by Liz Walter
My last post looked at phrasal and prepositional verbs connected with starting arguments and what happens during arguments. Today I’ll start with describing other people’s involvement in an argument and then go on to talking about what happens when an argument is over.
Usually, the best thing to do when two people are arguing is to stay out of it (not become involved): My sisters are always arguing, but I try to stay out of it. However, there are times when you might feel you need to step in (try to deal with or stop the argument): I had to step in before they started punching one another. Some people, however, prefer to stir up (cause) arguments: He’s always trying to stir things up between Jamie and Rose.
If you side with one person in an argument, you agree with them and often try to support them: My parents always side with my little brother. If you feel that one person is being treated unfairly, you might stand up for or (slightly more informally) stick up for them: I tried to stick up for my colleague, but our boss wouldn’t listen.
And what happens at the end of an argument? Well, someone who is still very angry and has not reached an agreement might storm out or storm off (leave the room in an angry manner): He stormed out, slamming the door behind him.
However, another person might back down or give in (allow the other person to win the argument) either because they have been proved wrong, or because they do not want to continue the argument: She insisted on firing him and refused to back down. Eventually he gave in and agreed to their demands.
If an argument makes you very upset or angry, it may take some time to calm down afterwards: She was absolutely furious, and it took her days to calm down. However, if an argument is less serious, you may be able to shrug it off or laugh it off (show that you do not think it is important): Max was quite rude to Emma but she just shrugged it off. He laughed off their criticism and continued to do things his own way. You could always simply wait until the unpleasantness of an argument blows over (becomes less important and is then forgotten): I know she’s angry with you, but it will soon blow over.
When people become friendly again after an argument, they make up: We fell out a few times but we always managed to make up afterwards. People who make efforts to mend a relationship try to patch things up: Have you patched things up with Jamie yet? However, if a relationship cannot recover after an argument, it breaks down: Arguments about housework eventually caused their relationship to break down.