Give out x Give up: Quando utilizar

Marcio_Farias 1 24 215
If your company doesn't wish to reveal its customer names, it won't:

a) give out their names; or
b) give up their names?

Please provide a rationale behind your choice if you have one.

My copy of Webster's Third New International Dictionary on CD gives one of the senses of b) as meaning "to make public, reveal." And no, I won't throw the dictionary out the window because worthless. ;)

Nesta aula, a professora Camila Oliveira ensina vários macetes para você nunca mais se confundir na hora de dizer as horas em inglês. ACESSAR AULA
3 respostas
Thomas 7 62 297
In your example, either phrase would be fine. However, the expressions are not interchangeable in all contexts. Since you have a good dictionary and I know you to be a scholar, I will not bore you with a lot of examples. Let me just share the following observations with you.

"To give out", in my opinion, has the subtle meaning of "to give voluntarily".
The crew of the ship gave out life jackets to the passengers.
The May Company is giving out free samples of French perfume.

"To give up", however, has the subtle meaning of "to give reluctantly".
After two hours of interrogation, the prisoner gave up the name of his companion.
The enemy gave up its positions only after a bitter attack.

In my humble opinion in your example either would be correct depending on what meaning you wanted to covey. To expand on what Thomas said:

To give out would imply a voluntary action, such as posting the list on the internet to make it public.
To give up would imply an involuntary action, such as giving the list under subpoena to an attorney.
Thomas 7 62 297
Slayman, I had the same thought but you posted it. Glad you're not a gunslinger!

I heard "gave out" today on a TV program. A soldier had failed a test. He was told "Give up your vest." "Give out" would not have made sense. The sergeant meant "Surrender your vest", and "Give up your vest" worked fine.

Speaking of surrendering, "The enemy gave up." If you have studied for hours and still do not understand a concept, maybe you should "give up", get some sleep, and try again tomorrow.

"To give out" also has the meaning of "to fail" in the sense that through use, abuse, or accident something had failed. If you had trouble with your car on the freeway, maybe the motor "gave out". (The motor stopped working. A part had failed.) Don't keep driving on those old thin tires because sooner or later they will "give out" on you. (You will have a blowout and maybe an accident.) I worked hard in the garden yesterday, but I "gave out" around 1:00 PM and took a nap. (got very tired, became exhausted)