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bring about: meaning and explanation

The meaning of the phrasal verb to bring something about is to cause something to happen.

e.g. The changes she has made since taking over the team have brought about a significant improvement in results.

Making something happen is an important idea to be able to communicate, so this is a very useful phrasal verb.

You can think of this phrasal verb as a good alternative to cause, result in, and lead to.

e.g. The flood has caused/led to/resulted in/brought about the cancellation of all trains into and out of London.

A useful way to use this phrasal verb is as a question, to ask about the reason or cause of something: What brought this about?

Have a go at these micro-dictation exercises to hear this phrasal verb being used in context – how much can you understand?

Listening exercises

Micro-listening #1

Accent: England (RP)

.
eventually the collapse .

About the sentence

…brought about the collapse of the bank…

We use the verb collapse to describe the dramatic or sudden failure of an organisation, such as a bank, a company or a government.

e.g. After losing the vote on tax reform, the government collapsed within a few days.

Micro-listening #2

Accent: North America

Micro-listening #3

Accent: North America

 

Extra practice

Here are some questions/links to help you learn the new vocabulary:

  • Can you think of something that caused or resulted in something, and express it using the phrasal verb bring about?
  • Have you made any changes recently that have brought about improvements in your life or work?

Photo by Manel Torralba on Flickr

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