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Language tip of the week: achieve

ILearn English with Macmillan Dictionaryn this weekly post, we bring more useful content from the Macmillan Dictionary to English language learners. In this series of  language tips we look at how metaphor is used to express some common concepts in English. This week’s tip looks at metaphors used to talk about achieving something:

Something you achieve is like a building, and the process of achieving it is like the process of building something.



They built up the business over 20 years.
The organization was built on traditional principles.
This web site is still under construction.
They laid the foundations for future success with a carefully balanced range of products.
This was the blueprint for success.
She was the architect of the company’s expansion overseas.
It is a towering achievement.
These developments threatened the whole edifice of government.
All her life’s work was in ruins.
Strong foreign markets are the building blocks of a successful economy.
Everything seemed to come crashing down around them.

Trying to achieve something is like cooking a meal, and you can do this well or badly.

Can you give us your recipe for running a successful business?
This plan is a recipe for disaster.
Of all the half-baked ideas I’ve ever heard of, this is the craziest.
I think we should put the whole question on the back burner for now.
The proof of the pudding will lie in the deal he manages to strike.
You know what they say about too many cooks: well, they certainly spoiled this particular broth!
We’re not making much progress, so it’s time to throw something new into the mix.
Unfortunately they overegged the pudding by adding a troupe of dancers and a jazz band.
Now we’re really cooking!

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Liz Potter

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