The word "follow" is a verb that is used when a thing or a person comes or goes after something else.

  • cars The blue car is following the red car around the track.
  • The children followed their teacher into the school.
  • Summer follows spring; winter follows autumn.
  • A suspect in the crime was followed by the police for several weeks.
  • Cries for help immediately followed the destructive storm.
  • The girl told the boy to stop following her.

Sometimes the word "follow" means to understand what a person is saying or to pay attention to directions:

  • Are you following? (Do you understand what I just said?)
  • He’s not following the teacher’s instructions.
  • If you don’t follow the directions, you’re going to make a mistake.
  • By carefully following a recipe, it’s possible to make just about any kind of food.

Add the preposition "up" to form "follow up." To follow up on something is to make sure that it is okay.

  • After the meeting, our supervisor followed up with an email that reminded everyone of what we discussed.
  • A few days after Harriet was released from the hospital, the doctor made a follow-up visit to make sure she was feeling okay.
  • Thanks for following up on that!

The word "following" can be used as an adjective:

  • When Bob’s refrigerator broke, he bought a new one the following week. (following = next)
  • After learning of her mother’s death, she left to be with family members the following day. (the following day = the next day)

Sometimes the word "follow" indicates a strong interest in something:

  • Which sports do you follow?
  • Do you follow the news?
  • Have you been following the events in the Middle East lately?
  • Hilary Clinton has many followers who believe in her as a leader. (follower = a person who likes or admires someone else.)
  • She has a large following. (following = a large group of people who admire someone)
  • He’s a dedicated follower of fashion.


The Kinks — Dedicated Follower of Fashion

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This page was first published on November 25, 2013.