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give away: meaning and explanation

We use the phrasal verb give something away with two different but related meanings.

  • to give something away = to give or donate something freely to someone, often as a gift or as charity.

Listen to this example:

, .

About the sentence

…he made a fortune…

A fortune means a large amount of money.

e.g. Why is he still driving around in that old car when he makes an absolute fortune?

e.g. I like those shoes, but they cost an absolute fortune.

Here’s another example:


We can use this as a noun: a giveaway. Here’s an example:

  • to give something away = to reveal a secret (usually by accident)

Again, we can use this as a noun, giveaway:

Have a go at these extra micro-dictation exercises to hear this phrasal verb being used in context – how much can you understand?

Listening exercises

Micro-listening #1

Accent: England (RP)

Micro-listening #2

Accent: North America

Micro-listening #3

Accent: England (RP)


Extra practice

Here are some questions/links to help you learn the new vocabulary:

  • Do you know anyone who gives away a lot of their money or possessions?
  • Can you remember a time when you accidentally gave away a secret?

Photo by Christian Dubovan on Unsplash

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