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To undo something is to reverse an action or return to an original situation. The prefix "un" makes the root word "do" negative, but it is also suggests a reversal.

simplepastpast participle
  • We’re trying to undo a problem that we created.
  • The boy undid his seatbelt and got out of the car. (This sentence is in the past tense.)
  • My shoelaces came undone. (There were tied and then they became untied.)
  • If you make a mistake while editing a document, pushing command + z will undo it.
  • Go to Edit and click on Undo. (In this sentence, "undo" is a noun.)
  • Years of economic progress in the country were undone by a dictator who quickly rose to power. (This sentence is in the past tense, passive voice.)
  • In some situations, it’s impossible to undo what has already been done.
  • Getting involved with organized crime was the beginning of the young man’s undoing. (In this sentence, "undoing" is a gerund. It means his personal situation became very bad.)
  • Undoing years and years of polluting and neglecting our environment will take several decades.

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Date of publication: October 28, 2016