fill out: meaning and explanation

If you fill out a document, a form, a questionnaire or something similar, you add the requested/required information. e.g. We would appreciate it if you could fill out this short questionnaire about your stay at the hotel.

We can also use the phrasal verb to fill something in with the same meaning, e.g. If you want to make an official complaint then you will have to fill in this form.

Have a go at this dictation exercise to hear this phrasal verb being used in context – how much can you understand?

Dictation #1

Accent: Ireland

I've the application – you to .
I've already out the application for you – you need to sign .

…I’ve already filled out the application form

The present perfect (I have already) is used here to communicate an action completed before now.

Discussion questions

Write your answers to these questions in the comments section, and I’ll get back to you with some feedback:

  • What’s the longest form that you have ever had to fill out?
  • In the UK, you usually have to fill out a separate application form for every job you apply for, which means that the process is very time consuming. Is it the same in your country?
  • Be honest – have you ever filled out a form inaccurately? For example, by giving a different name or lying about something?

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