turn down 6

turn down: meaning and explanation

The phrasal verb to turn somebody/something down means to reject somebody or something. For example, you might reject a job offer, help, advice, money and so on.

This phrasal verb can be used in the passive voice when you want to focus on the person or thing being rejected, rather than the person who rejects it. e.g. I applied for a business loan, but for some reason I got turned down.

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

Dictation #1

Accent: England (RP)

I the job didn't move London.
I decided turn the job because didn't want move out London.

…I didn’t want to move out

The phrasal verb to move out (of something) means to leave the place you live and go and live somewhere else. e.g. You’re 40 years old and still living with your parents. Don’t you think it’s time to move out? 

Discussion questions

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

  • When I was travelling 15 years ago, I was having lunch with a family and was offered something very strange to eat. To the family, it was very special, but I really, really didn’t want to eat it. I didn’t want to be rude, so I accepted it – it was the worst thing I’ve ever eaten in my life. Have you ever wanted to turn something down, but couldn’t because you didn’t want to be rude?
  • Do you regret turning down the opportunity to do something?
  • Have you ever been turned down for a job? Why?

Leave a Reply

3 Comment threads
3 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
2 Comment authors
ChrisTanya Recent comment authors
newest oldest most voted
Notify of

1. Yes, I’ve been several times in situations in which I didn’t want to try smth (mostly food). Maybe it’s not good, but if I really don’t want to eat or to do something (for ex, because of my fears or believes or any other reason), with a lot of exuses I will turn it down. I have a friend who do his best to eat only healthy food. Very often people want him to eat smth he don’t eat on a dayly basis. Not to be rude, he tell that he is alergetic. It really works 🙂 2. I… Read more »


Hi! Thank you for your feedback!
It’s clear with ‘daily’, ‘beliefs’ and ‘allergic’. But I don’t see 3 mistakes with the three person form…((


OMG how could I miss this! Got it!

A friend who does his best…
Something he doesn’t eat…
He tells them

Send this to a friend