Expressions used in Everyday Spoken English in Social and Professional contexts

set the (bar/standard) (high)

set the barset the standardset the bar high
1) do or establish something at a level others need to try and achieve
  • How to MemorizePopularity HighProfessional HighSocial
    • set the bar/standard in the industry
  • Analysis

    To 'set the bar' or 'set the standard' means to dictate or provide an example of the standard at which others are expected to reach. You will often hear this phrase used in relation to sports or academic achievements. If someone 'sets the bar high' it means the standard expected is above the reach of most people or is not easy to achieve.

  • Social Examples (Basic)
    1. Instead of setting the bar too high, Robert has established realistic goals for himself.
    2. Studies show that students from more affluent backgrounds set the bar high in terms of academic achievement.

  • Professional Examples (Basic)
    1. I do set the bar high for my students, but I also make sure I do all I can to help them reach it.
    2. Everyone in the industry is striving for the level of that company. They have set the standard when it comes to on-time deliveries.
    3. With our new product, we aim to set the bar for mid-range mobile phones.
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