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To Take Something Back

To Take Something Back

Meaning: to
say that something you said before is not true


Terri: I feel
just awful! I told some friends at a party last week that Cindy was cheating on
her husband because I saw her having dinner with another man at a really nice
restaurant. However, I just found out today that the man was her brother who
was visiting her for the weekend.

Selma: Oh,
no! How many people did you tell? It is going to be so hard to take it back. I bet people have been
gossiping about this for a week!

Terri: Yes, I
know! I really wish I could take back
everything I said, but I’m afraid it’s impossible. But I’m going to try. I’m
going to call everyone at the party to tell them I was wrong.

Selma: That’s
going to take a lot of time. Good luck!

Thanks, I’ll need it.

Example 2:

Ken: Jolene, could I talk to
you in private for just a moment?

Jolene: Umm…I don’t know, Ken. I’m
still a little upset about last night.

Ken: I know. I just want to
tell you that I had a little too much to drink at the restaurant and I didn’t mean
the things I said.

Jolene: What? Do you really
think you can take back what you
said about me? Maybe your true feelings were showing when you said that I am
just a spoiled little rich girl!

Ken: If I could take it all back I would! I really didn’t mean it, Jolene. Please believe me!

Jolene: I just can’t forget what
you said! Maybe you should be more careful from now on. It’s so difficult to take back the things you tell people,
especially the insults.

Ken: I know and I hope you
can forgive me someday….

take back
means to say that something you said in the past is not true.
In the first example, Terri told a lot of people that Cindy was having an
affair. Those people will tell other people and pretty soon many people will
think she is having an affair. However, it is not true, but it will be very
hard to take back this piece of gossip because so many people have heard it. In
the second example, Ken said something very hurtful to Jolene. Because of this,
Jolene cannot forget his words and will not forgive him. Ken cannot take back
his words.
This idiom can be found in the LSI textbook
Reading Connections. This book is used at LSI schools in the level 3 Reading/Vocabulary
classes. For more information, please visit:

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