to bring someone up: meaning and explanation

The phrasal verb to bring someone up means to take care of or look after a child until they become an adult. To raise a child.

We can use this phrasal verb to explain who brought someone up (e.g. I was brought up by my grandparents), where they were brought up (e.g. I was brought up in Scotland but I moved to London when I was 17), or how they were brought up (e.g. I was brought up to be polite….I was brought up in a traditional way).

We often use this phrasal verb in the passive (to be brought up) because we want to focus on the child who is brought up (the object of the action) rather than the people who bring them up (the agent of the action). For example, I was brought up by my grandparents would normally be more natural than My grandparents brought me up.

Sometimes, we don’t even need to include the agent, e.g. I was brought up in a small villageI was brought up to be independent. In these examples, we want to focus on where or how we were brought up, not on who brought us up.

We can also use this phrasal verb as a noun: upbringing. This is used to talk about the way you were raised, e.g. I had a very religious upbringing.

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

Dictation #1

Accent: England (RP)

Oxford.
I in a quiet Oxford.
I brought in a quiet town outside Oxford.

Discussion questions

Write your answers to these questions in the comments section, and I’ll get back to you with some feedback:

  • Who brought you up? Where? How?
  • Is there anything you would change about the way you were brought up?
  • How do you think children should be brought up? Should they be given lots of rules to follow, or allowed plenty of freedom? Should they be brought up to believe something, or should they be free to form their own beliefs?

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Shahnaz
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Shahnaz

I have had a nice start with the micro listening. I want to continue practicing. Thanks a lot.

618
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618

Thought-provoking as to how people/children should be brought up in the best possible ways so that they can reap the most out of their lives!

Marzia
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Marzia

I really enjoy practicing it’s fun

Luisfer
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Luisfer

Wow
These lessons are realy helpful!

svitlana33
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svitlana33

I’m sure that I had a very good upbringing. I was brought up by my parents and grandparents. I won’t change anything about my childhood and about the way I was educated. As for children, in my opinion they should definitely have some rules to obey. They should help and respect their parents and obey curfew hours. This will help them to become responsible and
intelligent people in the future.

KITVONGSEE
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KITVONGSEE

extremely useful for your lesson

emefbcm
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emefbcm

I was brought up by my parents in a small city. I was brought up to be a good person. I like the way that I brought up and wouldn’t change anything about it. In my opinion children should be brought up to respect rules in order to have a good relationship in society.

Seva
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Seva

I was brought up in the Baku by my parents. They were perfect.
I guess, I had to be brought up self-assured.
I think children should be brought up with some rules, for instance, supporting one each other, never be traitor, never lie and with their believing they should be free.

Gulnar
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Gulnar

I was brought up by my parents in Azerbaijan. They wanted me to be honest, fair. Δ° do all my best to deserve it. Δ° don’t think that there was something wrong in the way of my brought up. I think children should be brought up giving them some rules. As well, parents try to be friend with them.

Tanya
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Tanya

I was brought up by my mom. Sometimes she was a strict upbringing, but mostly – kind to me. To my mind, children should have some rules but it’s okey if they not follow them always and everytime πŸ™‚ As Rag’n’Bone Man sings – I’m a human after all πŸ™‚ A lot of strict rules create a desire to go off the rails. At the same time permissiveness makes us spoiled.

Tanya
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Tanya

Yes, it makes sense, thank you! I was wrong thinking that ‘upbringing’ is someone who raise a child.

cristian_omar
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cristian_omar

Nowadays, parents are more lenient when bringing up their children. It implies positive and negative consequences, as It is true that you shouldn’t be too strict with your sons in order to allow them to discover the realities of life. But It is also true that being too much tolerant or permissive might affect their behavior later on. After all, parents want well-mannered children who behave at home and work well at school that will give them lifelong positive values

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