The word ‘back‘ can mean many different things. As a verb, the meaning is to move in a backwards direction or to support someone or something.
- You can back the car on the drive if you like. (move backwards)
- I’ll back your story if the police ask. (support)
Back is a regular verb. The past tense and past participle is backed.
phrasal verbs with back
Phrasal verbs with ‘back’ include:
- back away
meaning – retreat
example – Slowly back away from the dog, he`s getting angry.
- back down
meaning – surrender or decide not to do something because of the opposition
example – The Government backed down on their plans to destroy the forest.
- back in/into
meaning – reverse a car into a space
example – She carefully backed into the space as the instructor requested.
- back off
meaning – go away, retreat
example – I wish these losers would back off. I have a boyfriend.
- back out
meaning – decide not to do something you said you would do or reverse a car out of a space
example – Can you back the car out a bit? It’s too close to the wall, I can’t get in.
- back someone up
meaning – support someone
example – I`ve backed you up all the way, but if you did steal the watch… you`re on your own.
- back up
meaning – provide evidence to support your claim, make more copies of files, reverse a car
example – He backed up his claim with graphs and reports from the last 5 years.
picture phrasal verbs with back
Let’s learn the meaning of the phrasal verbs that contain the verb ‘back’ in more detail and see some examples in use.