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In this lesson we will discuss the idiom ‘the ball is in your court’ and how to use it in conversations.
Mark: If someone says ‘the ball is in your court’ to you, it means that he wants you to react on the matter.
Daisy: Mr. Smith told me that the ball is in my court when he gave me the assignment. He meant that I should work on it now, right?
Mark: You got it, Daisy. The idiom is often used in making a decision. However, it also means that whatever happens, it’s up to you; now it’s your turn to make a decision.
Daisy: So if the ball is in someone’s court, it means that it’s now his responsibility to do something about it.
Mark: Correct! This makes the meaning clear. Will you give me some examples?
Daisy: I guess the ball is in my court now! Okay, here’s one example: “I’ve emailed you my half of the report, Mark. Now the ball is in your court.”
Mark: Thank you Daisy! By the way, we’ve already raised $3000 for the freshmen party. Now the ball is in your court to schedule it.
Daisy: Don’t worry Mark, actually I’ve planned it already! Let’s listen to some conversations now.
Wilson: What about the balance sheet, Olivia? Have you done it?
Olivia: I did my bit and gave it to John. The ball’s in his court now. You should talk to him, Wilson.
Wilson: Thank you Olivia. I’ll ask John about it.
Olivia: Wilson, what happened to your job transfer?
Wilson: Yeah! I talked to Mr. Jones about it. He said the ball is in the chairman's court.
Olivia: I see. So you might have to stay with us a bit longer!
Wilson: For now, I have no choice, unless I just quit.
Olivia: If the chairman refuses your transfer request, the ball will be in your court.
Wilson: Yeah. That’s right. It’ll be a tough decision.
Olivia: Hey Wilson, let’s watch one of the new movies today!
Wilson: I’m a little tired of watching movies, let’s do something else.
Olivia: Okay, what would you like to do then? I’ll do anything you want to.
Olivia: Yep, the ball’s in your court!