close on
nearly; almost
Example: The oldest hen is close on ten years old.
bought
Here bought is the past tense of the irregular verb buy. Follow the link to listen to some examples.
more information: buy
took
Took is the past tense of the irregular verb take. Follow the link to listen to some examples.
more information: take
came
Came is the past tense of the irregular verb come. Follow the link to listen to some examples.
more information: come
popping up
appearing
Example: Internet cafes are popping up everywhere.
slowly but surely
This expression is used to describe something that is definitely happening, but not happening very fast.
Example: We are adding expressions to this list slowly but surely.