Common mistake back fire (backfire)

Common Mistake: "Back Fire" vs. "Backfire"

English grammar can sometimes be tricky, and it's not uncommon to come across words or phrases that are frequently misused or misspelled. One common mistake that many people make is confusing "back fire" with "backfire." While these two phrases may sound similar, they have different meanings and usage.

Back Fire

"Back fire" is a term used to describe a malfunction in an internal combustion engine, where the fuel ignites in the wrong part of the engine or at the wrong time. It can lead to a loud noise, smoke, or even damage to the engine. Here's an example of how to use "back fire" correctly:

  • The old car backfired, causing a small fire under the hood.
  • My dad had to take the car to the mechanic after it started to backfire.


"Backfire" is a verb that means to have the opposite effect of what was intended. It is commonly used to describe a plan, action, or strategy that fails and has unintended or negative consequences. Here are a few examples of correct usage:

  • His attempt to impress the boss backfired when he spilled coffee all over himself.
  • The government's new tax policy backfired and resulted in a decrease in revenue.

In these examples, the actions or plans didn't go as expected and ended up causing problems rather than achieving the desired outcome.

About Linguix Grammar Checker

Linguix Grammar Checker is a helpful tool that can assist you in avoiding common grammar mistakes like confusing "back fire" with "backfire." It provides real-time suggestions and corrections to ensure that your writing is clear, correct, and impactful. With Linguix, you can improve your English grammar skills and write with confidence.

back fire (backfire) mistake examples

  • Incorrect:
    His plans always back fire.

    His plans always backfire.

  • Incorrect:
    He's back firing.

    He's backfiring.

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