English idioms: to keep track (of something)

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To keep track – what does it mean?

First of all, if you looking for the meaning of keep on tracking, that’s not actually a commonly used expression in English. What you probably heard was keep on TRUCKING which you can find here. The two expressions can sound quite similar to non-native speakers of English, so it’s easy to get confused.

The meaning of to keep track of something

If you keep track of something, you make sure to know about what is happening (or has happened) to it. You can keep track of things or people. The opposite is to lose track of something.

Examples

Most business people use a calendar to keep track of their appointments.

If you travel on business, you need to keep track of your expenses so the company can reimburse you when you come home.

Form

Keep is an irregular verb: keep kept kept.

Authentic English example

Today’s authentic English example comes from The Boston Globe Online:

Ask Wendy Bellissimo, who designs nurseries for celebrities, what an organized day for her looks like — it’s filled with equally urgent priorities and huge chunks of unstructured time.

Each night, she makes a to-do list and checks her calendar for the next day. She keeps a pen and paper next to her bed to jot down thoughts that wake her up at night.

She keeps track of all tasks and appointments on her PDA, which beeps throughout the day with reminders.

And that’s all for this edition of 2-minute English. We’ll see you next time here at Better at English dot com.

Look up to keep track of something in the dictionary.

See how to keep track of something is used.