It’s sometimes said that it’s better to give than to receive. Whether or not you like the act of giving, we hope you’ll enjoy reading about all the different ways to talk about giving. As you might imagine, there are a great number of synonyms and near-synonyms for ‘give’, so this is the first of two posts. Here, we’ll look at the many ‘give’ phrasal verbs and prepositional verbs and their specific meanings.
If you give away something, you give it to someone because you don’t need it anymore: They gave away a lot of their furniture when they moved to a small apartment.
If a company gives away products, it gives them to customers without charging money for them: They’re giving away reusable coffee cups today.
She was giving out leaflets at the demonstration.
Could you hand out these worksheets?
The verb ‘hand’ has a lot of phrasal verbs, as you might expect. To hand in something is to give it to a person in a position of authority:
Did you hand in your history essay?
When you’ve completed the form, please hand it in at the desk.
To hand down something is to give it to a younger person, often in the same family:
I have four sons so when one grows out of a piece of clothing, we just hand it down to one of the younger ones.
She has a beautiful necklace that was handed down by her grandmother.
If you pass on something, you give something to someone after someone else gave it to you: I don’t want the book back so pass it on to someone else when you’ve finished with it.
To help someone to food or drink is to get food or drink from a dish / bottle, etc. and give it to them: Can I help you to some soup, Anna?
If you shower someone with something nice, for example presents, you give them lots of them: I was showered with gifts before I left.
If you ply someone with food or drink, you keep giving them more: He kept plying us with cake.
If you press something on someone, especially food or drink, you give lots of it to them and do not allow them to refuse it: Snacks were pressed on us between meals even though we weren’t hungry.
Finally, to part with something is to give to someone else an object that is important to you:
Books are very important to John. He won’t part with any of them.
I couldn’t bring myself to part with my favourite doll.