Back down - Learn English Phrasal Verbs. Introducing Phrasal Verb

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In this lesson you will learn how to use the phrasal verb ‘back down’ in your conversations.


Ruth: Hello everyone! Let’s learn about the phrasal verb ‘back down’.

Paul: Yes, Ruth. ‘Back down’ means to withdraw and to surrender, right?

Ruth: Exactly. It means to admit that you are wrong and have been defeated.

Paul: Wasn’t there a movie called ‘Never back down’, Ruth? Did you watch it?

Ruth: Oh yes! It was my favorite that year. The title ‘Never back down’ means ‘Never Surrender’!

Paul: That’s it! So, ‘back down’ means withdrawal from a previously held position especially when you face a stronger opponent or a superior power.

Ruth: It also means to withdraw an argument, a proposal or maybe an opinion. Will you give us an example to show how this verb is used?

Paul: Sure. For example: ‘The sniper had to back down when the police surrounded him’.

Ruth: Hmmm...Here’s another example: ‘The government had to back down on the decision to cut the trees, after protests from the environmental activists’.

Paul: Alright, thank you for the example. How about some conversations now?

Ruth: Sure Paul.

The Bar near the Church.

Robert: Carl, I heard there was a fight in the town hall yesterday?

Carl: Yeah, the bar owners were not willing to back down.

Robert: So, what happened?

Carl: Some people from the church got upset and pushed the opposition lawyer to the ground.

Robert: Man, that’s bad. This shouldn’t be the way.

Carl: You’re right but it worked! The bar owners backed down and promised to shut down the bar near the church!

Worker’s Compensation.

Ruth: How was your day, honey?

Robert: Not bad! How was yours?

Ruth: Good! What about Jimmy’s case? Is he willing to back down?

Robert: Why should Jimmy back down?! It’s not his fault at all.

Ruth: So, he did get faulty machinery, right?

Robert: Yes, the factory owner must back down and provide him full compensation.

I Quit!

Carl: Hey Robbie, let’s have a beer! It’s my birthday!

Robert: I’m fine with this juice, man. I quit drinking last year.

Carl: Oh C’mon! Don’t back down now!

Robert: You back down. Carl. I’ve just said I don’t drink anymore!

Carl: Gee, alright! Go ahead and drink your juice then.

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