6.- Verbs of effort.

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To Go Ahead With

Meaning: to start to do something, to get on with a job

This is quite informal, but it’s a very simple explanation.

When we want to get on with a job, when we want to make some progress, we go ahead with it.


I’m going to go ahead with the decoration. Why don’t you take the kids out?

Let’s pick this one. That seems to be the best size and shape to fit the room. Let’s go ahead with it.





To Cope With

Meaning: to manage to deal with sth, usually indicates a little bit of a struggle that is not easy


How do you cope with all this extra work that you have to do?

How do you cope with the pressure of studying part-time to do your MBA?

I find it difficult to cope with extra pressure all the time.





To Overcome

Meaning: to deal with problems or difficulties in a successful way


We need to find ways to overcome the blocks of developing our business into a new market.

Of course, you could use it in a negative way.

He wasn’t able to overcome the problems and decided to pull out of that particular market.

In that sense, you use it negatively.

He was able to overcome it in time to spend the weekend with his family.

So you might have had a problem in the middle of the week, and you weren’t sure whether it would stretch to the weekend. Luckily, you’re able to overcome that particular problem, find out what was causing the issue, deal with it, and therefore the weekend was free to spend with your family.




To Get On With Something

Meaning: to proceed with something; to continue with something after an interruption


Let me get on with this job. I’ve got a tight deadline, I need to finish it before 5 o’clock.

To get on with a job is to continue, to get on with it or you want to begin something. So you can use it in many, many different stages.

Leave me to get on with this is a popular expression.

I’d like to get on with this is another popular way to express it.

Can I leave you to get on with it?





To Tackle


Meaning: to deal with something that is going to be a little bit complicated


We need one of those pneumatic drills to tackle this job. Tony has this equipment, three of us can tackle this job in no time.




To Work On

Meaning: to spend time working in order to create or improve something


I’m going to spend all Saturday working on this particular presentation because I want it ready for next week.




To Focus On Something

Meaning: to concentrate on something; to put all your effort into one particular project or task


I wanted to work from home for a few days in order to focus on that big submission.




To Deal With

Meaning: to sort out or fix a problem

We deal with things every day of the week, don’t we? We deal with the mundane stresses of life, getting the kids up, getting them to school, getting the lunches made, getting off to work, or getting in on time, catching the metro, whatever happens. So everything that we have to do, we have to deal with it.


I went to a restaurant and my food order was taking longer than expected. I had to deal with the manager.




To Handle Something

Meaning: to get it completed


I’m able to handle it, I will just log into the system, I’ll find out and track what’s happened to this delivery.

I think you’re the best person to handle that particular situation.




To Give Up

Meaning: to surrender, to stop doing what you’re doing, admit defeat


I don’t know how I’m going to deal with this. I’ve put in so much effort up to now and it just seems to be a wasted effort. So I’m just going to give up.

So if nothing works, if you can’t find the solution to the problem, sometimes it actually is better just to give up, not spend more time or effort because it’s not going to be so useful.

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