These three micro-dictations all contain the expression ‘to bend over backwards’. Complete each exercise, and then try to guess the meaning/usage of the expression from the context.

Dictation #1

Accent: Australia

I’ve for him years, and ship at .
I’ve over backwards for him the years, and he just jumps ship at the opportunity.

…then he jumps ship at the first opportunity

At the first opportunity is a more formal alternative to as soon as possible. e.g. I plan on speaking to head office about this at the first opportunity.

We saw the idiom jump ship earlier in the course. Can you remember it?

Dictation #2

Accent: England (RP)

My boss backwards to settle .
My boss always over backwards to new recruits settle and get up to .

…settle in and get up to speed

to settle in = to feel comfortable and at home somewhere, usually after a period of time. e.g. Here’s where you’ll be working. Why don’t you get settled in, and then head over to my office for your induction?

We saw the idiom up to speed earlier in the course. Can you remember it?

Dictation #3

Accent: North America

We’ll bend make success .
We’ll everyone to bend backwards to make success of the .

…to make a success of the conference

to make a success of something = to make something successful. e.g. Even after receiving numerous rejections and setbacks, Mike always believed he would make a success of his business.

to bend over backwards: meaning and explanation

If you bend over backwards, then you try your best or do everything you can to help somebody or to achieve something.

Note that this idiom is often used in negative contexts, to communicate the idea that you have done everything you can to help somebody, and that this is not appreciated. e.g. I’ve bent over backwards for him over the last few months and he didn’t even think to say thank you.

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