grammatical expression: a wake up call

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Today’s blog entry is about the term “a wake-up call”. We use it when we want to talk about an event which makes a person realize that they have to change some kind of negative behavior. Let me give you some ways to use it in sentences.

I used to smoke, but when my friend died of lung cancer, it was really a wake-up call for me. I quit smoking very soon after that.

My son has been lazy about studying, so he failed his last exam. I hope that will be a wake-up call for him.

I heard about a guy who didn’t save much money until he was in his fifties. Now he’s old but very poor. That was really a wake-up call for me, and now I’m saving as much money as I can.

Yesterday in the news, there was a story about a man who was killed while driving drunk. That should be a wake-up call for all people who drink and drive.

We can use this expression in all types of sentences, but it’s most commonly used in grammatically positive sentences.

As you can see from my examples, we put the preposition “for” after this term, and then that is followed by the person who is doing the negative behavior.

We can also use this term to talk about a situation in a hotel where a person gets a call from the hotel staff early in the morning in order to not be late for something.

In the case where it means to stop a negative behavior, the idea is that the person is not conscious of the possible negative effects their behavior can have. When the bad event happens, it “wakes them up” from that unconscious state and makes them change.

This term can be used in both business situations and daily conversations.

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