官方APP下载:英语学习播客(支持苹果手机、安卓手机)
创办于2003年
UNSV记不住?那就记中文谐音“忧安思危”吧!
  Slow and Steady Wins the Race!
UNSV英语学习频道 - Slow and steady wins the race!
公众微信服务号(英语全能特训)
英语全能特训(微信公众服务号)
UNSV英语学习频道淘宝网店
客服短信:18913948480
客服邮箱:web@unsv.com
初级VIP会员
全站英语学习资料下载。
¥98元/12个月

Words and Their Stories - When You 'Raise the Bar,' Things Get Hard

作者:Mario Ritter 发布日期:3-7-2021

And now, Words and Their Stories, from VOA Learning English.

On this program we explore words and expressions in American English. Today we talk about a common idiom from sports: To raise the bar.

To raise the bar means to set a high standard and to raise expectations. It can also mean to set higher goals.

You can raise the bar for yourself or for others. But we often use this expression when someone's performance is much better than others.

When you raise the bar, you increase the expectations of people who have settled into a way of doing things. For example, let's say a person is really good at playing a video game. If he joins a team game, his skill level will raise the bar. The other players will have to play better to come up to the new level of competition.

When you use the expression, you can sometimes put a word before "bar." This will describe the situation better.

For example, when a new intern started at VOA Learning English for his fall semester, he would wear a suit during online video meetings. Most of us who had been working at home for many months, did not dress up. We looked presentable, but our clothes were not formal. So, he really raised the clothing bar for our weekly meetings.

Here is another example.

Let's say you are invited to go to a potluck party. At a potluck party, everyone is supposed to bring one thing to drink or eat. You make a very tasty cake with four layers and fancy decorations. The host might say, "Wow you really raised the potluck bar for the rest of the people at the party."

Word experts say people began using the idiom "raise the bar" around the turn of the twentieth century.

It comes from the sport of track and field, specifically the high jump and the pole vault events.

These events involve raising a bar incrementally, or a little at a time, to see how high the athletes can jump or vault over a bar.

Now let's hear these two friends use the expression together.

A: How's the new job going?

B: Great! I go into the office an hour early every day and stay late almost every night. Plus, I get all my work done days ahead of my deadlines.

A: Aren't you worried that you might be raising the bar a bit too high?

B: No way! If other people can't perform as well, that's good for me, right?

A: Well, you don't want to raise the bar SO high that one day YOU have trouble getting over it.

B: You know, that's a really good point. I never thought of it like that.

A: That's what friends are for.

B: Maybe I'll ease up a little bit...

A: Good idea.

And that brings us to the end of this week's Words and Their Stories. When it comes to teaching American English, we hope we raise the bar just a little bit higher for English learners.

Until next time … I'm Anna Matteo.

Anna Matteo wrote this story for VOA Learning English. Mario Ritter, Jr. was the editor.

Words in This Story

idiom –n. an expression that cannot be understood from the meaning of its separate words

standard –n. a level of quality or performance that is considered acceptable or desired

semester –n. one of two, half-year periods that make up an academic year at a school or college

pole vault –n. an athletic event in which people compete by using a pole to jump over a bar this is high above the ground

incrementally –n. a small amount by which something is made larger, greater or higher

We want to hear from you. Write to us in the Comments section, and visit our Facebook page.

版权所有©2003-2019 南京通享科技有限公司,保留所有权利。未经书面许可,严禁转载本站内容,违者追究法律责任。 互联网经营ICP证:苏B2-20120186
网站备案:苏公网安备 32010202011039号苏ICP备05000269号-1中国工业和信息化部网站备案查询
广播台