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Thursday, June 16, 2011

to turn down

Example 1:

Sandra has been looking for a job for about a month. She had a job interview today with a great company. The company was really impressed with Sandra and offered her a job right away. The only problem is that Sandra is still a student and she takes classes in the morning. The company needs someone who can work the morning shift. Unfortunately, Sandra had to turn down the job offer.

Example 2:

Jared and Susan have 3 classes together this semester. They spend a lot of time together in class and out of class studying. Jared started having special feelings for Susan after late-night study sessions during mid-term exams. He was sure that she felt the same, so he asked her out on a romantic date. Susan was so surprised! She was really excited because she was feeling the same way about Jared. Of course, Susan accepted the date, and Jared was happy that Susan didn't turn him down.


to turn down
(phrasal verb) means to say no to someone's proposal/suggestion/request or refuse an offer. In Example 1, Sandra must refuse the job offer because of her schedule. In Example 2, Jared requests a date with Susan and Susan did not refuse.

to turn down is a separable phrasal verb, so be careful when using object pronouns, shorter nouns (2 words or less), and longer nouns (more than 2 words).

(object pronoun) down
ex: She turned him down.

(short noun) down
ex: Carl will turn the offer down.

turn down
(short noun)
ex: Carl will turn down the offer.

down (long noun)
ex: Mike had to turn down the job offer in Texas.

This idiom was taken from LSI's textbook titled Speaking Savvy. This book is used to teach Speaking and Listening in our Level 5 class. For more information please visit:

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