phrasal verbs

As you know, the English Language is filled with phrasal verbs (verbs and prepositions). They cause sleepless nights to most learners and find us teachers apologising time and again for what appears to be the language’s reluctance to use the proper verb.

After all, why say: “I managed to persuade Tim of the advantages of the new working hours” when you can say: “I managed to bring Tim round to the advantages of the new working hours”. I know, I know…the English Language is mind-boggling. However, this eccentricity is also what makes it so enriching to teach and dare I say it, to learn.

So, the above introduction offers me the perfect opportunity to share with you 20 phrasal verbs with the verb “BRING”. I have selected 8 phrasal verbs, but you will see that some of them have multiple meanings depending on the context making a total of 20. There are more but I don’t want to inundate you!

1. Bring About 
to make something happen, especially to cause changes in a situation, to trigger

“The changes we’ve made to the purchasing system will bring about huge savings to the company”.
2. Bring Along
to take something or someone with you when you go somewhere

“Can I bring along a guest to the exhibition?” “Yes, of course”.


3. Bring Back
There are 6 different meanings for this particular phrasal verb so let’s look at each meaning.

a) re-kindle memories or feelings
“Looking through those old photographs brought back all my memories of the wonderful summers I spent in Cornwall”.

b) reintroduce something that was used in the past
“I think we should bring back the tradition of dressing up for dinner”.

c) re-employ
“Sam is looking to bring back the former tennis coach in the hope of winning some competitions.”

d) to bring something when you return
“Have a wonderful holiday and don’t forget to bring me back a present!”

e) to make a dead person live
“Her heart stopped three times during the operation but the surgeons managed to bring her back.”

f) to talk about something again (often used in meetings or presentations)
“This brings me back to subject of operational cuts and the need to introduce them”.

. Bring Down
We have 3 different meanings for this phrasal verb

a) to topple or overturn a government or politician
“The opposition parties are threatening to bring down the government if the referendum on the Euro is not held.”

b) to reduce
“If we are to compete in the market, we’re going to have to bring down our production costs.”
“We have managed to bring her temperature down so let’s see what the next few hours will bring.”

c) to make something or someone move or fall to the ground
“The pilot was able to bring  the plane down to safety with one single engine.”
“The strong winds brought down a number of power lines in the area”.


5. Bring Forward
To change the date or time of an event so that it happens earlier.
“The meeting has been brought forward to 3pm.”


6. Bring In
Once again we have many meanings for this phrasal verb.

a) to use the skills of a particular group or person
“We need to bring in a specialist to analyse the figures more closely for us”.

b) to be the reason that someone receives money
“The Royal Family bring(s) in millions of pounds to to the Treasury every year”.

c) to introduce a new law or system
“The new contracts system we’re bringing in in the autumn will make a huge difference to the way we deal with our clients”.

d) to involve someone in a discussion when you’re in the middle of a conversation, meeting or presentation
” And now I’d like to bring in my learned colleague, James Ellroy, who has conducted some outstanding research on the subject, to share his thoughts on it”.
7. Bring Off
to succeed in doing something difficult
“It was her first investment presentation in front of the Board of Directors and she brought it off magnificently.”
8. Bring Out

a) to release a product
“We’re bringing out the new model in late October. It’s going to be so exciting”.

b) to show the quality something or someone has
” The colour of your dress really brings out the green of your eyes”.
“This wine brings out the spicy flavour of the meat beautifully”.

bring out the best or worst  in somebody

“I don’t know what it is about Simon, but he knows how to bring the worst out of me“.


These phrasal verbs take on more meaning and are easier to understand and remember when you give them a context. There’s absolutely no point trying to memorise them.


After publishing this post, I was approached by Zdenda of Engames who asked me if she could create an infographic and games around these phrasal verbs. Knowing how brilliant her posts are, I immediately accepted.
The result is that I am absolutely thrilled to share here Engames’s post featuring two fabulous infographics and games that you can use to practise these phrasal verbs.


I hope this is helpful. There are other phrasal verbs with bring, for example, bring round, bring through, bring together, bring up. Why not share some examples of these phrasal verbs in the comment box and I’ll correct them if necessary?

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Until the next time.

Ciao for now


Source: Macmillan Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (2007)