idiom: par for the course

golf_feature

This is my first blog entry for a while and this time I’d like to teach you another idiom: par for the course. We use this when we want to talk about something happening that we think is usual or typical for a certain situation. In other words, we expect this thing to happen in the situation because it’s happened many times before. Let me give you some examples using this idiom.

At my company, Bill got promoted instead of Mary. Unfortunately, that’s par for the course at my company; the women almost never get promoted.

Don’t expect Nancy to come to the party on time. Being late is par for the course with her.

Working until late at night is par for the course at my office.

Please note that we always put some form of the verb “be” in front of this idiom.

This expression comes from the sport of golf. In golf, “par” is the typical number of strokes it takes to complete one hole or one game. Therefore, the word “course” in this expression is referring to a golf course.

However, the meaning of “par for the course” has been expanded from referring to the typical number of strokes in a game of golf to mean a typical thing to be expected in a situation.

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