|Summer hasn't officially begun yet, but many people have already HIT THE BOARDWALK in Coney Island, Brooklyn.|
What do you think of when you hear the word "HIT"? Do you picture a person striking, slapping, or punching another person? Maybe you think of the more positive meaning when the word is used as a noun and means that someone or something is popular? For example, Taylor Swift's newest single became an instant HIT, or my lasagna was A HIT at the party.
If you're in the intermediate levels, you're probably familiar with both meanings. However, did you know the word "HIT" is also used in some idioms to simply mean "go to" or "reach" a place or an objective. This usage is often used informally in conversation, and they're quite common, so you should start using them if you don't already. Here are some expressions that use "HIT" this way.
- HIT THE ROAD means to get on the highway and start a long journey or simply to get going or leave.
- Alright, if you're ready, let's HIT THE ROAD; everyone's waiting for us.
- HIT THE BOOKS means to study
- I can't hang out with you guys tonight; I have to HIT THE BOOKS. I have a huge exam tomorrow.
- HIT THE JACKPOT can literally mean win a lot of money or it can simply mean get lucky or be suddenly successful.
- They went to Atlantic City and HIT THE JACKPOT--about $8,000 worth!
- We heard you found a much better hotel on vacation.
- Yup, we really HIT THE JACKPOT on that one. It was amazing; we're so glad we switched.
- HIT THE BEACH simply means to go there and can be used with other places, e.g., HIT the park, HIT the gym, et al.
- They're HITTING the gym after the party to burn off some calories.
- HIT A HOMERUN can literally mean hitting the ball and running to home base in baseball or it can figuratively mean to do an excellent job.
- Tom HIT A HOMERUN on his last presentation. The board members were really impressed.
- A similar expression that's also taken from baseball is KNOCK THE BALL OUT OF THE PARK.
- Tom KNOCKED THE BALL OUT OF THE PARK on his last presentation.
- HIT THE MARK means to be exact or right about something or meet a standard or expectation.
- A lot of people didn't like the President's speech, but I think it HIT THE MARK especially when he talked about foreign trade. (I agreed with him; I think he covered/mentioned the most important points.)
Do you think you got all that? Well, give the quick exercise below a shot and see how well you do! Remember to use the correct form of the verb. You'll find the answers below, but no cheating! :-)
- Don't you have a big exam next week? When are you going to __________?
- Let's __________ early tomorrow before traffic gets heavy.
- The meteorologist's predictions really __________. It rained, then it snowed just as he said.
- They usually don't __________ until July when the water gets really warm.
- Tom's still in Las Vegas. He says he won't come back until he __________.
- I don't understand why Sarah didn't win the competition. I totally think she __________ with her last performance.
- It's still beautiful out. Let's __________ after dinner and just take a walk.
- Sarah is always __________. It's no wonder she always graduates at the top of her class.
- It's getting late. I should __________. I have an early start tomorrow.
- I honestly thought I'd failed the test, but I found out I actually aced it. I was so worried, but I had no idea I'd actually __________.
ANSWERS: 1. HIT THE BOOKS 2. HIT THE ROAD/HIT THE BEACH 3. HIT THE MARK 4. HIT THE BEACH
5. HITS THE JACKPOT 6. HIT A HOMERUN 7. HIT THE PARK/HIT THE BEACH 8. HITTING THE BOOKS
9. HIT THE ROAD 10. HIT A HOMERUN
Any questions? Feel free to ask here, on Facebook, or on Twitter! If you found this useful, please SHARE it with friends using the social media button below. Take care!
-- Joe Yu, ESL instructor