Phrasal Verbs with Back
Phrasal verbs are an idiomatic phrase that contain a verb and another element, usually an adverb or a preposition. Phrasal verbs are frequently used in English and understanding how to use them is an important part of becoming fluent. All of these phrasal verbs with back. You can change the tense and add words in between the phrase, in these, and all phrasal verbs.
Bounce back means to recover from a negative or difficult situation. “She went through a really difficult financial situation, but she was able to bounce back nicely.”
Bring back means to get something. When you play fetch with a dog, you throw the stick and he brings it back. One could also say, “bring back some milk from the store.”
It can also refer to someone remembering something. It can be a positive or negative memory. “Seeing my old house brought back memories from my childhood.” You can also bring something back from the past, such as an object or idea. “The country is thinking about bringing back an economic policy from 20 years ago.” Or “the designer is trying to bring back leggings.”
Buy back refers to purchasing something that has already been sold. In these instances a company may choose to buy back a product that they had previously sold. It is a term commonly used with the stock market or publically traded companies. Companies will at times buy back their stock. This means they buy unsold stock that has already been out on the market.
Call back means to call someone again or in the case of an interview or audition, it is the request to see someone for a second time. This phrase is most often used by saying, “I’ll call you back”. This refers to calling someone again on the phone or other device that allows people to talk to each other.
In the case of auditions a call back list is a list of people that the director or producer wants to see again. Call backs are the actual second audition.
You can also ask a person to come back to you. “I called John back to the office.” This sentence just means you asked John to come back to the office.
Cut back/ Dial back/ Draw back means to reduce something, usually something tangible (a noun). This phrase is commonly used in reference to cutting back a workforce (reducing or lowering the number of people working at a company). It is also often used in reference to cutting back spending (lowering or reducing the amount of money that is being spent). One can use this term for anything they want to reduce, “I want to cut back the amount of unhealthy food that I eat.”
Fall back can mean to retreat. This is a term that is often used with militaries or in a fight. If one groups needs to run away or stop fighting and go back to their headquarters, they may say fall back.
Pull back can mean to physically pull something backwards. “He pulled back the rope until it was all in his hand.”
It can also mean to take something away. “If he doesn’t do what she wants she may pull back her support.”
More Phrasal Verbs with Back
Fall back on means to go back to something from the past. This is usually done after an unsuccessful attempt at something. “I tried starting my own business, but it didn’t work. Luckily I was able to fall back on my college degree.”
Give back means to return something. This can be used after someone borrows something. “I know I need to give back the sweater I borrowed from you.”
It can also mean to be generous and give to others. This is something that happens often at the end of the year during the Christmas holiday season. We organized a clothing drive because we wanted to give back to our community.
Go back means to physically return to a place. “I have to go back home.”
Go back on means to not keep a promise. For example if a politician says they will lower taxes, and then does not do that once they are elected, they have gone back on their promise.
Hang back means to stay behind while other people leave. At the end of a meeting someone may ask one or two people to stay behind. “Hey Sara hang back for a second.”
Hold back means to act with restraint or to keep some information to yourself. Someone can physically hold back or information can be held back (or not shared). “The two men had to be held back to be kept from fighting.” Or, “I felt like she was holding back information from the team”.
Pay back refers to giving someone money that is owed to them. “The money is loan, you have to pay me back.”
It can also mean to get revenge against someone. If you feel like someone did something wrong and you want to do something against them, you would be seeking pay back.
Play back means to play something again. “Can you play back the movie, I want to see that scene again.”
Put back means to return. “Please put back the chairs when you are done.”