This micro-listening exercise contains the expression to come naturally to someone. Have a go at the listening exercise, then learn about the meaning and usage of this expression.
Accent: North America
Source: Hidden Brain, Creatures of Habit. This episode is all about developing positive habits and dealing with negative habits. In this section, the speaker is talking about her experience of getting into the habit of running every day.
…and that was very hard to start off with…
to start off with = in the beginning, to begin with. e.g. To start off with I didn’t get on with my new boss at all, but the more I got to know her the more I appreciated her management style.
…I really dreaded that…
to dread something = to be extremely frightened or worried about something. e.g. We’re moving house next month and I’m absolutely dreading it – I have a feeling it’s going to be a nightmare.
come naturally: meaning and explanation
If you find something easy and you can do it without much effort or concentration then you can say that it comes naturally to you.
For example, if you are a good writer and find it easy and enjoyable to do, then you can say that writing comes naturally to you.
This expression can be used to say that a new skill or ability was easy to learn, or that you became good at it quickly.
e.g. Sarah has only been playing tennis for a few months but she’s already better than most other players at the club. Tennis obviously comes naturally to her.
We often use this expression in the negative to say that something is not easy for us to do, that we have to make a lot of effort to do it, or that we had to work hard to be able to do it.
For example, some people find public speaking very stressful and challenging. They can do it, but it is a difficult experience which probably requires a lot of effort and preparation. For them, speaking in public doesn’t come naturally.
Other people seem completely relaxed and in their element when public speaking, and doing it is easy. Public speaking comes naturally to them.
Have a go at this dictation exercise to hear this expression being used in context – how much can you understand?
Write your answers to these questions in the comments section, and I’ll get back to you with some feedback:
- Is there anything that comes naturally to you?
- What doesn’t come naturally to you?
- Have you ever developed a new skill or learned something new very easily? What was it?
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