Grow vs. Grow Up

In this lesson, we're gonna learn all about these two confusing words. Are they different or not? Do you know anything?

"Grow" vs. "Grow Up" in English

What Is Their Main Difference?

Both refer to raising things/people. However, 'grow' is used for expanding businesses, raising different kinds of plants and animals, whereas, 'grow up' is mainly used to indicate children becoming bigger and more mature.


As mentioned above, 'grow' is used when we want to raise different plants or animals in a particular place. Also, we can use it to indicate expanding someone's business. Check out the following examples:

My mom grows apples and herbs.

If plants continued to grow, they would be enormous.

'Grow up', however, refers to children aging and them becoming mature adults. Note that we only use 'grow up' for humans, not animals or plants. Take a look below:

Having grown up in a toxic environment, I have to reparent myself.

I want to be many things when I grow up.


Both refer to becoming bigger. Look:

The cactus is growing more and more every day.

It is important that parents provide enough food and clothing for their children when they're growing up.

Are They Interchangeable?

Although they are used in somehow similar contexts, they cannot be used interchangeably because one refers to plants and animals, whereas, the other one is about children. Compare:

✓ I wish I had never grown up.

X I wish I had never grown.

Here, this one seems incorrect and incomplete.


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