Expressions using Themes (e.g. Collocations, IELTS, Business English)

Collocations With The Word Turn

Collocations are words that usually go together in English.

Here we are going to look at words that go with 'turn' to make useful and popular expressions you will hear in social and professional contexts.


Have a turn (at something)

The collocation 'have a turn at something' is used to offer, take, or ask for the chance to use or do something. It only applies to things people must do or use one after the other, rather than all at the same time.

Examples

  • That computer game looks fun. Can I have a turn playing it?
  • Now that I've shown you how to use the machine, I'd like to see you have a turn at operating it.
  • I need to be out of the house early this morning, so I'm having my turn in the bathroom before you! 


Give something a turn

When you 'give something a turn,' you move something in a circular direction, or so that a different side or surface is on top.

Examples

  • When the steaks are cooking, give them a turn every so often to stop them from burning.
  • gave the handle a turn, but it didn't budge. The door must be locked.


Sharp/sudden turn

If you make a 'sharp' or 'sudden turn,' then you abruptly change the direction in which you are moving or facing.

  • I had almost driven passed the entrance to the car park by the time I noticed it, so I had to make a sharp turn.
  • The person walking in front of me turned suddenly, so I ended up bumping into him.
  • The road is very icy this morning, so don't make any sharp or sudden turns.


Make a U-turn

In a literal sense, to 'make a u-turn' refers to a vehicle making a 180-degree turn so that is facing in the opposite direction. That meaning can also be transferred to figuratively express a complete reversal of something such as an idea, opinion, plan etc.

Examples

  • I released I was driving in the wrong direction, so I waited for a gap in oncoming traffic and then made a U-turn.
  • The government was forced into making a humiliating U-turn after public uproar over their new policy.
  • We will be going ahead with that plan, and, regardless of what the staff think of it, I will not make a U-turn on that decision.


At every turn

Something that happens 'at every turn,' happens at every opportunity, or every time you try to do something. It is often said in frustration in reference to something that is preventing you from achieving your aim.

Examples

  • My plan to build an extension to my house has been frustrated at every turn by the local council.
  • Our project was hampered at every turn by staff shortages and budget cuts.
  • The Prime Minister has been trying to push through his proposal, but parliament have blocked it at every turn. 


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