Lesson Transcript

Hi, everybody. My name is Alisha. In this lesson, I'm going to talk about phrasal verbs with back. Let's get started.
Okay. First, I want to introduce a group of four verbs that shares one common point. That is this. These four verbs all have the meaning of moving with the rear part of something forward. If you imagine a car, the front and the back of a car, like the front side and the back side of a person. If you imagine, all of these verbs share the meaning of making a motion in some direction, of moving in some direction. However, the rear part is the part that is like the forward-moving part.
We usually walk with this part of our body moving forward. But when we move with the rear part forward, it means this direction. We're moving back in a backwards motion. These four verbs all include that meaning. I want to mention that first. These that we'll talk about later don't include that meaning. These four include that meaning, plus some preposition that tells us the direction of that movement and the relationship of that movement as well to something else. With that in mind, let's take a look at these four phrasal verbs.
The first phrasal verb here is "back into." "Back into" means moving with the rear part forward. Yes, this kind of motion, plus, moving into a space, so to back into something. You're backing into an enclosed space. Imagine with a car, a lot of these will be very, very useful for using with a car. An example of this would be this one, "He backed into the parking space." You imagine with a car backing in, the rear part of the car moves into the parking space. That means the rear part of the car enters the parking space first. We use the phrasal verb "to back into." You'll notice here too, this is the past tense form, backed, "He backed in." "Backed" is the past form of "back." "He backed into the parking space" tells us that he moved with the rear part of the car forward into the parking.
Okay. Now, let's look at the opposite of this, "to back out of something." Since we have "out" here, we had "in" before, this shows us this is the opposite direction then. However, we don't use "back out to," we use "back out of." Please be careful here, "back out of." This means to move out of a space. An example sentence might be a question in this case. "Can you back out of the garage?" Again, this means the rear part of the car is moving forward. However, instead of going into a space, the motion is coming from a space. We're backing out of a space. That means from a position inside a room, in this case, a garage, the back of the car moves first out of the garage, so backing out of something, to back out of a garage or to back out of a parking space as well.
Okay. Now, let's move along to the next phrasal verb "back on to." This is quite different from "back in" or "back out." "To back on to" means to move backwards on top of something. Again, when you're driving a car, for example, you might use the expression, "He backed on to the sidewalk." This means the rear part of the car moved first. And as it moved, it moved on top of something else. There's movement and movement on to another thing. "He backed on to the sidewalk," or, "He backed on to maybe a bicycle," for example. Movement backwards and on top of something else. This might happen to you when you're using a car or another vehicle.
Let's move on to the next phrasal verb, which is "back away from." "Back away from" is a phrasal verb you might use more to talk about your body, the motion of your body than you would a car. This means to move backwards in a direction opposite to something else. By this, I mean there is maybe another person or there's something that you want to move away from. Again, the rear part of your body moves first. If you imagine it that there's something like in front of you here, in front of the front part of your body and you want to move away from it but you maintain this direction with your body, we use the phrasal verb "to back away from," to talk about doing that. An example sentence, "They backed away from the fire." You imagine there's a fire, like you're camping, for example, and you move in this way, you can say, "You backed away from the fire." "To back away from" might be something you used to talk about your body, more so than to talk about a car, perhaps. But this means moving in an opposite direction from something else.
Okay. Let's was along then to the next three which do not belong to this group relating to that kind of rear-facing motion. These are very different, actually. Let's first begin with this expression "to back off." "To back off" means to remove oneself from a situation, that's one, or to move away in fear. This first one, "to remove yourself from a situation," this is often said in response to a person who's getting involved in a situation. You want that person to go away from the situation. It's commonly used as a command like, "Back off." It means go away or stop bothering me. Maybe you're working on a project, for example, and someone tries to come share opinions or criticize your work or something. You're not ready. You can say, "Back off, I'm still working on this," for example.
It's used often to a give a command to someone, actually. We also use this to express fear. Like if someone threatens us or we're afraid of something and we want to move away from the situation, we can use "back off" as well. Let's look at an example. Here, "Back off and let us deal with the problem." This is related to criticism like, "We don't need you to be involved, so let us handle it." That's kind of the feeling of back off. Like, "We don't need you. Please go away." "To back off," in this way, refers to leaving a situation.
Okay. Let's move along to the next one which is "back down." "To back down from something" means to admit a mistake, or it can mean like to stop supporting something. These are actually kind of connected. "To stop supporting something" is like to stop supporting an opinion kind of. When you admit a mistake, you stop supporting that mistake. It's kind of the idea here. An example of this could be, "My neighbor won't back down. He accuses me of being noisy." The neighbor, in other words, is wrongly accusing the speaker of being noisy, but the neighbor won't back down. That means the neighbor refuses to admit a mistake. He refuses. He or she refuses to admit that there's something wrong, refuses to stop supporting the opinion. "My neighbor won't back down. He won't stop, in other words. He continues to accuse me." "To back down" is like, yeah, kind of removing your support for something you said or like some behavior you had in the past.
Okay. Let's move along then to the last phrasal verb for this lesson which is "to back up." This is used in terms of "to back up someone, to back up another person." This means to support someone verbally. Verbally means with your word. "To support someone verbally is to back someone up." You can split this, "to back someone up." An example of this could be, "My colleagues backed me up when I made a complaint. My colleagues supported me when I made a complaint. I made the complaint and my colleagues verbally, or they shared some words to support what I was saying, in other words." "To back some up" means to support them. Keep in mind this is very different from "to be a backup." "To be a backup" means to be a substituted for something. It has a very different meaning here. "To be a backup," that's something very different from "to back someone up." Keep that in mind and try to pay attention to the situations where those two words are used.
All right. Those are hopefully a few new ways that you can use the verb "back." Of course, if you have any questions or comments or want to try to make a sentence, or maybe you know a different way of using the verb "back," please feel free to do so in the comments section of this video. Thanks very much for watching this lesson and I will see you again soon. Bye-bye.


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Tuesday at 06:30 PM
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Saturday at 12:02 PM
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In case of back into,the word "into" is one word or two words ?

In Lesson Transcript, some part shows different.

Monday at 07:37 PM
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Hello Abdul,

Thank you for your question.

Right under the 'Lesson Transcript' is should say 'Download as PDF.' I hope it works for you.



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Friday at 02:36 AM
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I used to download PDF lesson but it doesn't work now so please let me know why it doesn't work.

Thank you