Grammar Patterns

V on n

II.13 The 'back-pedal' group

These verbs are concerned with not having a fixed attitude. This includes:
    changing a plan
    breaking a promise
    not making a decision
The government has backed down on plans to turn all schools in England into academies.
Last week he appeared to back-pedal on that statement, but it was too late.
The President has begun to renege on promises he made when the talks began.
He legalised opposition parties but tried to stall on the question of a national conference.
The government has U-turned on its education policy yet again.
In the case of compromise and stall, the preposition on (or upon) is sometimes followed by an '-ing' clause.
The government is unlikely to compromise on ending emergency rule there.
  • back-pedal
  • backtrack
  • compromise
  • default
  • flip-flop
  • prevaricate
  • procrastinate
  • rat
  • renege
  • soft-pedal
  • stall
  • stonewall
  • U-turn
  • waffle
  • waver
  • back down
  • cave in
  • climb down
  • go back
  • hang back
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