Expressions used in Everyday Spoken English in Social and Professional contexts

on the ball

on the ball
1) alert, capable of dealing with things quickly and intelligently
  • How to MemorizePopularity MediumProfessional MediumSocial
    • I need to make sure I'm on the ball to deal with that
  • Analysis
    The phrase 'to be on the ball' means to be alert and aware of new ideas methods and trends. Someone 'on the ball' is ready for what is happening and reacts quickly, appropriately and competently. This is a casual idiomatic expression used in both professional and social contexts. 
  • Social Examples (Basic)
    1. I'm lucky that my wife was on the ball this morning or else I would have left the house without my wallet. I can be such a scatterbrain sometimes!
    2. You need to be on the ball if you are travelling by train in the south. There are many pickpockets who like to target tourists.
  • Professional Examples (Basic)
    1. The meeting with the prospective client tomorrow has the potential to make or break my business, so I really need to make sure I'm on the ball. A good night's sleep will help.
    2. After the company's poor sales figures came out, the CEO chastised the staff, claiming that if they were on the ball, such poor results would not have been possible.
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