Archive for February 19, 2010

inseparable phrasal verb: fall out with

cross-children

Today’s phrasal verb is “fall out with”. This is used when talking about two friends who end their friendship because of a fight. It is NOT used when the friendship between two friends slowly ends because they don’t contact each other anymore. In that case, we say the friends have “drifted apart”.  Here are some examples of how to use “fall out with”:

I fell out with Charlie about three years ago after I caught him kissing my girlfriend.

Patty and I fell out with each other when she stole my idea to improve business at our company.

A: Why don’t we invite Tracy to Nancy’s birthday party?

B: That’s not a good idea. They fell out a few months ago. I thought you knew.

We only use “fall out with” when talking about friendships. We have different ways to talk about the end of a relationship between family members and romantic partners. If a family member, especially a parent, no longer wants to talk to their adult child, we use the verb “disown”. For example:

Rachel’s father disowned her after she married a man he didn’t like.

If the relationship is romantic, then we use the phrasal verb, “break up (with)”. For example:

My girlfriend broke up with me because I’m too busy to spend time with her.

Peter and Jane broke up last week. I’m really shocked! They had been dating for over ten years!

So, this is today’s expression. I hope you never fall out with any of your friends! 🙂

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