheels may be touching it still. If you were driving on a street, for example, you are probably now parked at the curb. You will not hear a native speaker say, “We pulled over the freeway, the highway, the street, etc.” Nor will you hear, “We pulled over the freeway and took surface streets to our destination.” However, you may hear “We were on the freeway/highway/street when we pulled over.” Maybe the car had a flat tire, maybe the driver was sleepy, maybe a passenger got hungry, etc. Proximity is implied.

Yes, the police pulls over cars, trucks and motorcycles that have been speeding.

That’s it for today, thank you for using English Experts!

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Alessandro Brandão

Alessandro Brandão é coordenador caseiro do English Experts e do Fórum de idiomas. Trabalha também em projetos na área de Comércio Eletrônico e Ensino a Distância (EaD).

17 comentários

  • 06/03/12  
    Ana diz: 1

    Very Good!!!
    Meus parabéns, eu sou novata no inglês, e queria aprender o mais rápido possível.
    Estou adorando seu site. Me ajuda bastante.
    Quanto ao artigo, é bem interessante (usei o tradutor)
    Abraços e continuem assim, ajudando muitas pessoas a aprenderem inglês.

  • 06/03/12  
    rai diz: 2

    very good!, thanks.

  • 07/03/12  
    Henry Cunha diz: 3

    Complementando o que o Thomas disse que NÂO acontece: “You will not hear a native speaker say, “We pulled over the freeway, the highway, the street, etc.” Nor will you hear, “We pulled over the freeway and took surface streets to our destination.”

    Quando queremos dizer “deixar/largar a estrada”, temos uma outra expressão análoga: “to pull off”, como nestes exemplos:

    “About an hour west of Sonora, I pull off the highway at the Pecos River.”
    “So pull off the highway at the Hampton Inn hotel in Thomasville to see what makes stopping here so sweet.”

    (Thomasville? Well, there is a Henryville somewhere in the U.S. Midwest, or what remains of it after a recent tornado.)

    • 07/03/12  
      Alessandro diz:

      Obrigado pelo complemento, Henry.

  • 07/03/12  
    Silvana Villas Boas diz: 4

    Alessandro

    Ainda tenho certa dúvida quanto ao sentido exato dos verbos Pull over, Pull on, Pull off. Poderia traduzi-los para mim?
    Estou apreciando muito o seu site, pois esclarece quaisquer dúvidas dos internautas.
    Obrigada pelas informações que este local proporciona a todos
    Silvana

  • 07/03/12  
    Gizelda diz: 5

    Hi everyonone,

    The first time the phrasal verb “pull over” called my attention I was watching the film “The pink panther”. I think during the first five minutes of the film the inspector Clousou said to his assistent: pull over, idiot. If you haven´t seen this movie yet, do it. You are gonna laugh a lot.

  • 07/03/12  
    Guilherme diz: 6

    Sobre a frase “Yes, the police pulls over cars, trucks and motorcycles that have been speeding”

    “The police pull over” (sem o “s”) seria o correto, certo? Pois police é sempre plural.

    Vale a dica, legal a matéria..

    []s

  • 07/03/12  
    Lucia diz: 7

    Alessandro, o post de hoje me lembrou de uma piadinha em inglês. Here it is.

    A policeman spots a woman driving and knitting at the same time. Driving up beside her, he shouts out the window… “Pull over!”
    “No,” she shouts back, “a pair of socks!”

  • 07/03/12  
    Barbara diz: 8

    Hello. Very good post. I prefer when posts are in English! Thanks for help me improve my English.

  • 08/03/12  
    João B. L. Ghizoni diz: 9

    Very nice post, Alessandro! And in English! Great! And I was positively surprised to see so many comments IN ENGLISH. This is wonderful, is it not? Only one very smal slip (already corrected by Guilherme), but in general it is very good indeed: straight to the point, in English, and rich. Congratulations!

  • 09/03/12  
    Judy Friedkin diz: 10

    One other way the word is used is “I was pulled over by a cop!” or A cop pulled me over. That means that the policeman had his siren on and made you pull over to the side, probably to give you a ticket or a fine!!!!
    I know this is for Portuguese to English but could you this one time tell me the if there is any difference between ficar com raiva and estar com raiva. I tried to find it on the internet and couldn’t. Thanks if you can.
    Judy

    • 10/03/12  
      João B. L. Ghizoni diz:

      Hi, Judy! I’ll try to help you. FICAR COM RAIVA IS to become/get angry at a certain moment. For example: Bateram no meu carro e fiquei com raiva (someone hit my car and I got/became angry). ESTAR COM RAIVA is to be/remain angry (a feeling at the moment of speaking, usually lasting for a while). For example: Bateram no meu carro ontem e ainda estou com raiva (Someone hit my car yesterday and I am still angry.

      Did my sentences make it any clearer for you? I hope so. Good luck!

    • 11/03/12  
      Judy Friedkin diz:

      Obrigada, Joao. There is sooooo much to learn!!!!!

  • 21/03/12  
    Nancy diz: 11

    It´s amazing! Every day I´m developing my English knowledge through EE Team.
    Please, correct me if I make a mistake.
    Thanks.

    • 23/03/12  
      Natalia diz:

      It’s everyday, not “every day”

  • 02/04/12  
    Rakky diz: 12

    Good article! Tks!