1. give (someone) a break
Stop criticizing the person, or stop being so demanding/harsh to them.
- I know he made a mistake, but give him a break – it’s his first day on the job.
The exclamation Give me a break! or Gimme a break! can also be used to say “that’s ridiculous” or “I definitely don’t believe that.”
- You’re going to read 5 books in a single week? Gimme a break! You don’t have time for that.
2. give (someone) the boot
This expression can be used for firing someone (dismissing someone) from a job, often because the person did something bad. It can also be used for ending a romantic relationship.
- Karen wasn’t performing well as a salesperson, so the company gave her the boot.
- After Jane found out that John was cheating on her, she gave him the boot.
3. give way
This expression is often used when a structure collapses:
- The roof of the old house gave way under the weight of the snow.
4. give (someone) pause /
give (someone) pause for thought
This means to cause someone to hesitate, or to stop and think carefully.
- It’s a nice car, but there are some mechanical issues that give me pause.
- When I turned 50 and realized I still hadn’t pursued my dreams, it gave me pause for thought.
5. give (someone) a lift/ride
This means to take someone in your car to their destination, because the person doesn’t have their own transportation.
- My car’s being repaired, so my brother gave me a lift to work.
6. give credence to
To give credence to someone or something means to consider that person trustworthy – thinking you can believe that person/thing.
- I don’t give credence to any claim that hasn’t been proven by science.
7. give (someone) grief
This expression means to criticize, annoy, or hassle someone.
- I lost some money gambling, and my wife has been giving me grief about it.
8. give it time
We say “Give it time” when we want to tell someone to be patient, because in time things will change.
- You just broke your ankle. I know you’re anxious to get back to playing sports, but give it time.
9. give it a rest!
We use this expression to tell someone to stop talking about a topic that they are constantly talking about.
- My uncle’s constantly complaining about his problems. I wish he’d give it a rest!
10. give (someone) your word
To give (someone) your word means to make a serious promise.
- Thanks for lending me your computer. I give you my word that I’ll take good care of it.