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Thursday, October 2, 2014

In the bag

Idiom: In the bag

Context #1 – Two students are talking about the test tomorrow in class.
Jason:  I stayed up all night studying for this test and I still don’t feel ready!
Celina: Really? I studied with my friends last night and I am not worried at all about this test. It’s in the bag.
Jason: I don’t know how you do it, Celina.
Celina: Well, I think it helps to study with a group of friends because then you can learn from each other. Why don’t you study with us before next week’s test?
Jason: I think I will. Hopefully, I’ll have next week’s test in the bag!

 Context #2 – Two people are talking about a recent job interview
Jose: Hello, Theo. Why do you look so nervous?
Theo: Well, I just finished a job interview for a position that I have wanted for a long time. The pay is better and I can work flexible hours.
Jose: OK. Then why are you so nervous? It sounds like everything is good.
Theo: When I initially applied, I was such a good match for the position, I felt that I had the job in the bag. But after the job interview, I’m not so sure. They asked a lot of difficult questions and I don’t know if I answered everything completely.
Jose: Don’t worry so much about things, Theo! I’m sure you have the job in the bag. Just be patient.

Meaning: To have something in the bag means to be certain or extremely likely to occur or to be assured about the success of something. In context 1, one student feels she has the test in the bag, which means she knows she will get a good grade. In context 2, Theo doesn't think he will get the job because he didn't perform well in the interview. Therefore, he doesn't have the job in the bag.                      @LSISB @LSIOC @LSINE @LSILA

Monday, September 29, 2014

To hit the books

Idiom: To hit the books

Context #1 – Two students just got back from the one-week break and are starting a new term at Language Systems in LA.

Jeff:  What a vacation! San Francisco was beautiful and the weather was perfect.
Katie: I know. It’s nice to take a break from school and get out of town for a while.
Jeff: Yes, but now it’s back to school. I want to take the TOEFL test in January, so I really have to hit the books. I don’t think I have been studying enough.
Katie: Don’t worry! You still have time to study. However, I have to take the TOEFL next week, so I have been hitting the books for the past couple of months. No breaks for me until I take that test.
Jeff: Well, good luck!

Context #2 – A student who is failing his English class is asking his teacher for help.
Jonathan: Hi teacher. I’m here because I noticed that I’m failing this class and that I may not be able to go to the next level. Is there anything I can do?
Timothy: Well, the first thing you must do is hit the books, since we have tests in a couple of days. Then, you need to attend class every day and come on time.
Jonathan: I know. I’m really going to try to do better. I have just been a little lonely and homesick lately. I really miss my family back home.
Timothy: In addition to hitting the books,  practicing and talking to people in English outside of class will help your studies and your loneliness. Maybe if you make more friends to talk to in English, you won’t be as homesick.
Jonathan: You are right. I feel lonely sometimes, so it would be good to make more friends and go out more often. Then, I could also learn more English. Thank you for the advice!

Meaning: “To hit the books” means to study hard. In context #1, Katie and Jeff both have to hit the books in order to get a high score on the TOEFL test. In context 2, the student has to hit the books in order to pass his class.