The verb “give” is irregular in English.
Past form: gave
Past participle: given
Here are 5 expressions / idioms with the verb GIVE. For each expression, I give you the meaning and example sentences:
to give up
This is a phrasal verb. It means to quit something. We usually use this expression to describe quitting or stopping a bad habit.
I am trying to give up smoking.
Mark: Would you like a cigarette?
Jane: No thanks. I have given up smoking.
Sarah gave up chocolate 2 years ago.
to give something away
This means “to give something for free”.
We often use this phrase for contests, promotions or when someone gives something to someone that they no longer need.
The supermarket is giving away T-shirts.
Mark: Do you want my old mobile phone?
Jane: How much are you selling it for?
Mark: Nothing. I’m giving it away.
to give someone a hand
Of course this is not a literal expression! We are not literally giving someone one of our hands! No, this expression means “to help someone”
This is also very common in the question form when we are asking someone for help.
There are 2 common structures:
to give someone a hand with something
Jane: Please give me a hand with my homework.
I gave Mark a hand with his bags.
to give someone a hand to do something
Jane: Please give me a hand to do my homework.
I gave Mark a hand to carry his bags.
to give someone a lift
This means to transport someone to their destination in your car. Again, this isn’t a literal expression. We are not physically lifting someone off the ground!
This expression is common in British English.
Jane: “We’re going to the cinema. Can you give us a lift?”
I give the children a lift to school when it’s raining.
In American English, the equivalent expression is “to give someone a ride.”
Mark: “Can you give me a ride to the office?”
Jane: I gave Mrs Smith a ride to the store yesterday.
to give someone your word
This means to make a promise to someone. If someone doesn’t believe what you say, you can say “I give you my word” in order to convince them that you are telling the truth.
Jane: Do you promise to visit me in London?
Mark: Yes, I give you my word.
Sarah: I don’t believe that you will help me. Give me your word!
David has given me his word that he will tidy his bedroom.
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