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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Up to a Point

Up to a Point
Meaning: not completely, partially, not fully

Example 1:
Terry: I don’t know what to do. I’m so upset!

Sarah: What’s wrong?

Tom: My roommate is so messy! All I ever do is clean up after her.

Sarah: Really? Have you tried to talk to her about it?

Tom: That’s the problem. She is so nice and when she first moved in, she warned me that she wasn’t very clean. I mean, I can handle a messy house up to a point, but it’s ridiculous when I find pieces of bread under the sofa cushions!

Sarah: Wow. I guess that would get annoying. Why don’t you just tell her that? Just say that you have been able to handle this situation up to a point, but now it is just too much and she needs to make some changes.

Terry: You’re right. I will talk to her and hopefully things get better. Otherwise, I’ll need to find a new roommate and that’s hard.

Sarah: Well, good luck!

Example 2:
Kelly: I’m really happy with my new job and I’m getting a lot of hours, so I’ve been able to save a lot of money.

Jenny: That’s great. Do you work on the weekends, too?

Kelly: Yes, I do. I can work weekends up to a point, but if I do that for too long, I’ll get really tired.

Jenny: You should probably tell your boss so that he doesn’t expect you to always work weekends.

Kelly: You’re right. I’ll let him know that working on the weekends is only temporary.

Up to a point means partially or not completely. In example 1, Terry is able to tolerate his roommate’s messy habits partially, or somewhat, but he is at the point now where he cannot handle it.  In example b, Kelly is happy to be working a lot of hours so that she can make more money. However, she can only work a lot on the weekends for a while and doesn’t want to do it permanently.

This idiom can be found in the LSI textbook Reading Horizons, 2nd edition. This book is used in the level 6 Reading/Vocabulary classes. For more information, please visit:

Monday, December 17, 2012

To Hit the Jackpot

To Hit the Jackpot

Meaning: To have really good luck or to be very successful at something

Example 1:
Tom: I was looking for an apartment for so long that I was about to give up. But last Sunday, I hit the jackpot! I found an absolutely perfect place.

Sarah: That’s great! Where is it?

Tom: It’s only two blocks from the school, so I can walk every day. Also, there is a supermarket and theater right across the street. Plus, it has a really nice pool where I can have parties on the weekend. And it’s only $600 per month!

Sarah: You really did hit the jackpot! How did you find it?

Tom: A friend of my uncle Bob needed to rent it fast and wanted someone responsible. I guess that would be me!

Sarah: Congratulations!

Example 2:
Kelly: You and Sam make such a good couple. You really hit the jackpot when you met him!

Jenny: Yes, I know. When you consider how we met, then I really consider myself lucky.

Kelly: Really? How did you meet?

Jenny: Well, I crashed into him at a stoplight while on my way to work. There was a lot of damage to his car, and I thought he would hate me instead of asking me out on a date!

Kelly: What a nice guy! I guess he was able to ignore your bad driving skills and get to know you as a person.

Jenny: Hey! I’m not that bad! I just made a mistake. Besides, I really did hit the jackpot that day. Who knows about the future?

To hit the jackpot means originally meant to win a lot of money when gambling or playing a game. However, it is commonly used to show when someone is lucky at finding a good deal, like the apartment in the first example. Also, if someone finds a good friend or spouse, it can also be used to express luck (see example 2).

This idiom can be found in the LSI textbook Reading Horizons, 2nd edition. This book is used in the level 6 Reading/Vocabulary classes. For more information, please visit: