Phrasal Verb Give Up – Learn how to use it!

June 1, 2017 - Priscila Pereira

No Comments

Hey, friends! How are you doing?

In this section of the blog, I want to you show you popular phrasal verbs and how to use them. What is a phrasal verba phrasal verb is a verb that combined with another prepositon or adverb, which we will call “particle“, will have a different meaning.

Not only will I teach you the meaning of the phrasal verb but I will also show you real life examples. For every written example I give you, you can check the pronunciation as well (listen to the audio for each example). That way you learn intonation and improve your pronunciation! If you still have questions, you can always leave them in the comments. I will make sure to reply to you.

Number ONE RULE! Never try to translate phrasal verbs individually (word by word). As you notice, phrasal verbs have several particles (prepositions/adverbs), so if you try to translate part by part of the phrasal verb, you will most likely get a very weird definition!

Today we are going to talk about giving up!  Don’t worry, I’m not going to give you any advice, or do any pep talk. I’ll just explain the meaning of this phrasal verb 😛 and remember: don’t analyze a phrasal verb individually, Today, for example, give up, “give” alone has a completely different meaning from “give up”.

So, I will show you the most common meanings of this phrasal verb and as usual real life examples on how to use it. You can check the audio for pronunciation! After you finish reading this post, please leave a comment telling me your opinion, or giving me a new phrasal verb suggestion. It is very important for me to have this interaction with you guys. The more you comment, the more posts I’ll make for you :D.

1. Stop doing an activity or stop trying to do an activity, quit doing something. This is perhaps the most common use for “give up” when you quit doing something or quit trying to do something. Let’s take a look at some examples.

Example 01:  John gave up his English course, he has been working so much lately that he doesn’t have time for anything.

In this case, I’m saying John quit, stopped his English course because he is too busy with work and because of that he does not have time!

Example 02:  I gave up smoking last year. Since then I feel great!

In this example I’m saying I quit, I stopped smoking since last year and now I feel good, great!

Example 03:  I can’t believe you are giving up already! Come on! We have to keep trying!

In this example, I don’t say exactly what the person is “stopping” or “quitting”, but I show my surprise in the fact that this person is stopping.  That’s why I continue saying that this person needs to continue trying.

Example 04: Alice gave up her career because of her children. Now she stays home all day. She is really happy, though!

In this case, I’m talking about Alice who stopped, quit her career (her work, her job) in order to be with her kids. She is always at home now, but she is ok with that!


2. Another use for this phrasal verb is when you tell the police where a person is. This person is a criminal and will be arrested. You can also be the criminal and give yourself up (surrender) to the police to be arrested. Let’s see some phrases. A common synonym which is more commonly used is to turn in. In movies, we see “turn in” all the time.

Example 01:  Jane would never give her husband up. Even though he is guilty, she loves him way too much.

In this case, I’m saying that  Jane would never tell the police about her husband (who is probably a criminal). She knows he is guilty (she knows he did things, bad ones) but she loves him so much that she cannot give him up

Example 02:  I think you should give yourself up man. The police will find you sooner or later. It is better if you cooperate.

In this case, I’m saying that someone needs to surrender to the police. It is better to help the police (to cooperate) than to run.


3. To let someone have or use something. In this case, you stop using something in order to let another person use it or have it. Let’s see some examples:

Example 01:  Could you give up your seat for this lady. She is pregnant.

In this case, I ask someone to “stop using the seat”, to stand up and let the pregnant take a seat. Hey, we should all help people in public transportations, especially pregnant women, kids and the elderly J

Example 02:  Oh Susie, I can’t believe you are going to give up the first piece of the cake for me!

In this case, I’m telling Susie that I’m surprised that she is not going to have the first piece of the cake because she is gonna give it for me 😀


So, do you have any questions? Remember, your comment here is precious to me! So leave me your suggestions, your ideas, phrasal verbs you want to know more about, anything you want to ask about English! Now, I have a question for you: tell me one thing you have recently given up! Either given up doing or having or even using! I’d love to know.

Thanks, guys and stay tuned for more phrasal verbs.

Teacher Prix

Priscila Pereira

Starbucks and TV Series lover: juggling with teaching, blogging, and a YouTube life! I’m teacher Prix and I want to help you talk to anyone, anywhere, anytime in English! This blog is for English speakers who are looking for an effective blog. Get inspired by hundreds of different posts for all English levels, so that you can finally learn English easily and effectively on the internet.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *