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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

to get in(to) shape

Idiom: to get in(to) shape; used as a verb

First Example:

Commercial: Are you ready to wear your bathing suit this Summer? Or did you gain too much weight over the holidays? Come on down to Fitness Center and get into shape. If you sign up now, you'll get two free training sessions to help you get in shape!

Meaning: "Get in(to) shape" means to improve one's health, usually by exercising (but could also include dieting). The example above is what you might hear from a radio/television commercial for a gym membership. Normally, this idiom uses the preposition "into." However, due to the related idiom "in shape," which is used to describe a person who is in excellent physical condition, some people use "get in shape" instead. This idiom is sometimes separated after "into," usually to add an adjective for emphasis. Look at the following example.

Second Example:

Jerry: Thanks for coming to the gym with me Jean.

Jean: No problem. It'll be fun. Wow, that guy is really in shape!

Jerry: I know! I wonder what he did to get into such great shape.

Jean: Let's ask! Excuse me, sir. What's your secret?

Robby: What do you mean?

Jean: How did you get in such amazing shape?

Robby: Hard work and diet. I can show you if you like. I'm a trainer here at the gym, so you'd have to pay for the lessons.

Here, Jerry and Jean admire Robby, who is in good shape. Notice that both "get into" and "get in" are used interchangeably with "shape" and that both examples use adjectives to explain just how good of shape Robby is in.

This idiom is from LSI's book "Reading Connections," which is used in the Level 3 Reading classes. For more information, please visit http://www.languagesystems.com/

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