to back down

by | Last updated Jul 11, 2019 | Phrasal verbs | 10 comments

to back down

by | Last updated Jul 11, 2019 | Phrasal verbs | 10 comments

This sentence contains the English phrasal verb 'to back down'. Do you know this phrasal verb? How much of the sentence can you understand?

Listen as many times as you need to, then check your understanding and practise using the new language.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask!

Language: B2 (Upper-Intermediate)  //  Accent: Ireland

Photo by Vincent van Zalinge on Unsplash

This sentence contains the English phrasal verb 'to back down'. Do you know this phrasal verb? How much of the sentence can you understand?

 

Listen as many times as you need to, then check your understanding and practise using the new language.

 

If you have any questions, feel free to ask!

 

Language: B2 (Upper-Intermediate)  //  Accent: Ireland

 

Photo by Mads Schmidt Rasmussen on Unsplash

. , .
He's . He knows he's , he refuses .
He's stubborn. He knows he's the wrong, he refuses to back .

About the sentence

to back down

If you back down, then you accept or admit that you are wrong about something, or you accept that you have lost an argument or fight. e.g. "The argument went on all night, but my brother eventually backed down and apologised".

This phrasal verb can be used negatively (as in the example) to describe a situation in which someone will not admit that they are wrong or have lost an argument. They won't back down. e.g. "It was obvious that he had made a big mistake, but he wouldn't back down".


If someone is 'stubborn', then it is difficult to change their mind, attitude or position on something, even if they are probably wrong. This is synonymous with the word 'determined', but has negative connotations.

If you say that someone involved in an argument is 'in the wrong', then you are saying that they are responsible for the argument or have done something bad or morally wrong. e.g. "Sorry, but I'm not the one who is in the wrong here".

Discussion question:

Write your answers to this question in the comments section, and I'll get back to you with some feedback:

  • Are you a stubborn person or do you back down when you know you are in the wrong?

  • Can you remember a time when someone refused to back down?

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ChrisSveta TsalkovskaValentynaAlineLaziza Recent comment authors
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Laziza
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Laziza

Actually,I am not a stubborn person although some people tend to say that I get quite stubborn at some point. I think that’s because I usually stay true and firm to my beliefs when I know that I am being reasonable and I’m doing the right thing. However,when I know that I am wrong about something and I feel like I’ve made a mistake, I admit my faults,accept criticism and back down.That means that I am not inflexible, opinionated or rigid in my beliefs, instead I consider and take into account of other people ‘s opinion and welcome changes. 😊☺… Read more »

Aline
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Aline

I am not a stubborn person. When I know I am wrong, I usually back down, but I think sometimes I should be a little more stubborn.

I don’t remember a time when someone refused to back down in a discussion with me, but I see that on the internet there are lots of people that can’t admit they might be wrong and arguments go on and on and no one back down.

Valentyna
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Valentyna

Oh,a lot of people don’t BACK DOWN, when they are in wrong, so am I (sometimes), because we see mistakes of others, but don’t see the own ones.

Sveta Tsalkovska
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Sveta Tsalkovska

Hi) First of all, have never heard the phrase “to be in the wrong” before… Not sure I understand it correctly. I mean what is the difference between just “be wrong”?
Answering the questions – if I truly see that I’m wrong, I will back down despite it’s not easy on a practice.

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