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In the way

How would you complete the speech bubble?

Some expressions or ways of saying things in a language can be hard to interpret off the bat:

Imagine the situation:

You show up at a friend's place for lunch a little after the time agreed on, but they are still running late. They are in the middle of cleaning and tidying the apartment. How would you complete the sentence below?

Let me come back in half an hour. I don't want to ....

Your boss asks you to help a new colleague adapt to the company by showing them how the processes work  and what they have to do. All your project deadlines have been pushed back to the week after, What does your boss tell you?

Taking the new guy around is not going to .... of your work. When you are finished showing them around, you can leave. 

A CEO is announcing to his board of directors that some job cuts will be necessary in several sectors. He advises them that they have to be cold about dismissing some of their best and trusted workers. 

You can't let emotion ................ Don't get involved and do what you have to, as much as it may mean firing people you have a close relationship with. 

The three sentences could have been completed by the same phrase "get in the way", which can mean something like obstruct, impede, bother.

Here are some other examples:
Don't do anything because I'm coming along. I don't want to ........... of your fun. 
Don't let anyone or anything to ................ of you achieving your goals
Some reporters never let the facts ...................... of a good story. What matters is selling as many papers as possible

To help understand the topic even more, choose the best alternative for the two situations.

Situation 1
Imagine a king walking through the crowded streets of his city. What would the flag bearers in the front be shouting?

  • Give way
  • Get away
  • Make way
  • Stay away

Situation 2
The brakes on a utility car go faulty and the driver can't stop. How does he warn the people in front of the car?

  • Get on the way!
  • Get off the way!
  • Get out of the way!
  • Get from the way!

For your listening pleasure: What does Gloria Estefan she mean when she says "I try to say I love you, but the words get in the way?"


Graeme Hodgson said…
Nice tips with lots of context!!

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