The phrasal verb, come on, is used very often and it has at least 7 major meanings. In this blog post we are going to look at how to use come on when it means to progress or develop. Read the conversations below to see how to use come on with this meaning.
Verbs/expressions of similar meaning:
progress (positively), develop, improve
1. Colin is Peter's piano teacher. Peter has just finished playing a piece of music he has been practising.
Colin: Well done. That was really good.
Peter: Do you think so? I don't feel like I'm making progress.
Colin: No, no. You're coming on well. Keep up the good work!
Peter: Thanks. I have been practising a lot lately.
Colin: Yes, it shows. Keep it up.
Peter: I will.
2. Emma is meeting with her daughter's teacher, Robert. Her daughter's name is Emily.
Emma: So how is Emily doing?
Robert: Overall, she's coming on nicely.
Emma: I was concerned that she couldn't do her math homework the other day. She said she didn't understand it.
Robert: I understand. Well, it's not uncommon for students to find their homework difficult sometimes. She came to me and we went through the homework together. She understood it after that.
Emma: I see. I'm glad to hear that.
3. Sara is talking to her boss, Ruth, about her performance at work.
Ruth: So Sara, let's look at your performance review.
Sara: How am I doing?
Ruth: Pretty good so far. Although I still feel you could be a little bolder in your presentations to clients.
Sara: Oh, I see. Yes. I'm not very confident in my presentations.
Ruth: Well, you've come on in leaps and bounds* since you first started, but I know there's a tiger inside you trying to get out! I'm pretty sure with more practice you'll be able to deliver presentations with more confidence going forward.
Sara: Thanks. I'll try.
* come on in leaps and bounds = improved a great amount very quickly