Number one for English language teachers

Your English: Collocations: keep

Type: Reference material

Without fail, Tim Bowen continues to keep us on the edge of our seats, providing us with fabulous articles no matter what the weather. As the saying goes, you can't keep a good man down!

Keep as a transitive verb has a number of related meanings and a good range of collocations. With the meaning 'to continue to have or own something', you can keep your job and your self-respect, keep a copy of something, or, if you are a waiter, you can keep the change. With the meaning ‘to store in a particular place’, you can keep your PIN number in a safe place or keep food in the fridge, or when storing information by writing it or putting it on a computer, you can keep transactions on file, keep records or keep a diary. Meaning ‘to do what you said you would do’, you can keep your word, keep a promise or keep a secret. You can also keep animals (meaning to own and look after them), as in 'They keep a few chickens to provide eggs' or 'Geoff's been keeping tropical fish for thirty years'. Meaning 'to control something so that it stays within a limit’, you can keep costs down or keep expenditure within certain limits.

Keep can also be used with personal pronouns (usually with you) to mean 'to delay', as in 'What kept you?' or 'Don't worry. I won't keep you long'. You can also keep something to yourself (not tell anyone else about it) or, if you are the kind of person who prefers your own company to the company of other people, you can keep yourself to yourself. Finally, if someone you like or approve of has managed to deal with criticism or overcome a difficulty, you can say ‘You can’t keep a good man (or woman) down’.

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  • Excellent! Explained really well with fun and not tiring or boring.

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