|ball is in your court||If the ball is in your court, it is your turn to speak or act next.|
We gave the manager a list of complaints, so the ball is in his court now.
|have a ball||If you have a ball you enjoy yourself immensely.|
The party was great. We had a ball.
|on the ball||If you are on the ball, you are aware of what is happening and are able to deal with things quickly and intelligently.|
We need someone who is really on the ball to head the fund-raising campaign.
|start the ball rolling||If you start the ball rolling, you begin an activity in which other people will join.|
Let’s start the ball rolling by calling on our first speaker.
|that’s the way the ball bounces||Things don’t always work out as planned, and there’s nothing we can do about it – that’s life.|
He didn’t get the prize he expected, but never mind – that’s the way the ball bounces.
|whole new ball game||To refer to something as a whole new ball game means that it is a completely different situation due to a new set of circumstances.|
Email and text messaging have made communication a whole new ball game.
|dive in headfirst||If you begin something enthusiastically, without thinking about the possible consequences, you dive in headfirst.|
Tony accepted the project without realizing the time it would take; he always dives in headfirst!
|fishing expedition||If someone is on a fishing expedition, they are trying to obtain information in any way possible.|
The lunch invitation was clearly a fishing expedition to obtain information about his private life.
|fishing for compliments||When someone is obviously waiting for you to say something nice, they are fishing for compliments.|
I know why she invited us to her new house – she’s just fishing for compliments.
|at this stage of thegame||This expression refers to the current point reached in a process, activity or deveoping situation.|
At this stage of the game I think any further intervention would be unwise. Let’s wait and see how things develop.
|give the game away||If you give the game away, you reveal a secret or a plan, often unintentionally.|
He hoped nobody in the hotel would recognize him, but an employee gave the game away.
|play the game||If you play the game, you accept to do things according to generally-accepted customs or code of behaviour.|
Not all website owners play the game. Some download content from other sites without permission.
|play games with someone||If you are not completely honest, or behave in a way that is insincere, evasive or intentionally misleading, you are playing games with someone.|
Look, stop playing games with us. Just tell us if you’re interested in the project or not.
|two can play at thatgame||You say this to tell someone that you can behave towards them in the same unpleasant way that they have behaved towards you.|
He refuses to take my call? Tell him two can play at that game!
|a waiting game||A person who plays a waiting game delays taking any action or making any decision because they prefer to wait and see how things develop, usually in the hope that this will put them in a stronger position.|
Our competitiors are not reacting. They’re playing a waiting game.
|hang up one’s boots||When a sports player hangs up their boots, they stop playing and retire. (This expression is often used to refer to retirement in general.)|
Dad says he’s going to hang up his boots at the end of the year.
|learn the ropes||If you learn the ropes, you learn how to do a particular job correctly.|
He’s bright. It won’t take him long to learn the ropes.
|make the cut||If you make the cut, you reach a required standard or succeed in passing from one round of a competition to another.|
After intensive training, Sarah made the cut and joined the team.
|paddle one’s own canoe||If you paddle your own canoe, you do what you want to do without help or interference from anyone.|
He decided to paddle his own canoe and set up his own business.
|race against time||When someone is in a race against time, they have to work very quickly in order to do or finish something before a certain time.|
It was a race against time to get everything ready for the inauguration.
|ride coattails||If you use your connections with someone successful in order to achieve fame or success for yourself, without any personal effort, youride their coattails.|
He rode his uncle’s cottails in the hope of being elected.
|ride roughshod over||If you ride roughshod over something, you behave in a harsh or thoughtless manner, or you treat a situation with contempt.|
The government rode roughshod over all opposition to the new measures.
|ride it out|
ride out the storm
|If you manage to survive a dangerous or very unpleasant situation, like a ship sailing through a storm, you ride it out.|
His business was hit by the recession but he managed to ride it out.
|let something ride||When you decide to do nothing about a particular situation and allow it to remain as it is, you let it ride.|
Bill didn’t like the way his wife spoke to the operator, but he let it ride to avoid another quarrel.
|take for a ride||To take someone for a ride means to cheat or deceive them.|
I discovered he had charged me double the normal fee. He really took me for a ride!
|riding high||Someone who is riding high is enjoying a period of success or popularity.|
He’s been riding high since the success of his last film.
|sail close to the wind||If you sail close to the wind, you do something dangerous or act just within the limits of what is legal or acceptable.|
He seems to invest his money well although he often sails close to the wind.
|sail through||If you sail through something, for example a test or an exam, you succeed in doing it without difficulty.|
The English test was no problem for Pedro. He sailed through it.
|take wind out of sails||If someone or something takes the wind out of your sails, they make you feel less confident by doing or saying something that you do not expect.|
The manger’s rejection of our marketing strategy really took the wind out of our sails.
|skating on thin ice||If you are skating on thin ice, you are doing or saying something that could cause disagreement or trouble.|
Don’t mention that subject during the negotiations or you could be skating on thin ice.
|swim against the tide||A person who is doing or saying the opposite to most other people is said to be swimming against the tide.|
Perhaps it’s because she always swims against the tide that her books are successful.