DAILY GRAMMAR (DG) 24-09-2018

1a. The candidate came late and we gave him the benefit of doubt that it was due to an accident. (No)

The candidate came late and we gave him the benefit of the doubt that it was due to an accident. (Yes)

1b. The officer knew he had to tow the line even if he disagreed with his boss on strategy. (No)

The officer knew he had to toe the line even if he disagreed with his boss on strategy. (Yes)

(The idiom is “the benefit of the doubt”, not “the benefit of doubt.” To “toe the line” is to accept principles or decisions unwillingly.)

2a. You may not achieve your goal if you bite more than you can chew. (No)

You may not achieve your goal if you bite off more than you can chew. (Yes)

2b. The young lady just passed out of the University of Ilorin. (No)

The young lady just graduated from the University of Ilorin. (Yes)

(The idiom is to “bite off more than one can chew,” which means to attempt more than one is capable of doing. Being a fixed expression, you cannot remove “off.” To “pass out” is to lose consciousness temporarily, perhapd due to being ill or drunk. It also means to complete a training in the military.)

3a. The problem of cultism in our tertiary institutions should be nipped in the butt. (No)

The problem of cultism in our tertiary institutions should be nipped in the bud. (Yes)

3b. The student is now in soup because of his involvement in examination malpractice. (No)

The student is now in the soup because of his involvement in examination malpractice. (Yes)

(You “nip something in the bud” when you put an end to it before it grows or becomes a major problem. To “be in the soup” is a fixed expression that means being in trouble or difficulty or experiencing something unpleasant.)

Did You Know?

“Subcontinental” is the only word that uses each vowel only once in reverse alphabetical order.

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