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opposite; contrary; back side; rear; setback; defeat
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ESL Lesson: Phrasal verb bring

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Phrasal verb bring or "Upbringing"

In this story you will see many examples of what are called Phrasal Verbs. These are simply verbs that consist of two parts — the verb + a preposition.

Our current story focuses on the verb bring used with different prepositions. Let me tell you the meaning of one of them — bring up. The simple verb bring usually means to take something or someone with you as in these sentences:

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"Don''t forget to bring your passport when you come to the airport." "Please bring a friend when you come to the party tonight."

When you add a preposition to bring, you create a new verb and a new meaning. Bring up, means to educate a child and look after it until is an adult. Look at this sentence:

"Charlie''s parents were killed in a road accident and so he was brought up by his aunt and uncle."

Now read the short story and try to work out what the phrasal verbs mean.


Sheila Hammond was only twenty-three when she was elected as a Member of Parliament, the youngest woman member in its whole history. Naturally the press showed a great interest in her and her family, invariably asking her how she had managed to be elected at such a young age. Her answer never altered. She owed it all to the way she had been brought up by her mother, Mary. Her father had died of a heart attack when she was only two after his business had been brought down following a financial scandal. Criminal charges had been brought against him but the matter was closed on his death. The press decided to bring up this information without being able to get at the truth thanks to Mary''s skilful management. In fact during the election as Sheila went round from house to house canvassing, Mary would always bring up the rear. It was difficult sometimes to work out who was standing for Parliament, Sheila or Mary. Her mother had observed early on that Sheila was very good at defending herself and always arguing her case well, which had decided her to bring her daughter on in the art of public speaking. The awareness that Sheila had had all her life about her father''s apparent "disgrace» brought her up against the necessity constantly to be on her guard. Sheila had never really explained what her father had done. All she would hint at was that the whole business had brought shame on the family name, although her father was totally innocent.

Sheila coped admirably in her first few days, using her negotiating skills to the full. After only six weeks in the job she even managed to bring about a reconciliation between two of her colleagues who were having a petty dispute and also succeeded in bringing a matter before her minister, which saved him some embarrassment and for which he was very grateful. Her name was becoming known both in the House of Commons and also in her constituency where her efficiency was even bringing round to her point of view those electors who had voted against her.

Everything seemed to be going her way. She was on the point of bringing off a very difficult task given to her by her minister when she found herself being brought back to earth with a bang. Another young politician, a bit older than her, was also trying to make his name and he was able to bring about what she had failed to achieve in time. From then on there was great rivalry between the two, which brought about a lively debate in the national press. Although her natural courage and strong character brought her through this stressful time, for some reason Sheila had taken a strong dislike to David Evans. She even brought her mother in on the concerns she was expressing to colleagues about her sense of unease whenever she had any dealings with the man. Her mother, she was convinced, had shuddered at the mention of the name "Evans".

At the end of the first year just before the summer recess, a revelation was brought to light, which was to change Sheila''s life. The celebrated Mr Evans was brought before the court and found guilty of a financial irregularity. His political career was brought to an abrupt end. This news brought out the worst in the tabloid press, which brought up everything they could concerning Evans and his family. It wasn''t long before one newspaper brought the discussion round to the subject of Mr Evans senior. Within weeks during the summer holiday one major paper brought out the details of the case concerning the late Mr Evans senior. He too had been responsible for a financial scandal but the blame had attached to Sheila''s father. At the news Mary had fainted. As Sheila brought her mother round with smelling salts, she assured the press as she always did by affirming that they way you were was solely the result of the way you were brought up.

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Next:ESL Lesson: Phrasal verb bring (2)

Author: Alan Townend

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