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Two Word Verbs with ‘bring’ [infographic]

  • June 16, 2014
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“Phrasal verbs” are a combination of two or more words that have taken on new meaning. Because they are rarely understandable unless explained, phrasals are tricky for those learning English. This infographic lists a few two word verb sets using “bring.”


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Bring” as a Verb

By itself, “bring” means to carry, cause, attract or come toward the speaker.

“The dog is trained to bring my slippers.”
“An old superstition says that killing a spider brings rain.”
“Dialing 911 will bring help.”
“Bring my cape! This is a job for Superduck!”

Bring” as a Phrasal Verb

Phrasal verbs are strange; their meanings almost never have to do with the individual words, and they generally require memorization. The set consists of a verb and at least one preposition.

Bring To

This can be literal.
“What should I bring to the party?”

It can also be a phrasal verb that indicates someone has been helped to regain consciousness. The person pointed to is usually placed between the verb and preposition; this can be either a noun or pronoun.
“When someone is knocked out in the ring, smelling salts are used to bring a boxer to.”
“The smell of coffee will always bring me to in the morning.”

Bring Out

Something is being carried or conveyed.
“Bring out the burgers. We are starving.”

As a phrasal, something is being released, revealed, stressed/highlighted or developed.
“My favorite band, the Orange Waffles, will bring out a new album this fall.”
“Brighter light will bring out the cobwebs in the corners.”
“A blue blouse will bring out the blue in Betty’s eyes.”
“Regular practice will bring out an athlete’s skills.”

Bring On

To cause something to occur, introduce something or cause something to appear.
“Strong smells may bring on sneezing attacks in some people.”
“The raising of the curtain will bring on the actors.”
“It’s my birthday. Bring on the cake!”

Bring Up

Used literally, this shows upward motion toward the speaker.
“The next time you go downstairs, bring up the laundry basket.”

As a phrasal, it indicates the rearing of children or animals, mentioning a subject or an abrupt stop. The last is often seen with the word “short.”
“The suburbs are a nice place to bring up a family.”
“We’re hungry. If you bring up pizza again, you have to order one for us.”
“Flashing lights in the rear-view mirror will bring a driver up short.”

Bring Down

Like “bring up,” this shows motion toward a speaker, but downward, when used literally.
“The next time you go upstairs, bring down my sweater.”

Used as a phrasal, it means to collapse, lower a person’s mood, injure or kill, capture or reduce.
“Strong winds can bring down poorly constructed buildings.”
“I am happy today and will not let any bad news bring me down.”
“Predators prefer to bring down weak or sick prey.”
“Several officers teamed up to bring down the bank robbers.”
“Flooding the market should bring down prices.”

Bring About

To accomplish or cause something to happen.
“Unity will bring about change.”
“Dieting and exercise will bring about weight loss.”

Phrasal verbs using “bring” are plentiful and many are not listed here. Have any others given you problems?

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