Hey guys, it’s Shane from English Understood here.
Keep it up, John! Keep it down, John!
Huh!? Keep it up? Keep it down? What’s the difference?
‘Keep it up’ is a phrase we use to give encouragement to people, to tell them that they are doing a good job.
So for example, let’s pretend I have a student who’s learning English and he is getting better and better and better and I want to encourage him, to make him feel better I can say ‘Keep it up, John!’
But ‘keep it down’ is a phrase which means be quiet. Be quiet.
So for example, if I say ‘John, keep it down’, do you think John is being loud or he is being quiet? He’s probably being loud.
So let’s pretend I’m at the movies and there’s someone sitting in front of me who’s really loud, making lots of noise.
What can I say to him? I can say ‘Keep it down!’ Keep it down! This means be quiet. Be quiet.
What about if my friend has been going to the gym for the past three months and I can see he’s getting fitter. He’s getting stronger. He is happier.
What can I say to give him some encouragement?
I can ‘Keep it up!’ Keep it up! This means don’t stop. Do what you’re doing. Continue what you are doing because you are doing well.