Mark these words
Written by John Millen
Mark it down
What sort of marks are these?
1 a black mark
a. something bad you have done or a bad quality that affects the way people think about you
b. the number plate on the front of a car
2 a tidemark
a. a line left around a sink or a bathtub made by dirty water
b. a line drawn under a piece of writing
3 a high-water mark
a. the point at which a river will overflow on to the land
b. a mark showing the highest level that the sea or a river reaches at a particular place
4 a pass mark
a. the number of marks you need to be successful in an exam
b. the lowest price you pay for something
5 a punctuation mark
a. a symbol used in writing to show the end of a sentence
b. a symbol used in writing to separate sentences or to make the meaning clearer
6 a birthmark
a. a mark on a person's skin that's been there since birth
b. lines around the eyes caused by ageing
Up to the mark
Choose the correct noun to complete the sentence.
1 I've got a small (punctuation mark / birthmark) on the sole of my left foot.
2 You'll get a (birthmark / black mark) if Mr Lee realises you copied your homework from someone else.
3 Clean the bath after you've used it, please. Last time you left a (punctuation mark / tidemark).
4 Your use of (pass marks / punctuation marks) is sometimes careless.
5 You can see the (tidemark / high-water mark) under the bridge.
6 He's got a (black mark / birthmark) on the back of his hand.
7 If you're late for work again this week, that will be another (tidemark / black mark) against you.
Making my mark
Can you match these phrasal verbs with their definitions? There are more definitions than you need.
1 to mark something down
2 to mark something off
3 to leave your mark on something
4 to be slow off the mark
5 to be up to the mark
6 to overstep the mark
a. to have an effect on something that makes it better
b. to be slow in reacting to a situation
c. to be good enough
d. to make a record of something on a piece of paper
e. to complete a task
f. to quickly finish something
g. to behave in an unacceptable way
h. to separate an area by putting something round it
Which is the correct response to these questions?
1 Why have you got your notebook open?
a. I'm going to overstep the mark.
b. I'm going to mark down the grades everyone gets.
2 Do you think it's a good idea?
a. No. You will overstep the mark if you do that.
b. No. You will be quick off the mark.
3 What are they going to do with all those plastic cones?
a. They are going to mark off an area where we can't play.
b. They are going to mark down the goals.
4 Why haven't you finished writing that letter?
a. Sorry. I'll mark it down.
b. Sorry. I'm a bit slow off the mark this morning.
Bits of different shapes: 1. a, 2. b, 3. a, 4. b, 5. b, 6. a
Bit by bit: 1. bit by bit, 2. Not a bit, 3. a bit-part, 4. quite a bit, 5. a bit much, 6. two-bit, 7. bit by bit
Bit phrases: 1. a, 2. b, 3. a, 4. b, 5. a, 6. b
1. thrilled to bits, 2. got the bit between my teeth, 3. laying it on a bit thick, 4. take a blind bit of notice, 5. bit of a lad, 6. champing at the bit