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Your English: Phrasal verbs: drag

Type: Article

Don’t get dragged down by phrasal verbs. Tim Bowen is here to help out.

‘The publication of the results of the inquiry has been delayed again and the whole affair has now been dragging on for years’. In other words, the process of publishing the document in question has continued for far longer than is reasonable or necessary. 

If time drags by, it seems to pass very slowly, as in ‘As he waited in the deserted bus station, the hours and minutes seemed to drag by’. 

If you drag someone down, you make them have a lower social position or worse standards of behaviour so that other people lose respect for them, as in ‘Don’t let yourself be dragged down to his level, whatever you do!’ 

If you drag someone into a conversation, you start talking about them even though they are not connected with what you are discussing, as in ‘Don’t start dragging my mother into this!’ Drag in or into can also be used if you make someone become involved in a situation when they do not want to be involved, as in ‘I don’t know anything about it so stop trying to drag me in’ or ‘People are worried that the government might drag them into another war’. 

If you drag something up, you start talking about it when it is not necessary, usually something unpleasant that happened in the past and that other people want to forget, as in ‘Why do you have to keep dragging up that old argument?’ or ‘She keeps trying to drag up something that happened over twenty years ago’.

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