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  1. #1
    Fredenglish's Avatar
    Fredenglish is offline Newbie
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    Difference between give up and give out

    Hello there,

    I heard the following in a movie where two men are arguing angrily. What's the difference:

    Employee: "I'm very frustrated with you!"
    Employer: "You mean you'r giving up?
    Employee: "No, I'm giving out!"

    Thank you
    Last edited by Fredenglish; 11-May-2016 at 19:26.

  2. #2
    bhaisahab's Avatar
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    Re: Difference between give up and give out

    In Irish (Hibernian) English, to "give out" is to complain angrily or strongly.
    “Every miserable fool who has nothing at all of which he can be proud, adopts as a last resource pride in the nation to which he belongs; he is ready and happy to defend all its faults and follies tooth and nail, thus reimbursing himself for his own inferiority.”

    — Arthur Schopenhauer

  3. #3
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Re: Difference between give up and give out

    Quote Originally Posted by Fredenglish View Post
    Hello there,

    I heard the following in a movie where two men are arguing angrily. What's the difference between "giving up" and "giving out"?

    Employee: "I won't work here anymore!"
    Employer: "You mean you're giving up?
    Employee: "No, I'm giving out!"

    Thank you.
    Welcome to the forum.

    See my corrections above.

    In BrE, "to give out" can mean "to stop functioning", although it normally refers to things, not people. It can refer to specific parts of the body - "I'm going to have to stop. My legs are giving out".
    I'm not entirely clear what the employee is trying to indicate in that dialogue. Maybe there's an AmE meaning I'm not aware of which might make more sense.

    (Cross-posted with bhaisahab - that was a meaning I wasn't aware of.)
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: Difference between give up and give out

    I've heard give out used with that meaning in the UK.

  5. #5
    bhaisahab's Avatar
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    Re: Difference between give up and give out

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    I've heard give out used with that meaning in the UK.

    I've only heard it from Irish people.
    “Every miserable fool who has nothing at all of which he can be proud, adopts as a last resource pride in the nation to which he belongs; he is ready and happy to defend all its faults and follies tooth and nail, thus reimbursing himself for his own inferiority.”

    — Arthur Schopenhauer

  6. #6
    Fredenglish's Avatar
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    Smile Re: Difference between give up and give out

    Thank you all for your answers and correction.

  7. #7
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Re: Difference between give up and give out

    You're welcome but please note that there is no need to write a new post to say "Thank you". Simply click on the "Thank" button in the bottom left-hand corner of any post you find helpful. It saves time for everyone.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  8. #8
    Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    Re: Difference between give up and give out

    It's the same difference in American English. To give up is to quit or surrender. To give out is to stop functioning.

    You have control over when you give up. You don't have control over when you give out. That's the distinction the person in the quote is making.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

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