The use of prepositions is one of the difficult aspects of learning English. A preposition is a functional word that appears before nouns and relates to some other constructions in the sentence.
A phrasal verb is a combination of a verb and one or more prepositions that functions as a single unit of meaning. Phrasal verbs are commonly used in writing. As an ESL learner, learn some prepositional phrases:
Bring about: cause something to happen.
e.g. The racial discrimination brought about the social unrest.
Bring off: achieve something difficult.
e.g. The research on DNA was difficult and unpredictable, but the scientists were able to bring it off.
Bring on: cause something to happen.
e.g. What brought the event on?
e.g. The riot was brought on by the Mayor's proposed policy.
Bring to: revive; make it clear.
e.g. The man fainted, but was soon brought to with some smelling salt.
e.g. I hope this incident will bring you to your senses.
Bring to a close: end something.
e.g. I hope this verdict will finally bring the matter to a close.
Bring out emphasize.
e.g. That tragedy brought out the best of humanity: all the neighbors were caring and compassionate.
Bring up: raise; care for.
e.g. In this day and age, it is not easy to bring up children.
Keep at: continue to do.
e.g. You must keep at it until it is done.
Keep down: prevent from advancing.
e.g His lack of an advanced degree will keep him down in his career.
Keep on: continue.
e.g. Keep on, and don't give up!
e.g. Keep on with your good work.
Keep up: maintain the pace.
e.g. Keep up and don't fall behind.
e.g. You have to work extra hard to keep up with the rest of the class.
Dress down: scold severely.
e.g. The manager dressed him down right in front of all the employees.
Dress up: put clothes on; adorn.
e.g. Wow! Look at you! You really get dressed up for the party in this fancy dress!
Cut back: reduce the use or amount.
e.g. We should cut back our expenses on grocery.
Cut in: interrupt.
e.g. Don’t cut in when someone is talking; it is very rudeCut off: turn off of a road.
e.g. This is where you should cut off on the left and head straight for the highway.
e.g. You are not cut out to be a politician; you don’t have the temperament to be one.
Copyright© by Stephen Lau