3 English Phrasal verbs with BACK

Yesterday we learned some of the different forms (noun, adjective, & verb) of the word back. Today let’s look at some common English phrasal verbs with back.

We can see from these examples that phrasal verbs with back all have the feeling of changing our position or moving (backing) away from something.

back down (on/from something)


to take back a demand, an opinion, etc. that other people are strongly opposed to; to admit defeatShe refused to back down on a point of principle.

back out (of something)

 to decide that you are no longer going to take part in something that has been agreedHe lost confidence and backed out of the deal at the last minute.

back off

1 to move backwards in order to get away from somebody/something frightening or unpleasantAs the riot police approached, the crowd backed off.2 to stop threatening, criticizing or annoying somebodyBack off! There’s no need to yell at me.

A: “This project is already started, we can’t back out now!”
B: “You need to stop shouting! Back off and cool down, then we can discuss the problem.”

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All helpful definitions on my blog are from The Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary:

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