Unlocking Creativity: The Phrasal Verb 'Dream Up'

In the realm of language learning, mastering phrasal verbs is a key step to achieving fluency and a deeper understanding of a language. These verbs not only enhance your vocabulary but also bring nuance and color to your conversations. Today, we delve into the fascinating phrasal verb 'dream up', which is commonly used to express creativity and innovation.

Understanding 'Dream Up'

The phrasal verb 'dream up' typically means to imagine something that is new or original, or to create something by using your imagination. It implies that the idea or concept was not obvious or based upon a template but was conjured up in a creative or inventive manner. Often used in conversational English, 'dream up' is a testament to human ingenuity and the limitless bounds of the imagination.

The Structure of 'Dream Up'

Like many phrasal verbs, 'dream up' can be both transitive (requiring a direct object) and intransitive (not requiring a direct object). When used transitively, it is usually followed by the idea or plan that was thought of. Here's the structure for clarity:

  • Transitive: to dream up + [idea/plan/concept]
  • Intransitive: to dream up (implying the action without specifying the idea)

'Dream Up' in the Realm of Creativity

Creativity is the cornerstone of advancement in various fields, including the arts, sciences, and business. To 'dream up' is to engage in the creative process to birth novel ideas or solutions. Let's explore how 'dream up' integrates into the language of creativity.

Creative Projects and Inventions

When individuals or groups embark on creative projects, they often have brainstorming sessions where they 'dream up' a host of ideas. In these scenarios, the phrasal verb vividly describes the imaginative leap one takes to create something no one has seen before.

"The team was able to dream up an innovative design for the new eco-friendly packaging."

Artistic Endeavors

Artists are well-known for their ability to 'dream up' worlds, stories, and expressions that provoke thought and stir emotions. In this context, 'dream up' illustrates the artist's ability to tap into their creative mind to produce original artwork.

"The novelist dreamed up a dystopian universe that captivated millions of readers worldwide."

Problem Solving

In business or during collaborative efforts to overcome challenges, the ability to 'dream up' solutions is invaluable. It involves thinking outside the box to devise strategies or answers that are not immediately apparent.

"Their start-up was struggling, but they were able to dream up an ingenious marketing approach that turned their fortunes around."

Educational Settings

In education, 'dream up' can be used to describe the process of creating engaging lesson plans or innovative teaching methods that cater to various learning styles.

"The teacher dreamed up a new interactive game to help students learn phrasal verbs more effectively."


The phrasal verb 'dream up' is a powerful expression of creativity and imagination. It represents the act of forming new and original ideas, often in a way that surprises and delights. For language learners, understanding and using phrasal verbs like 'dream up' can enrich their communication skills and provide a more vivid way to share their innovative thoughts and visions. As you continue to learn and practice English, challenge yourself to dream up sentences and scenarios where this phrasal verb would shine, and watch your fluency grow.