Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Do you get confused between “grow” and “grow up” in English?

Today we’ll show you how to know the difference and use each term correctly.

We’ll also throw in some bonus English phrasal verbs with “grow” to help you sound more natural when you speak English with natives!

 When do we use “grow”?

We use this to talk about something getting physically bigger or longer. We can say “My grass is growing” or “My bank account is growing.”

Examples of “grow”:

  • “Does your hair grow fast or does it grow slowly?”
  • “What’s the best way to grow a business fast?”
  • “What should I do if I need to grow my bank account?”

When do we use “grow up”?

This is only used to talk about people becoming more mature.

Using “grow up” implies that the thing is human.

Examples of “grow up”:

  • “Where did you grow up?
  • “What movies were popular when you were growing up?”
  • “What was your favorite meal as a kid growing up?
  • “What’s the best thing about watching your niece grow up?”

Bonus phrasal verbs with “grow”:

  • “To grow into”: When a child gets big enough to wear clothing that had been too large before.
    • Sample sentence: “Oh don’t worry if that shirt is too big right now. He’ll grow into it.”
  • “To grow out”: To allow something to get long naturally
    • Sample sentence: “Are you going to grow out your beard this summer?”
  • “To grow out of something” To become too mature for something
    • Sample sentence: “I used to be a stubborn kid but I grew out of it.”
  • “To grow apart”: To no longer be close with someone because your lives diverge and you have different interests
    • Sample sentence: “My friend and I grew apart after high school because she got married and I moved to the city.”

What other phrasal verbs do you know with “grow”?

Let us know in the comments below and tell us if you have any questions from today’s episode.

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