"give up" and "give up on"

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  • elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Don’t give up on them altogether. = Don't lose hope/faith in them/their ability to accomplish something.

    Don’t give them up altogether. = Don't turn them over to someone else./Don't abrogate responsibility for them./Don't disown them.
     

    dn88

    Senior Member
    Polish
    To me, there may be no difference between them in some cases. However, it all depends on your context. But I'm not a native speaker so I might be wrong here.
     

    AWordLover

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Don’t give up on them altogether. = Don't lose hope/faith in them/their ability to accomplish something.

    Don’t give them up altogether. = Don't turn them over to someone else./Don't abrogate responsibility for them./Don't disown them.
    If you were waiting for a native speaker, I'm here. :D

    I agree with elroy.

    The sentence, "Don’t give them up altogether.", is quite odd. It doesn't make sense with the ending altogether.

    EDIT: I was thinking of people. If they are cookies, then "Don't give them up altogether." would mean don't stop eating the cookies completely, just cut back on quantity or frequency.
     

    dn88

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Hello AWordLover,

    I do agree with you both, but here's an example I have invented to show that "give sb up" and "give up on sb" can be the same.

    You've been waiting for your friend for hours and you've nearly lost your faith in his arrival. Finally, he turns up to your great surprise. So you say to him:

    I've been waiting here for hours - I'd almost given you up.

    Or:

    I've been waiting here for hours - I'd almost given up on you.

    Am I wrong? Do the two variants above convey the same idea? I think that either of them means: I had almost stopped expecting that you would arrive. If not, please correct me.
     

    AWordLover

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Hello AWordLover,

    I do agree with you both, but here's an example I have invented to show that "give sb up" and "give up on sb" can be the same.

    You've been waiting for your friend for hours and you've nearly lost your faith in his arrival. Finally, he turns up to your great surprise. So you say to him:

    I've been waiting here for hours - I'd almost given you up. [A native speaker would certainly know what you meant, but may think that you have made a mistake. Give you up, would be an incorrect form of give up on you.]

    Or:

    I've been waiting here for hours - I'd almost given up on you.

    Am I wrong? Do the two variants above convey the same idea? I think that either of them means: I had almost stopped expecting that you would arrive. If not, please correct me.
    Hi dn88,

    To my ear, you are a little wrong.

    Your mastery of English appears to be very good.

    AWordLover
     
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