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  • Hello, I'm Gill at engVid, and today's lesson is on some idioms, sayings, expressions which

  • come from sports - ball sports, sports played in a field or by a team, that kind of sport,

  • okay?

  • So, let's have a look here.

  • First of all, this is an appropriate one for the beginning of the lesson, because it says,

  • "Let's get the ball rolling.", and that's what people say when they want to make a start

  • with something.

  • So, in any sport, of course, you have to get the ball rolling, but in a metaphorical way,

  • in other contexts, if you want to get a meeting started, or a lesson started, or anything,

  • you say "Let's get the ball rolling.", meaning rolling along the ground, okay?

  • So, that could be any sport with any type of ball, okay?

  • Next one also mentions a ball, and it says, "Keep your eye on the ball.".

  • So in sport, of course, you have to look at the ball.

  • You have to focus, so it's about focus.

  • If you're playing football, for example, you need to see where the ball is, it's very important,

  • but in other contexts, metaphorically, in your work, for example, you have to keep your

  • eye on the ball - don't lose focus, so you don't want to lose focus by not looking at

  • the ball, so it's used in that metaphorical sense as well.

  • Just keep - keep your mind on what you're doing and don't let yourself be distracted

  • by anything else, okay?

  • Next one, so, goalposts are mentioned here, so that refers to any kind of sport where

  • there is a goal, that kind of goal in football, maybe that kind of goal in rugby, different

  • types of goals, and this is a bit like in ice hockey as well, as a goal, where you try

  • to score a goal by getting the ball into the goal.

  • But, if you say to somebody "You're moving the goalposts", you can't do that in sports.

  • Usually, well, always, the goal stays where it is.

  • It doesn't move.

  • It's sort of in the middle of the side at both ends, isn't it?

  • It's a very particular place, it has to be.

  • But, if you're having a discussion with somebody and you have different opinions and the other

  • person starts to argue in a slightly strange way, or they're changing the - changing the

  • focus of your argument, you could say to them "Now, you're moving the goalposts!" and it's

  • supposed to be a criticism, because it's somebody who is trying to play a trick, really, by

  • moving the goalposts so that they can win their argument and you lose your side of the

  • argument.

  • So, you have to try not to move the goalposts unless, well, if you like to argue that way

  • and you do move the goalposts, then that's your choice, but that's what it means, okay?

  • Next one, this is another playing field, either a football field, rugby field, cricket maybe,

  • but usually when there's a goal at both sides because if you say "We need a level playing

  • field" it means level.

  • If you have a sloping field, that's going to be an advantage to one side.

  • If you kick a ball down a sloping field, you can get to the goal much more quickly.

  • If the other team are having to kick the ball up a slope, that's making it very difficult

  • for them.

  • So, if someone says, "We need a level playing field.", in a metaphorical context, it's about

  • equality, really.

  • It's about equality and fairness.

  • To be fair to people, to give them an equal - not one person having an advantage over

  • another person, but make sure everybody's equal, so a level playing field.

  • Okay, next one, if someone is out of his league, the league is usually in football for example,

  • you have different leagues where people are at different standards, so the league is a

  • kind of standard, okay?

  • So, there's the league at the top, all the top teams are at the first division, it's

  • called in UK football the first division, and then you have the second division who

  • aren't quite so good, subdivision and so on.

  • So, if you're out of your league, in a football sense, you're in a team, maybe you're not

  • such a good player, but you're in a team of really good players, and then you aren't good

  • enough really to be in that top team, so you're out of your league.

  • So, if he's out of his league in that team, he's not really up to the standard of the

  • other players.

  • But, in everyday life, this is used sometimes, if someone isn't at the same high standard

  • as their colleagues, or sometimes if someone has a girlfriend or boyfriend who comes from

  • a different class, or they have a higher standard of education or there's something that makes

  • them a little bit unequal, you can say "That person's out of his league", or "Oh, she's

  • out of her league with that boyfriend", you know, that sort of thing.

  • So, if you're out of your league with somebody, it's not a very nice thing for anyone to say.

  • It may not be true, it's just opinion, really, so, okay, that's that one.

  • So, this one here, this comes from tennis.

  • So, if you've seen a tennis match, the two players are hitting the ball across the net

  • to each other, or four players if it's a doubles tennis match.

  • So, the court is a tennis court.

  • So, you've got the tennis court here, this is seeing it from above, and the net goes

  • across about this height, I think, and then they have to hit the ball over the net with

  • tennis rackets like that - a little bit like that.

  • That's not a very good drawing, sorry.

  • But this is the tennis court.

  • Each player is there hitting the ball across back and forward to each other, so if the

  • ball is in your court, the ball has come over to you, you have to try to return it.

  • If you don't, you lose the point and the other person wins the point and eventually you will

  • lose the whole game, or the match and the other person wins.

  • So, if "The ball is in your court.", metaphorically, it means it's for you now to do something.

  • You have to respond to someone, you have to answer a question, or you've been given the

  • opportunity to do something, you've now got to do it.

  • So, the ball is in your court.

  • The action is for you to take now.

  • It's your turn, okay?

  • Right.

  • So, this one, "I'm getting into the swing.", or sometimes "the swing of it", the swing

  • of doing something is when you're getting used to doing something.

  • You've been practicing for awhile and you're beginning to feel more confident doing it,

  • and this can either come from tennis, where the swing is like this with the racket when

  • you hit the ball, or it could come from golf, where you have a golf club and you swing like

  • that and hit the ball with the golf club, that's a swing as well.

  • So, to get into the swing means you've practiced it often enough to feel confident in what

  • you're doing.

  • So, if you're doing - if you've started a new job and you've been there for about a

  • month, say, and you're just beginning to find your way around and getting to know the system

  • and everything, and your boss might say to you "How are you getting on?

  • You've been here a month now, is everything okay?" you might say "Oh yes, I think I'm

  • getting into the swing of it now.

  • I'm getting used to it.", feeling more confident and learning how to do the job, okay?

  • Then, next one, "She's not feeling up to par.".

  • "Par" is a golfing term.

  • It's to do with a kind of standard of - to do with how many times a good golfer has to

  • hit the ball to get it into all the holes if it's an 18-hole golf course, what is their

  • sort of standard, how many hits do they have to make, on average, to get the ball into

  • the hole 18 times?

  • So, that's "par".

  • So, if she's not feeling to par, it means you can also say she's feeling below par,

  • you can say "below par" as well.

  • "She's feeling below par.", which means not at her usual standard, and feeling suggests

  • health and she's' not feeling very well, or she's catching a cold or something.

  • So, someone might phone up and say "I'm sorry, I can't come into work today, I'm really not

  • feeling well.

  • I'm not feeling up to par.", or "I'm feeling below par, I think I'm catching a cold or

  • the flu.", so it's to do with a level of ability, really.

  • Ability.

  • And your normal standard of ability, you may feel below it sometimes.

  • Okay, and then finally, we have "par" again, which as I say comes from golf.

  • "It's par for the course."

  • The course is a golf course where you play golf, it's called a golf course, all the big

  • open green space of grass and everything else, sand pits and things and lakes where the ball

  • can go into the water.

  • Ah, things can go wrong!

  • Trees at the side where you can lose a ball, not a good idea.

  • Anyway, if you say, "It's par for the course.", that means that's normal, that's normal.

  • Again, the "par" here is the player's kind of normal standard, average standard of ability,

  • so if you say its par for the course, in a metaphorical way, it means, oh well, we're

  • used to that, that's normal.

  • In the job I do, the kind of job you do, you expect that kind of thing to happen.

  • Sometimes it sort of suggests that something has gone wrong and you say "Oh, don't worry,

  • it's par for the course, I'm used to that sort of thing going wrong."

  • You know, we're used to it, we know how to put it right, it's par for the course.

  • It's completely normal, it's happening all the time.

  • Okay.

  • So, I hope that's a useful run-through of some idioms from ball sports, and hopefully

  • perhaps some vocabulary, some new vocabulary you've learned today as well.

  • So, if you'd like to go to the website www.engvid.com , there's a quiz there to test you on your

  • knowledge of the subject here, and thank you very much for watching, and see you again

  • soon.

  • Bye for now.

Hello, I'm Gill at engVid, and today's lesson is on some idioms, sayings, expressions which

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A2 UK ball par league swing tennis golf

Learn 9 English idioms from ball sports: out of your league, up to par, get into the swing...

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    Flora Hu posted on 2020/02/23
Video vocabulary