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To hit the books

Idiom: To hit the books

Context #1 – Two students just got back from the one-week break
and are starting a new term at Language Systems in LA.

Jeff: What
a vacation! San Francisco was beautiful and the weather was perfect.
Katie: I know. It’s
nice to take a break from school and get out of town for a while.
Jeff: Yes, but now it’s
back to school. I want to take the TOEFL test in January, so I really have to hit the books. I don’t think I have been
studying enough.
Katie: Don’t worry! You
still have time to study. However, I have to take the TOEFL next week, so I have been hitting the books for the past
couple of months. No breaks for me until I take that test.
Jeff: Well, good luck!

Context #2 – A student
who is failing his English class is asking his teacher for help.

Jonathan: Hi teacher. I’m here because I noticed that I’m
failing this class and that I may not be able to go to the next level. Is there
anything I can do?
Timothy: Well, the first thing you must do is hit the books, since we have tests in a
couple of days. Then, you need to attend class every day and come on time.
Jonathan: I know. I’m really going to try to do better.
I have just been a little lonely and homesick lately. I really miss my family back home.
Timothy: In addition to hitting the books
practicing and talking to people in English outside of class will help
your studies and your loneliness. Maybe if you make more friends to talk to in
English, you won’t be as homesick.
Jonathan: You are right. I feel lonely sometimes, so it
would be good to make more friends and go out more often. Then, I could also
learn more English. Thank you for the advice!

Meaning: “To
hit the books” means to study hard. In context #1, Katie and Jeff both have to hit the books in order to get a high
score on the TOEFL test. In context 2,
the student has to hit the books in
order to pass his class.

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