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Phrasal Verbs Series: The difference between give way, give away, give out, give up and give in

Posted on 16 September, 2017 at 11:25

Suitable for CEFR pre-intermediate (B1+)


Give way

Give way is used to describe when a physical structure collapses under too much weight. 

For example: The bookshelf gave way.


It can also mean withdrawing or yielding to open space for something else.

For example: Giving way is an important part of the Highway Code. In the UK drivers must give way if there is a sign or give way markings on the road instructing them to do so. At a roundabout, drivers must also give way to vehicles on the right. 


Give away

Give away means to give something for free. 

For example: The radio station is giving away tickets for a holiday to Dubai.


It can also mean to reveal a secret, or expose the truth.

For example: I can't tell you too much about that new movie without giving away the ending.


Give out

To give out is to distribute.

For example: The teacher gave out homework. The new shop on the high street is giving out coupons for 10% off.


In some situations you could use either give away or give out.

For example: The new shop on the high street is giving away / giving out samples of their products.

The difference is that give away is only used for things that are free, whereas give out emphasises distribution to many people.


Give up

To give up is to stop making an effort or admit defeat. 

This homework assignment is so difficult. I feel like giving up. 

You can do it! Don't give up!


Give in

To give in means to yield to social pressure. For example, if someone has tried to convince you about something for a long time and finally you accept it or agree to do it.

For example: The children in the supermarket asked their mother for sweets until she finally gave in.

Categories: Intermediate (B2) +, Phrasal Verbs , Vocabulary

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