Bring Out Your Best With Phrasal Verbs

Waitress bringing coffee and cookies 187009307As we have mentioned before, phrasal verbs allow English speakers – native and non-native alike – to do more with less. Because phrasal verbs are created by making only small changes to common verbs we are able to stretch our existing vocabulary instead of learning completely new words for every action. While other languages might have five or six completely different words for the actions below, as the following examples prove English (and English speakers) can express the same ideas by using the same root verb: bring.

Bring … Out – to emphasize or stress

  • The color of Monica’s new dress really brings out her eyes; although they were just as pretty before the complementary color really makes them stand out.

Bring … Over – to take with you

  • Jessica is so polite! She always welcomes new families to the neighborhood by bringing over freshly baked cookies and lemonade.
  • The Mayflower is famous because it was the ship that brought the Pilgrims over from Europe in 1620.

Note: This phrasal verb is used almost exclusively used when someone transports something from one location to another. This can be from home to home, home to office, or even across the ocean (as in the second example above).

Bring … To /– to wake up

  • After a long day of work nothing would bring Mike to once he finally went to bed!

Note: This phrasal verb is based on the longer expression “bring … to consciousness”.

Bring … Up – to mention or discuss

  • “I hate to bring up bad news but I think it’s time we discussed the scheduling problems we have been having.”

Bring … Up – to raise or rear

  • “Although I was born in Cleveland I was brought up by my mother’s sister in a small town near Detroit.”

Note: Though identical to the other “bring up” mentioned above, context can help separate the two. Any mention of children, for example, all but ensures the second meaning.

For a more detailed discussion of phrasal verbs – and lots of additional practice – be sure to our other phrasal verb blogs.


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