IDIOM CONNECTION

Lesson 37

Responsibility Idioms and a Broken Printer

Introduction

Have you ever had to deal with a broken printer?

Reading

Somebody broke the printer in our office. They need to take responsibility for doing this. However, I plan to hold on for a while before I take it upon myself to do something about this situation. Although, I do not really want to become involved in this problem, I will make it my business to do something. If I do not do anything, then nobody will own up to the problem and nothing will be done about it. I do not want the responsibility to be on my shoulders but what can I do. People will pass the buck and not do anything. I believe that I must do my duty and try to find an answer to this problem quickly.

Reading Questions

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

1. Does somebody need to take responsibility for breaking the printer?

2. Does he think that he should hold on for awhile before doing something?

3. Will he take it upon himself to do something?

4. Does he think that he must make it his business to do something?

5. Does he think that nobody will own up to the problem?

6. Does he not want the responsibility on his shoulders?

7. Will people pass the buck?

8. Will he do his duty and try to solve the problem quickly?

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 underlined idioms:

1. The little boy did not want to take responsibility for breaking the window.
a)    thank his friend for
b)    accept the responsibility for
c)    talk about

Your answer:   ___  out of 1

2. I asked my friend to hold on while I searched for my wallet.
a)    wait
b)    help me
c)    stop talking

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

3. The young man should take it upon himself to solve the problem.
a)    try to find someone
b)    make it his responsibility and try
c)    not worry about trying

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

4. The woman decided to make it her business to help her friend with the difficult problem.
a)    do something extra that she did not need to do
b)    ignore and refuse
c)    stop trying

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

5. The secretary in our office will never own up to her mistakes.
a)    forget about
b)    admit and take responsibility for
c)    think about

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

6. When you have something on your shoulders, you are carrying a burden. A burden can also be a responsibility. What does on one's shoulders mean in the following sentence?

The problem in the relationship with her friend is on the girl's shoulders.
a)    not the girl's responsibility
b)    the girl's responsibility
c)    not very interesting for the girl

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

7. One meaning of buck is something that was used in a game of cards. You passed this buck to the next person when it was his or her responsibility to deal the cards. What do you think that pass the buck means in the following sentence?

The boy caused the problem and then tried to pass the buck and blame his friend.
a)    understand the problem
b)    avoid responsibility
c)    talk about the problem

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

8. The worker would not do his duty and try and fix the problem.
a)    do the job that he was expected to do
b)    forget his other important duties
c)    tell his manager

Your answer is: ___  out of 1



Match the Sentences

Choose the best answer for each sentence:

1. The boy refused to take responsibility for breaking the window.
a)    He did not want to say that he had broken the window.
b)    He was willing to say that he had broken the window.

Your answer:   ___  out of 1

2. The restaurant waiter asked us to hold on while he searched for a table.
a)    The restaurant was probably busy.
b)    The restaurant was probably not busy.

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

3. The store clerk took it upon herself to help the older women.
a)    The store clerk helped the older women.
b)    The store clerk did not want to help the older women.

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

4. The teacher always makes it her business to help the students with their problems.
a)    The teacher must take care of her own business and has no time to help the students.
b)    The teacher always wants to help the students.

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

5. The boy was forced to own up to his bad behavior.
a)    The boy would not admit his mistake.
b)    The boy accepted responsibility for his bad behavior.

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

6. The problems in the woman's office always seem to fall on her shoulders.
a)    The office problems are very difficult for the woman.
b)    The office problems always become the responsibility of the woman.

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

7. The salesman made a mistake and then tried to pass the buck and blame his supervisor.
a)   The salesman will sometimes refuse to admit that he had made a mistake.
b)   The salesman will always accept responsibility for his mistakes.

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

8. The leader always does his duty and helps the other members of his group.
a)   The leader does not always do his job well.
b)   The leader always makes an effort to do his job well.

Your answer is: ___  out of 1




Grammar Focus

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

1. The company refused to take responsibility ________________ the problem.
a)    to
b)    for
c)    in

Your answer:   ___  out of 1

2. My friend asked me to hold _______________ while he made a telephone call.
a)    on
b)    up
c)    in

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

3. My mother took it ____________ herself to try and help her sick neighbor.
a)    up
b)    on
c)    upon

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

4. The girl made it ____________ business to help the other girls with their problems.
a)    her
b)    some
c)    its

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

5. The man would not own up __________________ the problem.
a)    on
b)    for
c)    to

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

6. There are many problems in the company and most of them are _____________________ the manager's shoulders.
a)    in
b)    on
c)    over

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

7. The politician is not popular because he always __________________ and will never accept responsibility when he makes a mistake.
a)   passes bucks
b)   passes the buck
c)   passes a buck

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

8. The doctor believed that he was _________________ when he helped his patients with their problems.
a)   doing duties
b)   doing duty
c)   doing his duty

Your answer is: ___  out of 1




Discussion Questions

Answer the following questions using the idioms from this section:

1. Do you know anyone who will never take responsibility when he or she makes a mistake?

2. Do you always take responsibility for mistakes that you have made?

3. Do you ask your friends to hold on when you receive a phone call?

4. Have you ever had to hold on and wait for a friend even though you were in a hurry?

5. Do you usually take it upon yourself to solve difficult problems?

6. Do you know anyone who will take it upon himself or herself to solve a problem?

7. Do you make it your business to help other people when they need help?

8. Do you know someone who always makes it his or her business to help other people?

9. Have you ever had to own up to a mistake that you made?

10. Do you know anyone who will never own up to a mistake?

11. Has solving a difficult problem ever been on your shoulders?

12. Do you have any big responsibility on your shoulders right now?

13. Do you know anyone who always tries to pass the buck?

14. Do you know any business leaders who always pass the buck?

15. Are you always willing to do your duty at work or school?

16. Do you know anyone who will not do his or her duty at work?

Role Play

Student A: Somebody broke the copy machine in your office. You know who broke it and you want that person to take responsibility for breaking it.

Student B: You broke the copy machine but you do not want to admit your mistake. You do not want to tell a lie but you do not want the responsibility to be on your shoulders.

Lesson 37