Drawing the short straw

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 14 December, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 14 December, 2011, 12:00am


'The end result of kindness is that it draws people to you'

Anita Roddick (1942-2007) - British businesswoman

To draw and to draw

To draw is a verb that has a few different meanings. It can mean 'to make a picture of something with a pencil or pen', 'to take something out of something', 'to get an equal score' or 'to pull or direct something in a definite direction'.

Choose the correct word or phrase to complete these sentences.

1 He drew some money out of his (back pocket / garden).

2 Jonny can draw (brilliantly / sleepily).

3 Draw a line under the (title / path).

4 The teacher drew James to the side of the (classroom / pitch) and told him the bad news.

5 The donkey drew the cart slowly up the (pond / hill).

6 The (soldier / magician) drew a rabbit out of a hat.

7 Manchester United and Manchester City drew their (journey / match).

8 I'll draw (the doors / the curtains). It's getting dark.

Draw back

The meaning of 'to draw' changes when a preposition like 'up' or 'back' is added. What do these phrasal verbs mean?

1 to draw back

a. to sprint after seeing someone or something

b. to move away from someone or something, often in fear or disgust

2 to draw (something) out

a. to disagree with everyone on your team

b. to make something last longer than it needs to

3 to draw on (something)

a. to use information or knowledge to get something done

b. to ask someone for information

4 to draw in

a. to become darker because winter is coming

b. to get lighter because spring is here

Build your vocab

What do these useful verb phrases mean?

1 to draw a veil over something

a. to stop thinking or speaking about something unpleasant

b. to close the curtains

2 to draw the short straw

a. to win a large amount of money

b. to be selected to do something unpleasant

3 to draw in your horns

a. to have a new hairstyle

b. to be more careful with spending your money than you have been recently

4 to draw to a close

a. to slowly end

b. to end quickly and suddenly

5 to draw a blank

a. to fail to remember something after trying hard

b. to eat so much food that you feel ill

Word power

Complete these sentences with the correct words

1 I think we will draw (a veil / a blank) over the lie you told yesterday.

2 I've been trying to remember who that woman was for three days, but I've drawn a complete (short straw / blank).

3 I drew (on / in) everything I knew about pirates to write that short story.

4 You spent too much money last month. You are going to have to draw (in your horns / back).

5 I was really sad when the Harry Potter books drew (a blank / to a close).

6 I've drawn (a veil / the short straw). It's my turn to clean the toilets.


To draw: 1. back pocket, 2. brilliantly, 3. title, 4. classroom, 5. hill, 6. magician, 7. match, 8. the curtains

Braw back: 1. b, 2. b, 3. a, 4. a

Build your vocab: 1. a, 2. b, 3. b, 4. a, 5. a

Word power: 1. a veil, 2. blank, 3. on, 4. in your horns, 5. to a close, 6. the short straw