“Keep up” is often used to refer to maintaining or continuing something.


1.   “Keep up (with something)” – (intransitive) To stay informed or be able to understand something that is happening or changing very fast.
  • “I try to keep up with the news regarding the pandemic.”
  • “It’s difficult to keep up with all the advancements in technology.”
2.   “Keep up (with someone/something) – (intransitive) To stay level or equal with someone or something.
  • “You have to stay motivated if you want to keep up.”
  • “I can’t keep up with Ben when we go hiking.”

This is often used in business English.

  • “It’s important to keep up with trends and technological advancements to remain competitive.”
3.   “Keep up (with something)” – (separable) To continue to do something.
  • Keep up the good work.”
  • “If you keep up with the payments, you won’t get charged interest on your credit card.”

* Please note: “Keep up the good work” is a common expression of encouragement.

If you want to use pronouns, then you separate the phrasal verb.

  • Keep it up.”
    Not – “Keep up it.”
  • 4.   “Keep (someone) up” – (separated) “To prevent someone from sleeping.
    • “The neighbour’s loud music kept us up until two in the morning.”
    • “Drinking coffee at this hour will keep you up tonight.”

    Related expressions

    Keep up appearances
    – To pretend to be something than what you really are because you do not want people to know how bad your situation is.

    • “They had an unhappy marriage but kept up appearances for the sake of their children.”
    • “She tried to appear cheerful but couldn’t keep it up anymore.”

    Original post: 3 September 2020