to blow someone away: meaning and explanation

If something blows you away, it amazes or impresses you.

It is more common for this expression to be used in the passive, e.g. I was blown away by the quality of support I was offered.

However, it can also be used in the active voice, e.g. The quality of support I was offered blew me away.

Have a go at this dictation exercise to hear this phrasal verb being used in context – how much can you understand?

Dictation #1

Accent: North American

Laura Michael .
Laura Michael by the generosity the guests .
Laura Michael were blown by the generosity of the guests at wedding.

…Laura and Michael were blown away

When the word were is spoken naturally as part of a sentence, it is pronounced quickly and weakly as /wə/.

If someone is speaking quite quickly, it can sound almost the same as are, pronounced /ə/.

In this situation, you need to think about the context to decide whether you have heard were or are (e.g. in this example, the speaker is talking about a past event, so were is more likely).

Discussion question

Write your answers to this question in the comments section, and I’ll get back to you with some feedback:

  • Can you remember a time when you were amazed or very impressed by something? Tell me about it using the expression ‘blown away’.

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