Mrs. Bell: Sally, I hate to break the news to you, but if your grades don’t improve, you’re not going to pass this course.
Sally: There’s no doubt about it. I know I’m falling behind, but there are so many things I don’t understand in this course that I need to clear up.
Mrs. Bell: Well, I know you’re having trouble keeping up with the rest of the class. Even though I have my hands full right now, I’m happy to tutor you and help you catch up. Let’s see. I’m all booked up from Monday to Thursday, but I can see you on Fridays at 3:30.
Sally: That’s good for me. Thank you so much, Mrs. Bell. Sometimes I feel like this work is over my head, and I’m never going to catch on.
Mrs. Bell: Don’t worry, Sally. Just remember that above all, you must stay positive. Slowly but surely your marks will improve. Who knows? You may turn out to be my best student.
Sally: Thanks, Mrs. Bell. If I work really hard, maybe I can even pass with flying colors.
• improve: get better
• positive: believing you can do it
• tutor you: teach you alone
• break the news give bad news
• no doubt about it it’s a fact, it’s the truth
• fall behind not go as fast as required
• clear up explain, solve / become sunny
• keep up (with) go as fast as
• have one’s hands full be too busy
• booked up have no time left / have no room left (hotel/restaurant)
• over one’s head too difficult to understand
• above all most importantly
• slowly but surely gradually
• turn out result in the end / produce / come (to an activity)
• pass with flying colors get top marks on a test or in a course
Fall behind is similar to be behind, but fall behind is an action, and be behind is a condition after the action has happened. It means “have work that needs to be done.”
Example: I fell behind in math when I was sick, and now I am so far behind, I can’t catch up.
Clear up has 2 meanings. The other meaning is “become sunny.”
Example: I hope the weather clears up so we can go on a picnic.
Booked up has 2 meanings. The other meaning is “have no room left (hotel/restaurant).”
Example: The hotels are all booked up over the winter holidays.
Turn out has 3 meanings. Another is “produce.”
Example: This factory turns out 300 pairs of boots a day.
The last meaning is “come (to an activity).”
Example: How many people turned out for the meeting?
© 2004 Ambien Malecot