Grow (up)

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:

Select words from the drop-down menus to complete the text. When you have finished, click 'Check your answers!' for feedback.

OK I understand

When I was in England, unemployment to its highest point ever. However, the economy eventually and unemployment fell to a more manageable level. Now that I have I remain curious about employment trends.

Answer Key

Answers here, but only if you're really stuck!

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