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back out (of), "withdraw from; fail to keep (a promise)." At first, Don said he would join them, but then he backed out. Never back out of a promise.

back up: a. "Support" (S). If you express diapproval, I will back you up. b. "Go or put (a car) in reverse" (S). Back up into the lane, then turn right. Back the car up first.

bad (with), in. Tardiness will get you in bad with your boss.

base on (or upon). Mr. Grant's positive opinion of you is based on personal observation.

The short story is based upon an event that occurred in the author's life.

because of. The secretary is absent because of a previous appointment.

become of. Where is Gerry? What has become of him?

believe in. I believe in magic. I believe in doing things I enjoy. Do you believe in working overtime? She doesn't believe in him anymore.

belong in (a container). The broom belongs in the closet, not in the chest.

My daughter thinks she belongs in the theatre.

belong to. That car belongs to Peter. To whom does this pencil belong?

benefit (of), for the. They are collecting donations for the benefit of some orphans.
benefit [from]: You can benefit from our new savings plan. She benefitted greatly from doing exercises in English. Would you like to benefit from our new salary scale?

benefit to: The field trip was of great benefit to the students. The discovery of oil brought many benefits to the town.

I am doing this for your benefit.

blame for. I will not take the blame for your blunder. Don't blame her for saying what she did. She's right.

blow up; a. "Explode; destroy by explosion" (S). The engineers blew the old dam up.

b. "Become greatly angered." Chester blew up when I revealed his secret.

boast of (or about). Bob boasted of his adventures in Africa. If I were you, I wouldn't boast about getting chosen class president.

borrow from. Do you think I can borrow some money from you?

break down: a. "Stop functioning properly." Put oil in the engine so that it won't break down. b. "Lose one's composure or health" (S). The suspect broke down and confessed. If you don't get enough rest, you will break down (or will have a breakdown). c. "Analyze" (S). Please break that bill down so that I will know the details of each item.

break in: a. "Tame" (S). Cowboys always break wild horses in after breakfast. b. "Train" (S). I am breaking a replacement in for my job. c. "Make comfortable through use" (said of shoes) (S). You should break those new shoes in by wearing them only a few hours a day. d. "Put into operation gradually" (S). If you do not break that new motor in, it may smoke. e. "Enter illegally." Someone broke in last night and stole my radio.

break into. The thief broke into the art museum and stole a painting.

break off, "stop; discontinue" (S). It is bad manners to break a conversation off when someone enters the room.

break out: a. "Escape." The dangerous prisoner has just broken out of jail.

b. "Develop a rash or a similar physical ailment." The baby broke out in a rash so naturally we thought it was the measles. Bob broke out into a sweat when he was called into his boss's office.

c. "Arise; begin suddenly." "We interrupt this program with a news bulletin. World War II has just broken out."

break up, "put an end to" (S). The police broke up the demonstration.

bring about, "cause" (S), What brought about your change in plans?

bring on, "cause; produce" (S). Getting overheated can bring on a cold.

bring out: a. "Produce, display; reveal" (S). Sally brought out her new dress for everybody to see.

B. The lawyer's clever questioning of the witness brought the truth out.

bring to: Did you bring the report to the meeting? I'm going to bring it to your office today.

bring in: Could you bring in the newspaper, please. Please bring it in here now!

bring over: Joe says he is going to bring over the package tonight.