TAKE BACK – phrasal verb – meanings and examples

The English phrasal verb TAKE BACK has the following meanings:

1. Take back = To retract something you said

(transitive) When you admit that what you said was wrong and you retract what you said. To Retract is to withdraw a statement or accusation as untrue or unjustified.

A synonym is retract, repeal, or rescind.

  • You can’t take back hurtful words after you have said them.
  • I’m sorry that I said you were stupid; I take it back.
  • Once I had realized that my testimony was incorrect, I took it back.

2. Take (something) back = to return something

(transitive) When you return something because it is faulty, damaged, did not work properly, was not up to standard or because you have finished using it.

  • I took my new phone back to the store because the screen was already broken when I opened the box.
  • You need the receipt if you want to take your goods back.
  • Take faulty goods back to the store where you bought them.
  • If you have finished reading the books then take them back to the library.

3. Take (someone) back = to remind you of another time

(transitive) When you hear or see something that reminds you of another place or time in your life. When your thoughts return you to another moment in your life. Synonyms are remember, reminisce.

  • That song takes me back to the 1980s.
  • I had a dream that really took me back to the scene of the accident.
  • What is something that takes you back to your childhood?

4. Take (someone) back = to resume a relationship with someone

(transitive) When a person accepts to restart a relationship with another person, especially after that person has done something wrong.

  • She has forgiven him and taken him back… for now.
  • Are you crazy? I’m never taking her back after what she has done.
  • Do you think you will ever take him back?

Take back – Summary Chart

TAKE BACK - Meanings and examples of this English Phrasal Verb

Lesson tags: Back, Phrasal Verbs, Take
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