Learn the difference between Grow (verb) and Grow Up (phrasal verb)

phrasal verbs vocabulary Aug 28, 2021
The difference between using grow and grow up in English

In English, sometimes there are slight differences in meaning between certain words and phrases. The verb grow and the phrasal verb grow up are a good example of this. In this English lesson, I’m going to show you the difference between grow and grow up and you’ll learn how they are used in an English conversation.

 Grow means live when we talk about plants:

  • Cactus plants grow in Arizona.
  • I saw palm trees growing in Florida.
  • Does bamboo grow in cold climates?

We use grow as a transitive verb to show that someone plants and raises flowers, vegetables, and plants.

  • Jane grows herbs and vegetables in her garden.
  • My uncle grows roses.
  • The farmers in this area grow grapes that are used to make wine.

We also use grow to mean that some living thing is becoming bigger or older.

  • The sunflower plants grow quickly in July and August.
  • The puppies are growing and are almost ready for their new homes.
  • Children grow a lot between ages 6 to 12.

We can also use grow to talk about a business that is becoming bigger or a product that is becoming more successful.

  • Jack’s company is growing so much they have hired a lot of new staff.
  • Sales of mobile devices grow at a steady rate each year.
  • Apple grew from a small, garage-based company to an international business.

We use grow up to talk about children becoming physically bigger and emotionally mature. Keep in mind that grow up is only used for people, not animals or plants.

  • grew up in New York, so I love this city!
  • When Tommy Jr. grows up, he wants to be a doctor like his father.
  • Toshi was born in Tokyo, but grew up in Texas.

 So when we talk about people, grow and grow up have a different meaning:

It feels like Jack’s kids are growing quickly. ← This sentence refers to the children’s physical size.

It feels like Jack’s kids are growing up quickly. ← This sentence refers to the children’s maturity.

Where did you grow up? Do you grow anything in your garden? Leave a comment below and let me know.

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