GIVE UP – phrasal verb – meanings and examples

The English phrasal verb GIVE UP has the following meanings:

1. Give up = to quit; to stop doing something

(transitive) To stop doing something, especially something that used to be a habit. To stop consuming (eating, drinking, etc.) something because it is not good for your health.

  • I used to eat pizza every day, but I gave it up to lose weight.
  • He gave up playing football after his serious injury.
  • You should give up smoking because not only is it bad for your health, but it also makes you look ugly.

2. Give up = to surrender, stop trying, admit defeat

(intransitive) You abandon your attempt to do something when you realize that there may be no way of completing it successfully. To stop making an effort. To stop trying to do, win or solve something because it’s too difficult.

  • I can’t understand these directions; I give up!
  • He gave up after realizing that he couldn’t win the game.
  • I give up – can you please tell me the answer?
  • Never give up trying to achieve your goals.

A common motivational expression is … Never give up!

3. Give up = to sacrifice something

(transitive) To spend time doing an activity that you would normally spend (or you would prefer to spend) doing something else. To part with something that you would prefer to keep. To sacrifice something or to dedicate time, effort, etc., to something.

  • I gave up all my free time this week to study for the exam.
  • We gave up our weekend to help our friend move house.
  • They gave up many things so that their son could have a better life in another country.
  • I gave up my seat on the bus to an elderly man.

Give up – Summary Chart

GIVE UP - Meaning and examples of the English Phrasal Verb GIVE UP

Lesson tags: Give, Phrasal Verbs, Up
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