Keep is one of the most common verbs in English, and it forms lots of phrasal verbs, collocations and idioms. Here are some expressions with “keep” to help you express yourselves more naturally.
Collocations with keep
Keep a secret
Meaning: not telling anyone the secret you know.
- Will you promise me to keep this a secret?
Keep a diary
Meaning: to write about things in your daily life.
- Sarah has been keeping a diary ever since she was seven.
Meaning: to do what you have promised to do.
- Mary kept her promise and visited us the other day.
- I said that I’ll be here at 6 and I intend to keep my word.
Keep a shop/restaurant
Meaning: to run a shop or a restaurant.
- George doesn’t work in the office anymore. He’s keeping an Italian restaurant now.
Keep up the good work!
We normally use this one to praise someone for their good work and to encourage them.
- The fence you’re making is just great. Carpenters couldn’t have made it better themselves! Keep up the good work!
Here are some commonly used expressions with keep. Their meaning is obvious from the context:
- Our dog buried my wallet somewhere around here. Keep on digging!
- If you want to sell more, you have to keep the prices low.
- They usually keep things formal in that company.
- We like to keep our home clean and tidy.
- Could you keep the volume down? The baby is sleeping.
- Coffee keeps me awake.
- The only way for Tim to get a job is to keep trying.
- Keep on driving! We’ll find our way.
- Keep quiet! We’re in the hospital.
- You have to keep him from drinking alcohol.
- We work hard to keep our home safe.
- We’re not sure what time we’re leaving but we’ll keep you informed.
- Keep me updated about the changes in your schedule.
- If we keep to the agenda, the meeting will be over in no time.
- Everyone should try and keep up with the news in the world.
- Peter is not very sociable. He prefers to keep himself for himself.
- Sam’s parents keep him from enrolling on a master degree because they think he should get a job.
Phrasal Verbs with Keep
If you keep up with someone or something, then you advance at the same rate as they do.
- Mary missed many lessons due to illness so she found it difficult to keep up with the other children.
If you keep on doing something, then you continue doing it.
- Paul told Stuart to stop laughing but he just kept on with it.
- When I left she just kept on sitting.
You keep off something if you’re trying not to step on it.
- Please, keep off the grass.
If you keep from something, you’re trying to refrain from it, although it may be hard.
- I really wanted to punch that guy, but I kept from it.
- You can also use keep from to say that you keep people from doing something.
- We should keep from laughing that much.
You keep something like your voice, noise, music, down. if the music is too loud and you want it to be quieter, you can say:
- Please, keep the music down!
You also keep something down if you’re trying to keep it on a lower level.
- Our company will do their best to keep the prices down.
if you keep away from people, you don’t come close to them. If you keep away from things, then you don’t touch or use them.
- Jane had a bad cold yesterday and everyone kept away from her.
- Keep away from that cat, it will scratch you.
- I’m trying to keep away from the fridge because I want to lose weight.
To keep at something means to persist in doing something although it may be difficult.
- I know it’s difficult but you have to keep at it.
- It wasn’t easy to learn skiing, but I kept at it and now I’m a good skier.
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