#115 – TO PASS OUT

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1. To hand something out to everybody. To give something to everybody in a place. E.g. “all the students were silent as the exam papers were passed out”

2. To become unconscious, to faint.

“She passed out due to heat exhaustion”


Hello, my name’s Luke Thompson. You’re listening to “A Phrasal Verb a Day” and this one is phrasal verb number 115 and it’s to PASS OUT.
Okay? Two meanings. One of them is quite literal. The other one is more idiomatic.
Let’s start with the literal one. This means to, like, give something out to each member of a group. It’s similar to hand out. For example, “I went around PASSING OUT leaflets to everyone who’d come to the meeting”, okay? Or “I went into the town center and started PASSING OUT flyers for the new comedy show”, for example, okay? It’s often passive as well. For example, “All the students were quiet as the examination papers were PASSED OUT”, okay? Now, that’s…, that’s quite literal that meaning. “To pass”, meaning to, like, “to give something to someone” and PASS OUT meaning “to give things to everybody”, okay? So, that’s fairly literal.
There is a more idiomatic version and that one is to become unconscious. It could be because you’re too hot. It could be because you’ve consumed too much alcohol or because you’re sick and it’s… It’s a synonym of to faint. Let’s say, for example, “It’s really, really hot in a room and you’ve been there for ages and you feel like you can’t take it anymore and you just PASS OUT. You faint on the floor and then, a few moments later, you come to. You come back to consciousness”, okay? So, for example, “Lots of people PASSED OUT because of the heat”, or for example, “He drank lots of vodka and then he PASSED OUT. He PASSED OUT on the side of the road. He must’ve been really drunk”.
That’s it for this episode. To PASS something OUT or to PASS OUT. There you go. I’ll speak to you again soon but for this one it’s just time to say goodbye.