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Friday, May 25, 2012

"all in a day's work"

Example 1:

So, you're doing yoga now, and what else?

Naomi: Well, I'm taking a cooking class and teaching English to private students. Today was a little crazy because I had to schedule private students in between my own classes. Remember, I'm finishing my Master's degree too.

Karen: Wow, Naomi! How do you do it?

Naomi: Oh, it's nothing! All in a day's work!

Example 2:

So, do you have any plans for the weekend?

April: Yes, I do! I'm going to have some friends over and we're going to barbecue...! How 'bout you?

Tom: Nice! Yes, I'm going out of town, but first I have to finish my reports. They're due by 5.

April: All in a day's work, right Tom?

Tom: Yup! Exactly.

Meaning: nothing special, expected and normal

In Example 1, Naomi is used to having a busy schedule, so doing all these things is normal for her!

In Example 2, Tom has to finish his reports before he can leave for the weekend and April is assuring him that it's expected. Sometimes we use "all in a day's work" as an ironic comment when something is unpleasant, but a normal situation.

The idiom "all in a day's work" was taken from Unit 5 (At the Beach) in LSI's textbook Speaking Transitions for Level 4 Listening/Speaking classes.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

"to work up to it"

Example 1:

Hey Naomi, how's your new yoga class going?

Naomi: It's awesome! It helps me relax so much and I'm getting in shape too...!

Karen: Cool! I tried yoga once, but the poses were so hard--my body is not that flexible.

Naomi: Yeah, I've been learning a new pose this week--the crow! I have to work up to it slowly because I need to get stronger and I don't want to injure myself!

Example 2:

Tom: Hi April, how's your friend Lisa doing?

April: Hi Tom! She's fine.... Why do you ask?

Tom: To be honest, I really like her. I'm working up to asking her out on a date... do you think she'll go out with me?

April: I don't know--you should ask her!

Meaning: to build slowly or progress to something, especially when you are not able to do it yet and need to develop strength or skills first.

In Example 1, Naomi talks about starting slow in her yoga pose to become flexible and strong enough to do it correctly or easily. She doesn't want to push herself until she is ready because she wants to avoid an injury.

In Example 2, Tom is shy and nervous about asking Lisa (April's friend) on a date. He's been thinking about it and is building up the courage to ask her out.

Usage notes: "work up to it" means "work up to something." Note that this idiom form is "work up to + noun." So, you can use the gerund (verb + ing) in this idiom too! See Example 2: "working up to asking her out...."

The idiom "to work up to it" was taken from Unit 5 (At the Beach) in LSI's textbook Speaking Transitions for Level 4 Listening/Speaking classes.