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Skip to 0 minutes and 6 seconds Perhaps you noticed two ways that Jade used the word ‘back’ in the last video. I did think about the fact that Juliet does talk back to her parents. To ‘talk back to someone’ means ‘to reply rudely’. It’s especially used when children are rude to their parents or teacher. A lot of parents have probably said something like this to their children, “Do as you’re told and don’t talk back to me like that”. ‘Talk back to’ is a phrasal verb. ‘Back’ can also be used as verb on its own, like in this example. And she does get into trouble with her parents, but I think that especially the girls, really backed Juliet.

Skip to 0 minutes and 51 seconds If the girls in the theatre audience ‘backed’ Juliet, it means that they supported her and they wanted things to go well for her. So if you tell your parents that you want to become an actor and they back you, it means that they think your idea is a good one and that they are happy for you to do it. So there we are, two useful verbs– ‘to back someone’ and ‘to talk back to someone’.

Vocabulary: 'back'

Anthony looks at the ways Jade used the word ‘back’.

What do you learn about these verbs?

  • to back someone
  • to talk back to someone

Can you add any other verbs with ‘back’?

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This video is from the free online course:

Exploring English: Shakespeare

British Council