Keep your word

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 09 May, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 09 May, 2012, 12:00am


'The best way to keep your word is not to give it' Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821) - French emperor and military leader

Keep your eye on the ball

'To keep' is one of those little verbs that have lots of meanings depending on what words are added to it. What do these five verb phrases mean?

1 to keep your word

a. to agree with what a lot of people say

b. to do what you have promised to do

2 to keep an open mind

a. to wait until you know all the facts before you make a decision

b. to be disrespectful to someone older than you

3 to keep a cool head

a. to stay calm in a difficult situation

b. to not be worried even though you have high fever

4 to keep a low profile

a. to keep a big secret from your best friend

b. to avoid attracting attention to yourself

5 to keep your eye on the ball

a. to give your full attention to the issue at hand

b. to play football whenever you have free time

What are you going to do?

Complete these sentences with phrases from the previous section.

1 I know I'm going to have lots of problems to start with in my new job. But I intend to .............. no matter what happens.

2 I've been in a bit of trouble at school recently, so for the rest of the term I'm going to ...........

3 Things are going to be very busy at work with all these new projects, but don't worry, I'm going to ................ 4 I'm going to .................. until I have all the information in front of me.

What do you say?

Match the following phrases with the definitions below

1 Keep your hair on!

2 Keep mum!

3 Keep your distance!

4 Keep at it!

5 Keep me posted!

a. Stay far away from me!

b. Let me know the news!

c. Don't lose your temper!

d. Don't give up!

e. Don't tell anyone!

Keep me in the picture

Match the following verb phrases with the meanings below.

1 to keep somebody in the picture

2 to keep somebody at arm's length

3 to keep an eye on somebody

4 to keep something from somebody

5 to keep up with somebody

a. to move at the same rate as someone

b. to make sure someone is told what's happening

c. not to give someone an important piece of information

d. to watch closely or give your attention to someone

e. to make sure someone does not become too friendly with you

Fill in the gaps ....

Complete these sentences with the phrases below

1 Jane didn't return my call. I have a feeling that she is ........

2 I update my blog every day to ........... about my life at university.

3 I don't trust the new girl in our office. I am going to .........

4 Bob got the manager's job, but for some reason, he is ............

5 Ever since Joyce hired a personal trainer, I can't ..... on our hikes.

a. keep my family in the picture

b. keeping the news of his promotion from everyone in the office.

c. keeping me at arm's length.

d. keep up with her.

e. keep an eye on her.


Keep your eye on the ball:

1. b, 2. a, 3. a, 4. b, 5. a

What are you going to do:

1. keep a cool head

2. keep a low profile

3. keep my eye on the ball

4. keep an open mind

What do you say:

1. c, 2. e, 3. a, 4. d, 5. b

Keep me in the picture:

1. b, 2. e, 3. d, 4. c, 5. a

Fill in the gaps:

1. c, 2. a, 3. e, 4. b, 5. d