Idioms and Phrasal Verbs to talk about competition

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Hey guys!

Everybody knows the importance of learning some phrasal verbs, idioms and colloquial expressions, especially when you live in a foreign country. We always learn a lot of them by communicating with native speakers or watching movies and series. In this post, you learn some phrasal verbs, idioms and expressions to communicate in a more natural way when speaking English in a foreign country.

* set the pace – establish a standard or rate that others have to try to achieve.

The deal will set the pace for the EU’s enlargement over the next decade.

* forge ahead with sth – make strong or steady progress with sth.

He forged ahead with his plans.

* slip up – make a careless mistake.

When you’re a politician everyone is always watching in case you slip up.

* take some beating / be hard to beat – when someone is so good at something that it will be hard for someone else to do better.

It’s an expensive hotel, but that kind of service is hard to beat.

* gain ground – gradually get closer to people you are competing with.

The Democratic candidate is rapidly gaining ground in many states.

* tip the balance (in sb’s favour) – give a slight advantage to sb.

Her youth and competitiveness tipped the balance in her favour.

* come out on top – be more successful than others.

Phil always comes out on top.

* in the balance – uncertain.

Jack’s career is hanging in the balance while they consider what to do.

* give it your all – make the maximum possible effort.

I just remember her calm voice telling me to just give it my all and she’d be proud of me either way.

* give sth your best shot – try as hard as you possibly can in doing sth.

It’s not easy, but I’m going to give it my best shot.

* pull sth off – succeed in doing sth hat is difficult.

Hanley pulled off a surprise victory in the semi-final.

* play it safe – not take any big risks.

The players decided to play it safe in the second period to avoid losing the game.

I hope you learned some new phrasal verbs and idioms today, see you next time!

Source: Idioms and Phrasal Verbs – Advanced / Ruth Gairns and Stuart Redman – Oxford

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