Please give me an example sentence, using
"drive back" (meaning: return by car) as the
inseparable phrasal verb?
:up: Interesting... I've just seen that there are two* meanings here -Hope it helps
We then thought we’d drive back through Richmond Park, maybe finding a place to stop in there and have our picnic but the place was full of Sunday drivers so we drove back home and had our picnic on the living room floor.
....After the move, says Lucy Cisneros, the couple continued to drive back into Globe to see their doctor.
Despite the speed, Father Nieuwland had spotted a new plant along the road, and he insisted his friend drive back five miles to get it.
:up: Interesting... I've just seen that there are two* meanings here -
- "go back [possibly using another form of transport]": I plan to take the train to the pub where I left the car last night, and then drive back.
- "retrace a route immediately" - as in your third example.
Not two meanings, but rather two forms of the same concept: they both mean "to return to a certain point," both using self-directed transport.
Well that's a matter of opinion ;-). Father Nieuwland wouldn't have been satisfied if the driver had driven back to the same point (on the main road) by way of a side-road running parallel. Maybe he would, in the unlikely event that he knew precisely where the plant was. But if he thought 'It's on this road, about 5 mls back - I'll know when we get to it' he'd want to travel specifically on the same road.
The more important point, though, that I missed yesterday, is that it's not a phrasal verb at all. 'Drive back' often is - as in the examples in my PS. But when you "drive back down a road" or "back towards the spectators", "drive" is just a verb with an adverb phrase that starts with a preposition - as in 'up the hill' or 'down the lane' or 'across the plain'...