Sports fans worldwide are watching the Women’s World Cup, which kicked off June 6 in Canada. Twenty-four nations, representing the world’s best women’s football teams, have been competing for a spot in the final on July 5.
You don’t have to play football — or soccer, as it is called in the U.S. — to speak the language of the world’s most popular sport. Just use any of these common expressions that take their inspiration from soccer:
Keep one’s eye on the ball
What it means: To maintain complete attention on a task or goal.
In conversation: “I know the workload at medical school is tough, but it’s important to keep your eye on the ball. Remember, you’ll be a doctor in a few years.”
Kick (something) around
What it means: To discuss an idea informally, often in a group.
In conversation: “We need to figure out the best way to advertise our newest product. Let’s kick some ideas around this afternoon at our meeting.”
Blow the whistle (on someone)
What it means: To report someone’s wrongdoing to an authority; to report a corrupt or dishonest situation.
In conversation: “Jeff was stealing money from the company. I had to blow the whistle on him. I reported him to management.”
Know the score
What it means: To be aware of all the important facts of a situation.
In conversation: “Don’t try to lie to me. I know the score.”
Get the ball rolling
What it means: To do something that begins an activity; to make a start.
In conversation: “My essay is due in a week. I need to get the ball rolling and write it.”
Be on the ball
What it means: Mentally sharp or alert; well-prepared; efficient.
In conversation: “Seoyeon is an organized and intelligent employee. She’s really on the ball.”
Other idioms common in everyday American speech include those derived from the ocean, money and trees.
ShareAmerica offers a series of everyday conversations that include audio clips to help you practice English. The American English website offers a variety of free resources for learners and teachers of English. The American English Facebook page posts learning materials for English-language learners daily.