Mari (teacher): Hi Lisa, you’re a new student! Welcome to our class!! Are you having fun?
Lisa: Thank you! Emmm… Yes, I want to–but it’s sooo difficult.
Mari: I understand, but don’t worry. You’ll feel better with more practice…!
Lisa: Sure? But I can’t understand Americans when they speak to me… I feel so stupid! It’s too hard to talk with my roommate. She speaks very, very fast…
Mari: Ok, just start talking to her everyday. Then little by little, you’ll be able to keep up with her. And you should talk to native speakers as much as possible.
Lisa: Ok, I see! I will try!!
John: Hi Amy! Have you heard much from Gavin?
Amy: No… he’s too busy with his little boys!
Father Gavin Rossdale “tried” to keep up with his two lovely sons Kingston, 5, and Zuma, 2 during a Memorial Day party held at the beach in Malibu, California.
John: Right?! His sons are adorable, but they have so much energy!! Wow!
Amy: Haha!! I’m sure Gavin finds it hard to keep up with them!
Meaning: to stay level or equal with someone or something, maintain.
In Example 1, Lisa needs to practice so she can become fluent and understand native speakers. She wants to keep up with her roommate in daily conversations.
In Example 2, Gavin’s sons have more energy than he does, so his sons are faster than him! Gavin has to work hard to keep up with them!
Usage notes: We keep up with someone or something. For example, it’s good to keep up with the news in order to stay informed.
The idiom “to keep up with” was taken from Unit 3 (Communicating in Today’s World) in LSI’s textbook Reading Transitions for Level 4 Reading/Vocabulary classes.