Hard at it – C1 (profesor)

Hard at it

https://www.bbc.co.uk/learningenglish/english/features/the-english-we-speak_2023/ep-231003

 

Introduction

Learn an English idiom about putting lots of effort into doing something. It could relate to work, exercise, learning or anything that involves determination, concentration and effort. Let Feifei and Neil explain in this programme.

 

Transcript

Feifei
Hello and welcome to The English We Speak. I’m Feifei…

 

Neil
…and I’m Neil. And in this programme we’re learning a phrase that describes putting lots of effort into what you are doing. It’s ‘hard at it’.

 

Feifei
‘Hard at it’. So, this is about working really hard?

 

Neil
Yes. But not just work – if you’re putting lots of effort into doing anything, we can say you are hard at it. The ‘hard’ part is the adjective and means involving lots of effort, and the ‘it’ refers to the thing you are doing.

 

Feifei
Right, so I did a workout at the gym yesterday. It was tough but that’s because I tried really hard – I put lots of effort into it – so could I say I was ‘hard at it’?

 

Neil
You could – and well done by the way – you wouldn’t find me hard at it in the gym. Yesterday, I was hard at it trying to study for my Spanish language test.

 

Feifei
It seems we were both busy, hard at it, doing something difficult.

 

Neil
Yes, and we weren’t the only ones – listen to these examples…

 

Examples
Don’t disturb Vera, she’s hard at it trying to finish the paperwork for the project.

If you’re looking for Dad, he’s hard at it in the kitchen making food for the party.

I’m hard at it on a practice run, trying to get fit for a marathon I’m taking part in next month.

 

Feifei
In this The English We Speak, we’re learning the phrase ‘hard at it’ which describes putting lots of effort into doing something.

 

Neil
Yes, and note this has an informal use and refers to anything you’re making extra effort to do, and that you’re really focussed on.

 

Feifei
Well Neil, I’ve been hard at it at work today. I think I deserve to finish early and head to the gym again for another workout.

 

Neil
Lucky you. I’ve still got this pile of work to do, so I’ll be hard at it until late. Wish me luck!

 

Feifei
Good luck Neil. Bye.

 

Neil
Bye.

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