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I have taken a look at the definitions of all the three phrasal verbs but still not sure what the following sentence means:

You can give in, you can give out but you don't give up.

A bit more context:

Sometimes life is scary, sometimes life just seems very unfair. But you just gotta hang in there. I'll tell you what I learned down the streets Brooklyn New York. You can give in, you can give out but you don't give up.

It is from the end of this video: https://youtu.be/4oh5fEIpx-E

My guess is that it could means something like: You can be defeated, you can be exhausted but you don't stop trying.

or something like: You can be defeated, you can complain but you don't stop trying.

Nevertheless, I am not sure at all and I think I may be totally wrong.

Could you please help me understand this sentence?

Thanks!

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Your proposed rephrasings are correct.

  • "give in": to agree or to admit defeat after a time
  • "give out": to break down, to stop working
  • "give up": to stop trying

The "to complain" meaning of "give out" seems to be regional and informal. Unlikely the meaning meant here.

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  • Thanks for help!
    – Shelty
    Commented Sep 12, 2021 at 12:45

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