Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
    barnej0096 is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Polish
      • Home Country:
      • Poland
      • Current Location:
      • Poland
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    126
    Post Thanks / Like

    Phrasal verb - pull sth off

    Is it correct to say: Although the test was very difficult I pulled it off.

  2. #2
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    22,958
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Phrasal verb - pull sth off

    Quote Originally Posted by barnej0096 View Post
    Is it correct to say: Although the test was very difficult I pulled it off.
    No, "to pull off" doesn't work there.

  3. #3
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    15,743
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Phrasal verb - pull sth off

    You would be understood, but the collocation is unusual. You usually pull off an identifiable feat.

    b

  4. #4
    Barb_D's Avatar
    Barb_D is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    17,450
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Phrasal verb - pull sth off

    You could pull of a passing grade, though.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  5. #5
    Academic Writing's Avatar
    Academic Writing is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    110
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Phrasal verb - pull sth off

    I agree that it would be better form to directly mention an antecedent for "it" (e.g., a good grade, as Barb mentioned).

    However, "it" refers elliptically to the good grade, so I think the sentence does work. It might be viewed as a bit lazy though, so if this is writing that you yourself will be judged or graded on, I would name the antecedent as others have mentioned.

    In informal speech, I wouldn't have even thought twice about the meaning because the reference is obvious. I would even venture to say that this is a common way to say this where I'm from. If the sentence in the OP were used in informal speech, the speaker probably wouldn't take the time to say "Getting a good grade on that test was very difficult, but I pulled it off."

    Perhaps it's unusual in some regions, but not where I'm from (again if you are being judged on your writing, then of course it's probably better to establish the antecedent). If you are writing informal fiction, depending on what region your speakers are from and the setting of the story, the sentence in the OP might sound quite natural.
    Last edited by Academic Writing; 10-Sep-2012 at 05:26.
    SeriousScholar.com

  6. #6
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    24,419
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Phrasal verb - pull sth off

    I would have expected to see "Passing ​the test was difficult but I pulled it off."
    Last edited by bhaisahab; 10-Sep-2012 at 10:52.
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  7. #7
    Barb_D's Avatar
    Barb_D is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    17,450
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Phrasal verb - pull sth off

    I was thinking that the sentence would be rewritten to change "it" to "a passing grade." I didn't mean the read had to infer what the "it" could mean. However, I think ems's answer addresses both parts neatly.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  8. #8
    Academic Writing's Avatar
    Academic Writing is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    110
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Phrasal verb - pull sth off

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    I was thinking that the sentence would be rewritten to change "it" to "a passing grade." I didn't mean the read had to infer what the "it" could mean. However, I think ems's answer addresses both parts neatly.
    I agree that it's a nice option. Reading over my previous post, it looks like I was rambling a bit. I do that sometimes. I still don't think I would have hesitated to understand the meaning in a conversation, but I agree that the options above are better ways to write it.
    SeriousScholar.com

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 3
    Last Post: 03-Sep-2012, 12:00
  2. Phrasal Verb "Pull off"
    By ichibanrfx in forum English Phrasal Verbs
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 07-Jun-2012, 17:36
  3. pull off: phrasal verb
    By Donno in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 11-May-2010, 21:36
  4. the push and pull of sth.
    By LadyOscar in forum English Idioms and Sayings
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 17-Oct-2009, 15:10
  5. phrasal verb: to brush on sth.
    By nico in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 30-Sep-2008, 17:22

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •