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.
Accent: England (RP)
…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?
Accent: North America
…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.