Social media may grow up rapidly in the future.
This is a kind of understandable error. Students have seen or heard ‘grow up’ and they assume that absolutely anything can ‘grow up’.
However, only children grow up:
- I grew up with very poor parents.
- His children grew up and moved away.
- My brother is so childish. I wish he would grow up!
Everything else grows (without up!):
- Income inequality has grown massively since 2000.
- Public opinion against nuclear energy keeps growing.
- All economic sectors grew during the war.
Actually in the last three examples ‘grow’ is synonymous with ‘increase’:
- Income inequality has increased massively since 2000.
- Public opinion against nuclear energy keeps increasing.
- All economic sectors increased during the war.
Try this quick practice activity:
('Z' = 'leave blank / zero article')