Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The rat race

The "rat race" refers to those people who are caught up (involved/stuck) in a lifestyle or work routine that is tiring, stressful, demanding and competitive. If you are caught up in the rat race you don't have much time for relaxation.

1. Working in a city like New York or London would be a rat race. There people live life in the fast lane and are always on the go.   

2. Many of my English students who used to live in São Paulo say that they moved to Fortaleza because it was too much of a rat race... and also they spent too much time stuck in traffic.

3. Everyone needs to get out of the rat race and go on a vacation once in a while to de-stress.

4. Imagine working with the stock market. You'd have to be on your toes (alert) all the time. It is an absolute rat race because of its competitive nature.

5. You need to drop out of the rat race as soon as you are able to and spend more time with your family and friends.


  1. Hi guys, I hope you're enjoying the posts! By the way, the meaning of RACK UP/ RACKING UP: to accumulate... so Calvin and his mother are going to rack up/ accumulate expenses (spend a lot of money) while the father is at work!

  2. Hello again,

    in this post I realized by sheer chance that Calvin uses the phrasal verb "Go Off" which is your last post of the blog and, I think, it has no relation with what Calvin tries to say to his father, isn't it? Am I wrong?

    Ok, "let's call it a day" for today.

  3. Yep... you're right... no relation to "go off" in the context of alarm clocks... it's the same as a plain, "go", but in this case "go off" sounds a little more natural. You will discover that most phrasal verbs have multiple meanings. Most of the time the preposition totally changes the meaning of the preceding verb to create a new mini-phrase... but in this case it just adds a more natural feel to the already mentioned verb.

  4. All clear now, thank you so much for your time.