Draw in – English Phrasal Verb – Online English Lessons

1. In autumn or winter, when it gets dark earlier and the days are shorter, it’s common to hear people comment that “the nights are drawing in”.

When the days, evenings or nights draw in, it gets dark earlier in the day.

Examples of use:

a) The evenings are really drawing in now.

b) The leaves are changing colour, the nights are drawing in, winter is coming, and it’s time to turn on the heating!

2. If a train draws in (or into), it approaches a station and stops.

Examples of use:

a) The train drew into the station.

b) As one train pulled out, another drew in.

c) The 6 o’clock train from Paddington eventually drew in at 6.45.

d) Don’t fool around when the train is drawing into the station

3.  To draw in/into somebody or something (or draw somebody or something in/into) is to make somebody or something become involved or interested in something (especially something difficult).

Often passive. 

Examples of use:

a) I wanted to leave work early but I got drawn into a discussion about global warming.

b) I refuse to get drawn into your arguments!

c) BBC News headline: Lebanon’s Hezbollah drawn into Syria conflict.

d) News headline: Google drawn into South Korea-Japan island dispute.

e) She’s my favourite author: she really knows how to draw her readers in and make them want to read more. (i.e. the author is a good writer and her readers are very interested to read more of her words)

infinitive draw in
present simple draw in and draws in
-ing form drawing in
past simple drew in
past participle drawn in

Can you write a sentence using one of these definitions of ‘draw in’?

Sunset image © Eirik Newth.