Learning Idioms in Context: Gary's Path To Success

Here is a story of a young man with a fantastic mindset on how to be successful. You’ll find idiom definitions, example sentences, conversations, and a short quiz after reading the story.

Success comes to those who desire it. Gary is a young man who loves to plan to do things systematically. He doesn’t need to beat around the bush when communicating with other people. He speaks clearly and makes sure that all his ideas are well understood easily. 

Gary is a solution seeker as he believes that a stitch in time saves nine. He makes sure to face any challenges as early as possible. He never runs out of time to think of a possible solution to all issues he encounters. On the other hand, he is also a person that values the art of saving. He only buys what he needs. He said that when it rains, it pours so he prepares for it. Life is full of surprises, so he saves money in the bank for his future. 

Gary is also famous for being a perfectionist. At the beginning of a project, he always sees to it that everything starts with a good plan. While it is true that well begun is half done, he still works at his best until the end of the project. Through this mindset, any project he undertakes has a snowball’s chance in hell to fail. All tasks are well thought and performed according to his plan. As others may have different strategies, Gary’s road to success is inspiring and realistic.

Beat around the bush 

  • to speak vaguely, or avoid talking about something directly 
Example Sentences

I asked Mila why she was always late for work, but instead of giving me a straight answer, all she did was beat around the bush.

You need to speak clearly about what you want to do in your next project. If you beat around the bush, you are making things complicated.

A: Mom, my best friend told me to save money and buy for two extra shirts.

B: Please stop beating around the bush and tell me what you are talking about.

When it rains, it pours  

  • something good or bad that is occurring many times then something good or bad also happens
Example Sentences

Bella perfectly understands that when it rains, it pours, so she saves a portion of her salary as much as possible.

My younger sister wanted to clear out her debts and worked hard at her job. As they say, when it rains, it pours so she was also promoted after a few months.

A: Hannah, why you are so thrifty now, and you don’t go out too much. 

B: Yes, I need to save now as when it rains, it pours. I don’t know when my boss will suddenly fire me.

Well begun is half done

  • a good beginning makes a good ending
Example Sentences

Well begun is half done so when you have started a project well, you can finish it smoothly, too.

Although well begun is half done, you should still do your best until the end of the semester.

A: I’m afraid I’ll never be able to finish my English homework. 

B: You have already written a good essay. Well begun is half done.

A snowball’s chance in hell 

  • something that has no chance to happen or succeed
Example Sentences

Your dream is too unrealistic. It has a snowball’s chance in hell that you can achieve it.

Fe has a snowball’s chance in hell of studying higher education in the US as she never started to learn English.

A: Do you think I can be a flight attendant someday?

B: That is a snowball’s chance in hell because there is a height requirement. You are just 4 feet tall.

A stitch in time saves nine

  • a problem that needs to be solved as soon as possible before it gets worse
Example Sentences

There is something wrong with your car. You should take it to the shop as it is better to get it checked as a stitch in time saves nine.

If you have many book reports to do for your final paper, start now. Do not begin to write a week before the deadline as a stitch in time saves nine.

A: I can see that you failed two subjects for our preliminary examination. You should do your best in all our class participation, book reports and projects for midterm and final assessment. 

B. Thank you for your advice. I will do better now as I also believe that a stitch in time saves nine. 


1. Never try to ____________ when you are delivering a speech as this is not a good practice of an excellent public speaker.

2. Allan has been saving a lot of money and has no plan of spending his vacation abroad as he believes that ____________.

3. Although ___________, Gemma always makes the best term paper in school at all times.

4. You got _____________ when you wish to be promoted as a supervisor, but you always come to work an hour late.

5. Maya knows that her book report is a week away from its deadline, but she has already started to finalize it as she believes that _____________.

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