Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

Back is an adverb, noun, adjective or verb.

Back can mean ‘returning to an earlier starting point or situation’ or ‘moving to a point further away’ or ‘replying to something’. Back also means ‘at the rear of’ or ‘the part of a person or thing that is opposite the front.

Back as an adverb

Olga’s not looking forward to going back to school in September.

[taking a photograph]

Don’t move too far back or you’ll fall in the swimming pool.

Sorry, I’m just finishing a meeting. Can I ring you back in ten minutes?

Back as a noun

There’s a new restaurant at the back of our office building.

Will Hoskins is unlikely to play as he hurt his back badly playing in the Rugby World Cup semi-final and is still receiving treatment.

Back as an adjective

The reporters were chasing her and, in order to avoid the cameras, she had to use the back door of the theatre.

Unfortunately she’s spilt coffee over the back seat of the car.

Back as a verb

[talking about a pet dog]

He’s got a lovely temperament but he may panic and bite you if you back him into a corner.

Did you know that during his driving test he backed his car into a bicycle?

(“Back” from English Grammar Today © Cambridge University Press. Need grammar practice? Try English Grammar Today with Workbook.)
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

“Back”: More grammar results

Word of the Day

shadow

an area of darkness, caused by light being blocked by something

Word of the Day

Highly delighted, bitterly disappointed, ridiculously cheap: adverbs for emphasis.

by Liz Walter,
October 22, 2014
We often make adjectives stronger by putting an adverb in front of them. The most common ones are very and, for a stronger meaning, extremely: He was very pleased. The ship is extremely large. However, we don’t use very or extremely for adjectives that already have a strong meaning, for example fantastic,

Read More 

life tracking noun

October 20, 2014
the use of one or more devices or apps to monitor health, exercise, how time is spent, etc.

Read More