Idioms – way

If you ‘pave the way’ it means to make progress easier.

  • The agreement on trade paves the way for better relations between the countries.
  • The discovery paved the way to the development of a new drug to treat diabetes.

If you are ‘set in your ways’ , you resist any changes.

  • He’s only 45 but he is so set in his ways he could be 75.
  • I’m too set in my ways to accept any changes.

If you climb through the ranks of a company and reach a high position, you have ‘worked your way to the top’.

  • He started here as a young man and gradually worked his way to the top of the company.
  • The best bosses have usually worked their way to the top and not been appointed from outside.

If you want to buy something for $200 and the person wants you to pay $300, you can agree to ‘meet halfway’ and pay $250.

  • You want 600. I want 400. Let’s meet each other halfway and agree on 500.
  • She wanted six weeks and he wanted ten. So they met each other halfway and decided on eight.

If you speak well (and usually persuasively), you have ‘a way with words’.

  • Let her talk to them. She has a way with words.
  • I know you have a way with words but you’re not going to get me to change my mind.

If you stop somebody from doing something, you ‘stand in their way’.

  • I won’t stand in your way if you want to apply for that job.
  • Nothing is going to stand in my way. I’m going to do it.

Sometimes discussions don’t stay on the subject and go ‘way off’ course.

  • We’ve wandered way off the subject.
  • I took a wrong turning and went way off course.

If you make a lot of effort and inconvenience yourself to help somebody, you ‘go out of your way’ to help them.

  • I went out of my way to help him and he didn’t even thank me.
  • Don’t go out of your way to do it but, if you see any Cadbury’s chocolate, will you get me some?

Some people want both to work less and to earn more money. They want to ‘have it both ways’.

  • You can’t have it both ways. Which is more important to you?
  • A full-time job and a full-time family carer? It’s difficult to have it both ways.

If you want to avoid somebody, you ‘keep out of their way’.

  • The boss is in a bad mood. Keep out of her way.
  • I wasn’t deliberately keeping out of your way.

If you change the order of two things, you put them ‘the other way round’.

  • As Brian hasn’t arrived yet, we’re going to put the first two presentations the other way round and start with Jane’s.
  • It’s not that she’s mad with him. It’s the other way round. He’s mad with her.

‘To my way of thinking’ means ‘in my opinion’.

  • Jane is a better speaker to my way of thinking.
  • To my way of thinking, we need to find a better candidate.

If you have no opinion between two choices, you don’t mind ‘either way’.

  • Drive, if you prefer. I don’t mind either way.
  • We could meet here or there. Either way is good for me.

‘On the way’ means that it is coming.

  • I have a new baby on the way.
  • She’s on her way but got held up in traffic.

If things have changed a lot, they have ‘come a long way’.

  • We started out in one small office but we’ve come a long way since then.
  • We’ve both come a long way since I first met you as an office junior.

When you give some information as incidental to the main conversation, you can introduce it by saying ‘by the way’.

  • By the way, did I tell you that Leslie is going to Ghana?
  • By the way, I’m taking tomorrow off.

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exercise 5

7 thoughts on “Idioms – way”

  1. Dear Pearson, I do hope your eye will be better soonest possible. let me know if it better next time. I appreciate the ‘way’ idioms as very useful indeed! Thanks a lot! Please, get better & let me get your wise messages again & again!
    Kindest regards Victor, Russia

  2. Thanks for your interesting post, Pearson! Hope your eye soon get well.
    Best regards, Dung Nguyen( Ha Noi – Viet Nam)

  3. Thanks for your exercises. They are really helpful. I try to do all of them to improve my English every day :-). Have a great day!

  4. HEllo my teacher a long time ago without navigating on the internet but to day i recome again so i want to thank you again because you don’t forget me so continue to be to together with me .goodbye

  5. Dear Pearson,
    I pray for your quick recovery. Soon everything will be fine, I do hope.
    Your way idiom lesson is fantastic!~!!
    Thanks for your GREAT help!!

  6. You are a good teacher that can help more students to understand the lesson
    and i follow on your courses to know more again I thank you more

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