Phrasal Verbs with 'keep'

Keep ahead = to continue to be advanced e.g. She keeps ahead of her colleagues by working very hard.


Keep at = to continue working hard at something difficult e.g. If you keep at it long enough you will be able to learn Chinese.

Keep away = to not go near someone/something e.g. Keep away from Keith, he doesn’t have a good character.

Keep something back / Keep something from someone= to not tell someone something you know about an event e.g. I have the feeling that he’s keeping something back.

Keep something down = to prevent noise from becoming too loud e.g. If the neighbours don’t keep the music down I’m going to call the police.

Keep something down = to stop the size of something from increasing e.g. The One Child Policy in China is designed to keep the population down.

Keep someone down = to prevent someone from having any power/freedom e.g. If women don’t have the vote they will be kept down.

Keep someone in = to keep someone in hospital as they are unwell e.g. She fainted and had to be kept in for further tests.

Keep something in = to not show your feelings e.g. She doesn’t want to upset her mother so she keeps everything in.

Keep someone off something = to not go onto an area e.g. There was a sign telling people to keep off the grass.

Keep something off = to prevent from touching/harming e.g. If you want to keep the flies off the food, you need to cover it.

Keep on doing something = to continue to do something e.g. If you keep on working too much, you will harm your health.

Keep someone on = to continue to employ someone e.g. His knowledge is valuable so we’ve decided to keep him on.

Keep on = to continue going somewhere e.g. Keep on going straight and you’ll see the school on your left.

Keep on at someone = to complain continuously e.g. I forgot the lights on and he kept on at me for hours.

Keep someone out of something = to not be involved e.g. I don’t know what you are gossiping about but keep me out of it.

Keep something to yourself = to keep a secret e.g. I would appreciate it if you kept it to yourself.

Keep up = keep at the same level e.g. Try to keep up with the rest of the group.

Keep something up = to continue something e.g. Keep up the good work.

Keep someone up = to make someone go to bed later than usual e.g. I kept John up all night talking about the film.
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