Fall short

To "fall short" is to not achieve an objective

Today's story: New Year's resolutions
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Fall short

The phrasal verb I want to share with you today is “fall short.” When you fall short of something, you don’t quite achieve it. You got close, but didn’t quite make it. Many people fall short of achieving their New Year’s resolutions. They try, but they don’t make it.

This can apply in a wide range of situations. A sports team might fall short of a championship. Do you remember the World Cup this year? Tiny Croatia surprised so many people and made it to the final game against France. They became the favorite of a lot of fans who wanted to see the small underdog win. But in the final game, Croatia fell short. They scored just two goals and lost to France 4-2. Although they played very well in the tournament, they fell short of winning it all.

The performance of the stock market in the US fell short of many predictions this year, especially since it’s been going down the last few months.

You can also fall short of someone’s expectations, or even your own expectations. It’s generally not a good thing if you fall short of your expectations at work—that means you’re not doing a good enough job. If you fall short of your own expectations, you’re not acting as well as you think you should. I just went away for a few days after Christmas and I was hoping for warm weather. But although it was warmer than in Chicago, the weather where I went fell short of my expectations—it was cloudy and rainy the whole time.

Couple other ways to use “fall short.” You can fall just short of something, if you almost made it, or you can fall well short if you’re not even close. Croatia fell just short of winning the World Cup—they made it to the final game, they almost got there, but they fell just short and lost the last game. Fernando Haddade, meanwhile, fell well short of the votes needed to become Brazil’s president. Instead, Jair Bolsonaro won by a big margin.


That does it for today. Thanks for being with us. Tell me what your New Year’s resolutions are and whether you think you’ll be able to meet them. The email address is [email protected] for me and [email protected] for JR. Have a great weekend and we’ll be back here on Monday.

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Story: New Year's resolutions