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Common mistakes by English learners: Raise/bring up/grow/grow up


I hear this mistake all the time in class and now I will set the record straight!

Grow = to increase in size or height/plants develop
- Puppies grow so fast when they are young

- These plants grow better if you don't put Domestos on them.

- "Money doesn't grow on trees"

You CAN say: I like to grow plants and flowers (as a hobby)
You CAN'T say: I grow my children (that means they live in the garden and you pour water on them)
Grow can also be passive: These plants were grown outside.

Grow up (intransitive verb) = mature in age (a person)
- My kids are growing up so fast these days.

- Stop being an idiot! Just grow up, grandpa!

- I grew up in London

Because this verb is intransitive, it CAN'T be passive.

You CAN say: I was brought up in London
You CAN'T say: I was grown up in London (Horrible English!)
And you can only grow up YOURSELF.

You CAN say: Joining the army made me really grow up! (correct)
You CAN say: My 10 kids grew up in a loving family (correct)
You CAN'T say: I grew up 10 children alone (wrong! Better: bring up/raise


Raise and bring up = to feed, clothe, educate, discipline, teach respect from a baby to adult
Raise is the more formal version of the phrasal verb bring up. They mean the same. And both can be active and passive:

- I was raised in the forest by wolves

- I was brought up by 3 magic fairies.

- I raised 10 children by only giving them grechka.

- Bringing up children can be very hard.

- Raising children can be very hard.

We can convert the phrasal verb into a useful noun: Upbringing.

- I had a fantastic upbringing; I got everything I wanted.


So, compare the following:
— I was raised in London

— I was brought up in London

— I was grown in London

— I was grown up in London

(two are correct, in one I am a plant and one is just wrong)

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