Welcome to twominenglish.com. Teaching you English through two-minute lessons.
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.
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!
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.
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.