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Hi, everybody! Welcome back to Know Your Verbs.
My name is Alisha and in this episode, we're going to talk about the verb "place."
Let's get started!
The basic definition of this verb is "to put something in a specified location."
"I placed my cup on the desk."
"She placed her earrings next to the bed."
Let's look at the conjugations for this verb:
Present: place, places
Past: placed
Past participle: placed
Progressive: placing
Now, let's talk about some additional meanings for this verb.
So, let's look at the first additional meaning of this. It's "to make."
This is commonly used as, "to make an order" or "to make a bet."
Let's look at some examples of this.
"Place your bets!"
"She placed an order for 50 plates of fried rice!"
So here we see "place" being used to mean "make." The first example sentence, "Place your bets," that's an example of a sentence you'll hear at a casino. So dealers, card dealers inside casinos will often begin a card game by saying, "place your bets" to the people who are playing which means make your bet or decide on an amount of money you want to play for this game. They use the verb "place," "place your bets." Maybe you'll hear, "make your bet," but I think "place your bet" is probably the most common expression used.
In the second example, we see "placed an order," "she placed an order." You can substitute "make" here. You can say, "she made an order for…," but "to place an order," this is just a different way to say it. To me, "place an order" sounds a little more polite than "make an order." Like you could use both on the phone, I supposed, like "I'd like to make an order for…," "I'd like to place an order for…" Both would be okay. To me, "place" sounds maybe a little bit more polite, but it means, "to make (something)," "to make an order" or in the first example, "to make a bet."
The second additional meaning is "to recognize."
This meaning, as you'll see in the example sentences is often in the negative form.
Let's look at some examples.
"I feel like I've seen that guy somewhere before, but I just can't place him."
"I can't place this quote. Who said it?"
So here, we see "place" being used to mean like "recognize" or we can't quite understand the origin of that person or that thing.
In the first example sentence, we see, "I just can't place him." We're talking about someone's face. So if you know someone's face, but maybe you can't remember the name or in this case, you don't remember where you met that person or your connection to that person, you can say, "I just can't place him," meaning, I don't know why I know this person, but I recognize his face. So, here, we see the negative. This is commonly used in the negative, "I can't place him."
In the second example sentence, "I can't place this quote" means "I don't know where this quote originated from or I don't know where this quote came from. So maybe, it's a famous person who said the quote, but I just can't remember who that is. I can't, like recognize, I can't recall where this information came from, "I can't place this quote." So this means "to recognize" in these cases.
Okay, the third additional meaning is "to put in a certain condition or state."
"The court placed him under arrest."
"She was placed on a strict contract."
So in both of these example sentences, we see some condition being set. In the first example, we see "placed under arrest." "Place under arrest" means the person involved was put in a condition of arrest, placed under arrest.
In the second example sentence, "She was placed on a strict contract," it means she was put into a condition of a strict contract, so we use "placed" to refer to that. So, "to place" can mean to put someone or something into a state or into a condition.
The fourth additional meaning is "to find someone a location to live or work."
"We haven't placed the young man yet."
"They're placing the family next week."
So, in these example sentences, someone is looking for a spot to live or a spot to work for another person. There are two groups, there are two parties involved here.
In the first example sentence, "We haven't placed the young man yet," it means, the speaker or the group involved with the speaker is looking for a location for the young man in the situation to live or work. So, what is the situation? This does seem kind of strange perhaps, but in some countries, maybe it's similar in your country, there may be kind of like protection services, especially for children and for families who have had like legal trouble or trouble with like dangerous people in their lives and they need to be relocated to a new city or to a new workplace. So there are services for families like that, for individuals like that. That's a situation where we might use this word.
We also might see this in like schools, for example. If you are looking for a location, looking for a classroom, looking for a dorm or something, for a student, so one person is responsible for finding a place, for finding a location for another person, we can use "place" to talk about that.
In the second example sentence, "They're placing the family next week," it means they're completing the placing process, so that means they have found a place, they have found a location for a family and are going to take the family to the location next week. So "to place," to find a location for someone.
Let's move on to some variations for this verb.
The first variation is "to find (one's) place."
This means "to determine how to fit in socially."
Okay, examples of this.
"I think I finally found my place."
"She's having trouble finding her place at school."
So here, we're seeing examples that involve someone finding their social positions. So to find one's place means to find a nice position, a position that's appropriate for them in their society or within their life. In the first example, "I think I finally found my place," we see past tense, "found my place" which means I've discovered this position is best for me.
In the second example sentence, "She's having trouble finding her place at school," it means she's having trouble positioning herself within the society that is her school, like she has her school life and she hasn't quiet discovered yet the best location for her, the best way to fit in with the people around her. So this refers to your societal position in your small or big society.
The next variation is "to know (one's) place."
This refers "to understanding your status in society" and it's typically used to refer to people who are below others as well. Like we typically don't use this to talk about people who are above us. We might use it to talk about ourselves in reference to being below someone or someone from a higher position might talk about the people below them, oftentimes with a kind of disrespect.
Let's look at some examples.
"He made sure his workers always knew their place."
"I know my place. That restaurant is way too nice for me to visit."
So here, we see examples of people behaving or being expected to behave in accordance with their social status.
In the first one, "he made sure his workers always knew their place," the nuance here is that he is like some kind of boss or like authority figure and the others, the "workers" which we see, "workers" indicate they're below him. They know their place, so in other words, they know that their role, they know that their status in society is lower and he wants to make sure they know that. So this has a bit of air of disrespect about it.
In the second example sentence, it's a person talking about himself or herself, "I know my place. That restaurant is too nice for me..." meaning I know that I am societally of a level below the level required to visit that restaurant. So in other words, I shouldn't go there, it's too nice, it's too expensive, it's too fancy for me. I know my place is below that restaurant, so interesting, very interesting.
So, I hope that that was helpful for you and I hope you got a new way to use the word "place." Of course, if you have any questions, comments, example sentences, whatever, please feel free to let us know in the comment section of this video. Thanks very much for watching this episode of Know Your Verbs and we'll see you again soon. Bye-bye!