What does the phrasal verb “blow up” mean?

What are the definitions of “blow up”?

Learn how to use these expressions through these examples

  • 1Explode.

    The bomb BLEW UP without any warning.

  • 2Inflate.

    The pressure was low, so I BLEW the tyre UP.

  • 3Enlarge ( e.g., photograph )..

    BLOW UP that photo so we can see his face.

  • 4The beginning of a storm.

    A storm BLEW UP while we were out walking.

  • 5Lose your temper, become angry.

    They BLEW UP when they heard what I had done wrong.

What’s the most common meaning of the phrasal verb “blow up”?

The most common meaning of the phrasal verb blow up is to explode or cause something to explode. This can refer to a bomb, a balloon, or any other object that can burst or be destroyed by a sudden release of energy.

What are the different verb forms of “blow up”?

Root Verbblow up
Third Person Singular Presentblows up
Present Participleblowing up
Simple Pastblew up
Past Participleblown up

Example

The fireworks blew up in the sky.

Example

She blows up balloons for the party.

Example

He is blowing up an air mattress for the guests.

Example

The gas leak blew up the house.

Example

The building had been blown up in the explosion.

What kind of phrasal verb is “blow up”?

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Notes from a Native English Speaker

What is a transitive and intransitive verb? - A transitive verb always has an object after it. (Example: Sam bought a car.) - An intransitive verb never has an object.(Example: She laughed loudly.)

Transitive verb

“blow up” is a transitive phrasal verb because it requires a direct object to complete its meaning. The direct object specifies what is being removed, obtained, or eliminated.

Example

He blew up the balloon.

Example

The bomb blew the building up.

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Notes from a Native English Speaker

What is a separable and inseparable phrasal verb? - A “separable phrasal verb” can be separated with an object between the verb and particle. - An “inseparable phrasal verb” cannot be separated by an object.

Inseparable

“blow up” is an inseparable phrasal verb. This means that you can’t place an object between the verb and the particle, otherwise, it changes the meaning of the phrasal verb.

Example

He blew up the balloon.

Example

The bomb blew the building up.

What are common phrases and expressions that include the phrasal verb “blow up”?

Blow up a storm

A sudden increase in wind or stormy weather.

Example

The wind started to blow up a storm, making it difficult to walk outside.

Blow up in someone's face

To have an unexpected negative outcome or backfire.

Example

His plan to surprise his girlfriend blew up in his face when she found out beforehand.

To exaggerate or make something seem more significant than it is.

Example

She tends to blow up small issues out of proportion, causing unnecessary stress.

Good things to know

Does “blow up” have an informal or formal tone?

Blow up is generally considered informal and is more commonly used in everyday conversations. In more formal settings, it is better to use synonyms like 'explode' or 'inflate' depending on the context.

What are synonyms of antonyms to the phrasal verb “blow up”?

Synonyms

Antonyms for {keyword}

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