General Writing and Grammar Help/Make the grade

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Question
Dear Ted:

What does "Can she make the grade?" mean?

Does it have a figurative meaning?

If so, would you please give me some examples of how to use the above expression/phrase?

As always, many, many thanks for your valuable help.

Paolo

Answer
Dear Paolo:

What does "Can she make the grade?" mean?

Does it have a figurative meaning?

If so, would you please give me some examples of how to use the above
expression/phrase?


*** "Make the grade" is an American idiom.  It means "to do well."  You can use it figuratively, if you apply the phrase to something that is not usually associated with "grading," like in school.  All the runners made the grade by finishing the marathon.

Here is more information:

make the grade
to be satisfactory; to be what is expected. I'm sorry, but your work doesn't exactly make the grade. This meal doesn't just make the grade. It is excellent.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
________________________________________
make the grade
to succeed at something, usually because your skills are good enough (often negative) He wanted to get into medical school but he failed to make the grade.
Cambridge Idioms Dictionary, 2nd ed. Copyright Cambridge University Press 2006. Reproduced with permission.
*******************

*** I found this really good site for idioms.  It has definitions and examples. It also has little "tests" you can take to see if you understand how each idiom works.  TRY IT!

http://www.sky-net-eye.com/eng/english/idioms

[make the grade] {v. phr.}, {informal}
1. To make good; succeed.
It was clear that Mr. Baker had made the grade in the insurance business.
It takes hard study to make the grade in school.
2. To meet a standard; qualify.
That whole shipment of cattle made the grade as prime beef.


Good luck.

Ted

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Ted Nesbitt

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I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.

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I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

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B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

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