Give up vs break off

Konstantinos

Senior Member
Greek - Athens
In an English book of exercises I should choose give up or break off:

He treats you badly. You should ... him.

I chose give up, because I lured from break up: I broke up with my girlfriend.

But all these phrasal verbs confuse me. Can someone explain to me?
 
  • Konstantinos

    Senior Member
    Greek - Athens
    He treats you badly. You should break off him.

    So my question is: Why not: He treats you badly. You should give up him.

    ?

    Because "with" is missing?
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    That was what I was worried about. Firstly, break off is the wrong answer.

    But secondly, both of those phrasal verbs are of the separable type. This means that the verb and its preposition do not have to be right next to each other in a sentence.

    He treats you badly. You should give him up.​

    I broke off my engagement to him / I broke our engagement off when he was unfaithful

    Another phrasal verb is to “break up” with someone (which is not separable):

    He treats you badly. You should break up with him.
    But I believe it’s also possible to use “break off” in the same way (perhaps more in US English than UK English).
     

    Konstantinos

    Senior Member
    Greek - Athens
    So, all of them are not correct:

    You should give up him.
    You should give up with him.
    You should break up him.
    You should break him up.
    You should break off him.
    You should break him off.

    The only correct answers:

    You should give him up.
    You should break up with him.
    You should break off with him.

    Have I understood right?
     
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