I go through the different definitions of the phrasal verb, “come up.” [See also: Phrasal verbs with COME UP]
These are all intransitive.
1. To move towards someone, usually to talk.
- “Some random person came up to me and asked if I had any cheese.”
- “It’s really cute when my dog comes up to me for a belly rub.”
2. To be mentioned or talked about in conversation.
- “The issue regarding the delivery never came up in the meeting.”
- “You must really like her. She comes up every time we hung out.”
3. When something happens unexpectedly and has to be dealt with immediately.
- “Something came up at home. I have to go.”
- “If anything comes up, just send me a message.”
4. When something is about to happen soon.
- “We should prepare for the busy period (that is) coming up.”
- “The party’s coming up soon. Have you decided what you’re going to wear?”
5. When something appears.
This can be used in a few different situations.
a. When the sun or moon rises
- “Expect the roosters to crow when the sun comes up.”
b. When information appears on something like a computer screen.
- “Jake’s number came up when my phone rang.”
- “A pop-up comes up every time I click on this button.”
c. When a plant grows and appears above the ground.
- “It doesn’t matter what I do, weeds keep coming up.”
- “Just give it time. The tulips will come up.”
6. To be tall, deep, or long enough to reach a particular level.
- “The grass came up to my knees.”
- “The last time I saw you, you only came up to my waist.”
7. When a job opportunity becomes available.
- “A position in the HR department has come up if you’re interested.”
- “Take it! Opportunities like these don’t come up everyday!”
8. To become richer, more powerful, or more successful than before.
- “It’s hard to come up in a dog eat dog world.”
- “There’re quite a few young ones coming up in the IT industry.”
9. When someone’s number or name is selected in a lottery or game.
- “There are certain numbers that always come up in the national lottery.”
- “I saw your name come up on the game show but realised it was somebody else.”
10. To travel to a place, either further north or a higher level.
- “My relatives are coming up from Australia for the wedding.”
- “Come up to the roof, there’s a better view from here.”
11. A legal case to be dealt with by a court.
- “The divorce should come up in the next two to three months.”
- “You have to make a decision before your case comes up for hearing.”
Original list: 8 February 2021