give it your best shot: meaning and explanation

If you give something your best shot, you try as hard as you can to do something, or do something as well as you can.

We can use this phrase about the future to say that we intend to try our best, e.g. I can’t promise that I’ll make a success of the business, but I’ll certainly give it my best shot.

We can also use the phrase to refer to the past. In these cases, it is often to say that we failed in spite of trying our best, e.g. I gave it my best shot, but sadly I was not accepted for the position.

Have a go at these micro-dictation exercises to hear this expression being used in context – how much can you understand?

Listening exercises

Micro-listening #1

Accent: North America

, .
I'll my , but I'll be change .

About the sentence

…to change his mind…

If you change someone’s mind, you make them think differently about something. e.g. It’s the worst film ever made, and you’ll never be able to change my mind about that.

If someone changes their mind, they change their opinion about something. e.g. John was about to tell her everything, but changed his mind at the last second.

Micro-listening #2

Accent: Scotland

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Micro-listening #3

Accent: Ireland

This extra micro-listening exercise is only available to MicroEnglish Plus members. Sign up here.

Extra practice

Here are some questions/links to help you learn the new vocabulary:

  • Using the new language, think of a time when you tried your best to achieve something (you gave it your best shot) but were unsuccessful.
  • I’m running a half marathon in a few weeks. I doubt I’ll improve on previous times, but I’m going to give it my best shot. Do you have anything coming up that you are not 100% confident about achieving or succeeding in, but will do your best anyway?

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