separable/intransitive phrasal verb: conk out

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Today’s phrasal verb is one which is quite slang. It is to “conk out”, and it can be used in three different ways.

1. for a machine to stop working (often an engine). For example:

My car’s engine conked out in the middle of the race, so I lost.

My lawnmower conked out last week, so I can’t cut the grass today.

2. to lose consciousness. For example:

I drank so much last night that I conked out in the taxi on my way home.

I was so tired last night! I conked out as soon as my head hit the pillow.

3. to hit someone on the head so that they lose consciousness. For example:

When I was walking home, someone conked me out and stole my wallet.

I found my neighbor on the ground last night. Someone had conked him out with a big rock.

The first two ways of using “conk out” are intransitive. This means that the phrasal verb does not take an object. The last way is separable which means that the words “conk” and “out” can be separated by a noun or a pronoun.

As I mentioned before, this expression is slang, so it is only used in casual conversations.

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