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Friday, April 14, 2017

A Basket Case

Context #1

My dogs are my babies. I treat them like my children and they always have the best food, toys, beds, everything. I remember once when one of my dogs got sick. I was a complete basket case. I dropped everything and rushed my little dog to the veterinarian. I missed a whole day of work, I didn’t eat, didn’t sleep, I couldn’t rest or function normally until I knew my precious little dog was going to be OK. Luckily, she only had an upset stomach and was perfectly fine the next day. I realize now that I may have overreacted to the situation. 

Context #2

Jake is such a nervous student. He is also a perfectionist who expects perfect scores on all assignments, projects, and tests. I have known him since elementary school and I remember once in 5th grade, he didn’t read the directions correctly on a test. He missed 1 point on the test and became a total basket case. He didn’t play with us at recess; he only sat under a tree and reviewed his test paper over and over again! At lunch, he did the same thing! Now that we are in high school, he still puts the same pressure on himself.


A basket case is an anxious and nervous person who cannot function normally in situations where there is slight pressure, unplanned changes, or unfamiliar settings.

In Example 1, the writer became a basket case when her dog fell ill. In Example 2, Jake became a basket case when he missed a point on his test.

You can use different verbs with this expression:

You are a basket case!

Don’t be a basket case. Everything will be fine.

You turn into a basket case every semester during finals.

She was a basket case after her car accident.

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Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Have second thoughts

Context #1

Getting married is one of the biggest steps someone can take in life and it is always wise to consider many things before making this huge commitment. Some people may say that being in love is the only requirement for getting married; others say it’s not that simple. Where will you live? Will you have children? Will you share household duties? How well do you know each other? Some believe the last question is the most important. If you don’t know someone very well, you may not be able to trust them or there may be some things in their past that you don’t like. There are many instances of couples who rush to get married but have second thoughts as the wedding date approaches. If you have many doubts as you move towards this great life step, perhaps it’s best to take a step back and reconsider.

Context #2

Sophie: I’m getting nervous. I don’t think this is a good idea, Margie.
Margie: Are you serious? We’ve been preparing for this for weeks! This is the only way we can pass our chemistry test. We have to cheat!
Sophie: It doesn’t feel right. I’m having second thoughts. Maybe we should just try and study more.
Margie: Are you crazy? The test is tomorrow. We don’t have time!
Sophie: What if we get caught? We’ll get a zero on the test AND be in trouble. We can try our best and get a score we deserve.
Margie: I can’t believe you’re changing your mind. You can go ahead and study. I’m going to get a perfect score on tomorrow’s test without you.

When someone has second thoughts, they are reconsidering their decision and there’s a chance they could change their mind. Their 1st (first) thought is their original plan/idea. Their 2nd (second) thought comes when they doubt their 1st one and begin thinking of a way out.
In Example 1 on the subject of marriage, the writer shares an example of a couple who rushes to marry, only for one of them to have second thoughts. Their first thought was “yes! Let’s get married!” Their second thought is now more like, “hmm, maybe this isn’t the best idea..”
In Example 2, the girls are preparing to cheat on an exam (1st thought), but then Sophie has second thoughts (maybe it’s not such a good idea after all). Sophie changes her mind and doesn’t participate in the cheating with Margie.
If someone has second thoughts, they might not always change her mind. If someone is having second thoughts about their wedding, it’s very possible they are just nervous but will still get married.

More examples:

I am having second thoughts about changing careers. I like my current job.
Jan had second thoughts about buying those shoes. Her bank account was nearly empty.
I have a sky diving appointment this weekend. I’m excited, but also nervous. I’m worried I will have second thoughts once I’m in the plane.

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