Don’t Give Up!

Wrestler in a headlock

You don’t need me to tell you that studying a foreign language is difficult.  When we attempt to do something difficult, it’s easy to get discouraged and want to quit.  The vocabulary in this lesson focuses on how we talking about giving up and not giving up.


Let’s start with not giving up (because that is what I hope you will do—not quit studying English until you reach your goal!)

You can encourage yourself and others by saying things like:

Don’t give up! You’ve almost got it! 
Keep trying! You’re so close!
Try again!  You’re almost there!


Sometimes, you experience a setback—something goes wrong.  You might have failed a test, not done well in an interview, or been rejected for some reason.  You can also tell someone to keep trying by saying things like:

Give (…) another shot! Keep your head in the game!
Don’t let (…) get to you!   Stay focused!
Give yourself a pep talk.  


Now, let’s look at how we talk about giving up or quitting.

Boxer knocked out in the ring

When you are tired of fighting and want to quit, you can say:

I’ve had enough.  (I’ve had it) I’m giving up.
I’m calling it quits. I’m throwing in the towel.
I’m bowing out.    I’m bagging it.


Let’s look at an example conversation.

Dan:  What’s up with you?  You look terrible.

Haley:  I just got out of a job interview.  It didn’t go well.

Dan:  Don’t let it get to you.  Everyone blows an interview.

Haley:  This isn’t the first one that hasn’t gone well.  I’ve been looking for a job for months.  I’m ready to call it quits.

Dan:  Don’t give up.

Haley:  No, I’ve had it.  It’s too hard on my self-esteem.

Dan:  I know it’s not easy, but you’ve got to keep trying.  Someday, you’ll be happy that you did.

Haley:  I know you’re right, but sometimes, I just really want to throw in the towel.

Dan:  When you feel that way, you have to give yourself a pep talk.  If you can’t, then find a friend who can.  Call me!  I’ll tell you to keep your head in the game.

Haley:  Thanks for the encouragement.

Dan:  You bet.  Any time.

Now you know what to say next time things get rough.  Go out there and practice.  Keep your head in the game, and don’t give up!