Phrasal Verb Show Off – Learn how to use it!

June 1, 2017 - Priscila Pereira

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Hey guys, what’s up?

Another phrasal verb! Are you enjoying the phrasal verb posts? Let me know in the comments!

Today I want to write about a very common phrasal verb. I will give you the most common uses and as usual, for each example I give you, you can listen to the audio. That way you work on your pronunciation and intonation. But here we go!

Today’s phrasal verb is: to show off!

Show off is used all the time by native speakers. Sometimes, this verb may be even used to describe a person, but don’t worry, I’m going to show you how!

  1. To impress someone. When you use show off, you can impress someone. How do you impress people? By talking about your abilities, the things you have, about how “awesome” you are, about how amazing your job is, about how “great” everything you are or do, is. Usually when someone says you are showing off, they are not saying it positively, that is to say, they disapprove this attitude, ok? Your buddies are not happy about this at all! Let’s see some examples:

Example 01:  John is always showing off about how important his job is. Nobody likes when he does that.


In this case, I am talking about John’s attitude. He is always talking about his job in a way to “impress” people around him, by telling how important his job is.

Example 02:  Hey Jane, Ignore Alice, she is just showing off. I bet her vacation was not as awesome as she is telling everyone.

In this case, I’m telling Jane to “ignore”, “not pay attention” at what Alice is speaking. Alice is trying to impress people by talking about her vacation, but I as said, her vacation was probably not as perfect as Alice is describing!

  1. A showoff – a person who wants attention and to get people’s attention, this person will try to impress them, they will even lie or exaggerate the truth if necessary.  You know that classmate who always gets “A” (the best score on tests) and always talks about it? This person is probably a showoff.  In this case, show off is not just a verb, but it is describing a person. You don’t conjugate it, ok? You use it as an adjective Let’s see some examples:

Example 01:  Mary is such a showoff. Look at her, she can’t stop talking about her new perfect job!


In this case, I’m saying Mary is a “showoff”. Mary is talking about her new job in a way that it looks like she is trying to impress people around her.

Example 02: I hate showoffs! They can’t stop talking about themselves!


In this example, I’m saying I don’t like people who are always trying to impress others by talking about great things they have or do.

  1. Show somebody or something off. In this situation, you are proud (happy, honored, content) of something or someone. So you show off this thing or this person. In this case, it is not a negative idea, but make sure that it is something you are truly happy for or proud of. Let’s see some examples:

Example 01:  John wants to show off his new piano prodigy during tonight’s dinner.


In this case, I’m saying John (who is probably a teacher) wants to show his very talented piano student to people because he is very proud of him.

Example 02:  Ever since he came back from Italy, my friend can’t stop showing off how well she speaks French.


In this case, I’m talking about a friend who has returned from Italy and since then can speak very well in Italian and can’t stop showing that (because she is very happy and proud of her results).

  1. Clothes that make someone look beautiful and attractive because it shows this person’s features. In this case, the person’s clothes are showing off this person’s beauty, this person’s figure. Basically, you make the qualities of another thing more apparent. Let’s see some examples:

Example 01: I love wearing dresses. They show off my slim figure.


In this case, I am saying that I really like dresses because they “highlight”   my “thin” figure/body

Example 02:  This dress really shows off your new shoes!


In this case, I said that the dress “highlights” the new shoes.


Do you have any questions? Did you understand how to use this really cool phrasal verb? How about you leave examples for me in the comments?

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Thanks, guys!

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.

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