lesson 23

Studying Too Hard Idioms


Do you always study hard when you have a test?


When I finished the midterm math test yesterday and turned in my examination paper, I knew that I would probably fail the course. I also knew that if I did fail the course it would be my fault. The course was very difficult and from the beginning it had covered a lot of ground. However, I was lazy and I did not crack a book during most of the term. I have been busy with other things. I am about to move to a new apartment so I have not been able to study much. Still, the course is important and I must pass it to graduate. Therefore, I really need to begin to study hard. I will hit the books every day this week and try to catch up with the other students. Even if I become burned out from studying too hard, I really need to give the course another shot and try to pass it.

Reading Questions

Answer the following questions. The answers can easily be found in the reading above.

1. What did this person know when he turned in his examination paper?

2. What covered a lot of ground?

3. Why didn't he crack a book during the term?

4. What is he about to do?

5. When does he plan to hit the books?

6. Does he want to catch up with the other students?

7. Why may he become burned out?

8. Why must he give the course another shot?

Making Connections and Idiom Meanings

Some of the idioms have another meaning or are connected to another meaning. Use this information to help you choose the correct meaning for each of the following idioms:

1. to turn in something
a)   to ask someone a question
b)   to give something to somebody
c)   to begin to do something

2. To cover something means that you put something over the surface of something. To cover a lot of ground with a blanket means that you cover much ground with the blanket.
What does to cover a lot of ground mean when you are talking about a course in school or university?
a)   to deal with much information
b)   to move slowly
c)   to relax and enjoy life

3. To crack something can mean to open or break something open. What does it mean to crack a book or to crack open a book?
a)   to open a book and study
b)   to relax and think about studying
c)   to stop studying

4. to be about to do something
a)   to be finished with something
b)   to be almost ready to do something
c)   to stop doing something

5. When you hit something, you come into contact with it with much force. What could hit the books mean when you are talking about studying?
a)   to think about studying
b)   to study
c)   to stop studying

6. to catch up with someone
a)   to become even with someone
b)   to catch a cold
c)   to chase after someone

7. When a fire burns out, it stops burning because of lack of fuel. What does it mean when you are talking about a person and the person burns out?
a)   the person becomes very tired from working too hard
b)   the person becomes relaxed
c)   the person feels refreshed

8. A shot is a try or an attempt. What does to give something a shot mean?
a)   to try something
b)   to forget something
c)   to stop doing something

Your score is: ___  out of 8

True or False

Choose the best answer for each sentence:

Choose the idiom which correctly completes each sentence:

1. If a course covers a lot of ground, you must work hard to learn many things.
a)   True
b)   False

2. Someone who plans to give something a shot is going to try to do something.
a)   True
b)   False

3. When you are about to leave your house you are almost ready to leave.
a)   True
b)   False

4. Students who often hit the books on the weekend never get good grades in school.
a)   True
b)   False

5. When you have turned in an important paper, you can begin to relax.
a)   True
b)   False

6. If you are burned out, you are refreshed and ready for new things.
a)   True
b)   False

7. If you never crack a book your school grades will probably be good.
a)  True
b)  False

8. If you never study, it will be easy to catch up with the other students.
a)  True
b)  False

Your score is: ___  out of 8

Grammar Focus

Choose the word or expression that makes each of the following sentences correct:

1. The boy plans to hit _______________ during the holidays.
a)   a book
b)   the books
c)   books

2. The salesman turned ______________ his sales report early this morning.
a)   up
b)   in
c)   down

3. I was about _______________ phone my friend, when he arrived at my house.
a)   too
b)   to
c)   the

4. The history course covered __________________ this term.
a)   no ground
b)   a lot of ground
c)   the grounds

5. I was sick and it was difficult for me to catch up _____________ the other students.
a)   on
b)   with
c)   for

6. The young woman is lazy and did not crack _______________________ for several months.
a)   a book
b)   books
c)   some books

7. I felt that I was becoming burned ______________ so I decided to have a holiday.
a)  up
b)  over
c)  out

8. My friend plans to give skiing ______________ this winter.
a)  the shot
b)  a shot
c)  some shots

Your score is: ___  out of 8

Discussion Questions

Answer the following questions using the idioms from this section:

1. Do you usually turn in your school homework early?

2. Did you ever turn in a school project very late and receive a low mark?

3. Did any of your school courses cover a lot of ground?

4. Did you ever take a course that seemed to cover too much ground?

5. Did you crack a book and study every weekend when you were a student?

6. Do you know anyone who almost never cracked a book while they were in school?

7. Have you ever been about to go to sleep when the telephone rang?

8. Were you about to go somewhere recently but you could not find your keys?

9. Do you often hit the books when you are taking a class?

10. Did you sometimes never hit the books when you were a student?

11. When you do not study hard at school can you easily catch up with the other students?

12. Do you know anyone who is a bad student and can never catch up with the other students if he or she has to?

13. Do you know anyone who is burned out from his or her job?

14. Have you ever been burned out from studying or working too hard?

15. Would you like to give skydiving a shot?

16. Have you given anything a shot recently?

Role Play

Student A: You are complaining to your friend that none of your clothes are in fashion. As a matter of fact, many of them are falling apart at the seams. However, you have no money to buy new clothes.

Student B: You are advising your friend about what he or she should do.

lesson 23