Scenario 1

Suppose that you and your friend, Mary, have just interviewed your ex-coworker, David, who wanted a job at your company. After he has left, Mary says something to you about him.

(1) Mary said, "Do you remember David?"

I replied, "He looks familiar."

She said, "At least fifteen years ago, we both worked with him at ABC Supermarket."

I said, "Right. I remember him now."

She said, "He was fired for swearing and spitting at our manager."

I said, "I remember that. I'm glad you brought that incident up."

Scenario 2

Suppose that you are talking to your cousin that you need money to pay your rent.

(2) I said, "I lost my job six months ago. I'm running out of savings. What should I do?"

He said, "I wish I could help. I lost my job last month too. Don't worry. I remember that our uncle said he's always willing to help us with anything."

I said, "I'm glad you brought his words up."

Is it correct to say "brought that incident up" and "brought his words up"?

1 Answer 1


Phrasal verbs can be intransitive or transitive. According to Lexico,

The verb and adverb elements which make up intransitive phrasal verbs are never separated:

✓ We broke up two years ago.

✗ We broke two years ago up.

With transitive verbs,

[i]f the direct object is a noun, you can say

✓ They pulled the house down.

✓ They pulled down the house.

If the object is a pronoun, ...then the object always comes between the verb and the adverb:

✓ They pulled it down.

✗ They pulled down it.

In your examples,

"brought that incident up"


"brought his words up",

brought is transitive, and that incident and his words are both nouns. The word sequence is hence fine.

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