Phrasal Verb Turn Down – Learn How To Use It!

July 10, 2017 - Priscila Pereira

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Hey guys, how are things?

Today I want to teach you another phrasal verb. By the way, if this is your first time around here, check out my phrasal verb section. There are many phrasal verbs for you.  I always give the most common definition as well as real life examples with audio so that you can improve your pronunciation. At the end of the post, don’t forget to leave me a comment with your own examples or even suggestions of phrasal verbs you would like to see here.

But here we go! Let’s talk about turn down! What does turn down mean?

I will give you the main definitions for this phrasal verb. Check it out:

  1. The first common use for this phrasal verb is related to sound, noise, light or even temperature. In this case, you will “reduce” the volume, or the temperature, because it either too loud (noisy) or too hot (temperature). Let’s see some examples:

Example 01:  I’m with your dad on the phone, can you turn the  music down  please?


In this case I’m asking “my kids” to reduce the sound of the music, because I’m on the phone talking to their dad and it is probably difficult to listen to him because of the sound. Pay attention that, in this case I separated “turn” and “down” and in the middle I wrote “music”. This is possible with this phrasal verb, ok? With some phrasal verbs you can write the object in the middle or after the phrasal verb. For example: turn the music down OR turn down the music. ONE very important thing though: if it is a pronoun (him, her, me, you, them, it, us, you) you can ONLY use them in the MIDDLE. You can NOT put the pronoun at the end. So in this case turn IT down. NEVER turn down it, never, ok?

Example 02: It is so hot in here! Can you turn down the heat?

In this case I’m asking someone to reduce the temperature, because It is already too hot.

  1. This second use is very common and people use it all the time. Whenever you refuse (say no to)  and offer,  a proposal, you can use this phrasal verb. Look at the examples below:

Example 01: I head Jessica turned down her promotion. Why do you think she did that? Is she crazy?

In this case I’m talking about Jessica. She said “no”, she refused her promotion; and I can’t understand why!

Example 02:  I know this is a great opportunity and I’ve never worked abroad. But I’m afraid I’ll have to turn it down.


In this case I’m refusing an overseas (abroad) job offer. It is a great opportunity but I can’t accept it.

Example 03:  Bob  can’t believe she turned him down. They had been dating for 2 years when he proposed.


In this case I’m saying Bob is shocked his girlfriend said no to him. They were dating for 2 years when he asked her to marry him (propose = ask someone to marry you)

Example 04: John asked me to help him, so I couldn’t turn him down. He is my best friend.

In this case I’m saying I couldn’t say no to John’s request. So I helped him.

Example 05:  I applied for a job position at the local library, but they turned me down.


In this case I’m saying that I tried to get a job at the local library, but they refused me, they didn’t hire me. Look, I used a pronoun “me”. In this case I have to write me  in the middle of the phrasal verb. I separate “turn” and “down”. Ok?


So, I want to see your examples in the comments! What do you say? Leave your examples and I will correct them for you!

Share this post with your friends and don’t forget to check the other phrasal verbs!

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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