Advanced English Grammar



Phrasal Verb BACK


The phrasal verb back is listed below along with an exercise for you to check your understanding. I recommend looking over the list then doing the exercise that follows.

BACK AWAY = move in backward direction; retreat

They backed away from the boy wielding a knife not wanting to get stabbed.

BACK DOWN = stop defending yourself or your opinion

Christina never backs down. She loves to argue and usually wins.

BACK INTO = enter a parking space or hit something in reverse gear

He backed in the fire hydrant because he couldn't see it in the rear view mirror.

BACK OFF = retreat; make space

You better back off a little if you want me to start serving this crowd again.

BACK OUT = A. go in reverse direction B. to not keep a promise or to not show up

A. She backed out of the garage carefully to avoid scratching the paint.
B. The band backed out of the concert but we got a refund for the tickets.

BACK UP = A. support B. copy C. move backwards, reverse

A. Good thing John was there to back up your storey.
B. Back up your files onto a CD so you don't lose them.
C. Could you back up a little so I can see the screen, please?


Phrasal verb BACK Exercise

Choose from the drop down menu the word(s) that best complete the phrasal verbs below.

1. You'd better back ___ otherwise you may get splattered with paint.
2. She backed ____ a car while trying to park hers.
3. The boy backed _____ after he saw he couldn't win the argument.
4. He backed ____ all of his song files onto a CD.
5. She backed ____ of her engagement. She just couldn't go through with getting married.
6. The crowd backed ____ from the fire as it was getting tooo hot.
7. Mother backed ____ John's storey so it must have really happened.
8. He backed ____ of the garage and then washed his car in the driveway.
9. She backed ____ because she didn't want to argue anymore.
10. Back ___ ! I'm not going to tell you again!
 Your score is  

For more information about the phrasal verb back click on the preceding link.