Dress up – English Phrasal Verb – Online English Lessons

1. To dress up is to put on costumes or clothes to make yourself look like someone or something else, usually for fun.

Examples of use:

a) The actor dressed up as a ghost.

b) He dressed up as Superman for the New Year’s Eve party

c) The children love dressing up in their Halloween costumes.

d) When I was a child I loved dressing up in my mother’s clothes and shoes.

e) She always dresses up as Marilyn Munroe for fancy dress parties.

2. To dress someone up is to put clothes or a costume on someone so they look like someone or something else, usually for fun


She dressed her baby up as a bee for the birthday party.

3. To dress up (or dress someone up) is to put on formal or smart clothes for a special occasion.

Examples of use:

a) When our grandmother came to stay, our mother used to dress us up in our best clothes.

b) When he was a boy he hated it when his mother dressed him up in smart suits.

c) She loves dressing up for weddings.

d) The whole family is getting dressed up for our daughter’s graduation ceremony.

e) Come to our house for dinner tomorrow. You don’t need to dress up – just wear your normal clothes.

dress up
present simple
dress up and dresses up
-ing form
dressing up
past simple
dressed up
past participle
dressed up

Can you write a sentence using this phrasal verb?

Did you like dressing up when you were a child?

The image above is another picture from the old book Physics in Pictures (1882). I think the special effects used in the theatre are interesting. What do you think?