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step up to the plate

step up to the plate

Date: May 28 2009


1. Quote - Listen to the quote and guess what the slang means.

“In tough times, my friends always step up to the plate.”

- Actress Jennifer Garner on friendship. (People)


1. Definition - Study the definition.

accept a responsibility or challenge

2. Use - Learn how the slang is used.

Jennifer Garner and her husband Ben Affleck love to watch their favorite team, the Boston Red Sox, play baseball. On game days, they’re often seen in the stands, cheering for the players. So it’s not surprising to hear Jennifer use a slang expression that comes from baseball.

In baseball, when a player steps up to the plate, he gets into position to hit the ball. The plate in this case is home plate. When it’s his turn to swing, a player will stand on home plate, raise his bat, and wait for the pitcher to throw him the ball. Hopefully, he’ll score a point by hitting a home run, or at least make it to first base.

But you don’t have to be a baseball player to step up to the plate. Whenever you take on a responsibility or meet a challenge, you’re stepping up to the plate. Jennifer Garner says that her friends always step up to the plate and support her whenever she’s going through a hard time. It sounds like they’re the kind of friends who would make great teammates.


1. Examples - Hear some example sentences.

“When my mother got sick, my dad really stepped up to the plate and took care of us kids.”

“Christy always steps up to the plate when there is an important project to do the office.”

“Thanks for stepping up to the plate last week. You’re always there for me when I need you.”


1. Winners - See who guessed the slang definition correctly.

VOLTS it refers to take on or accept a challenge or a responsibility.
by VOLTSSuper Member!
Rahma MD hmmm ... try to come in to our problems and help to solve it.
by Rahma MD
fanaimi if i step up to the plate, i'm ready for the challenge, and i bring myself into play
by fanaimi
lalobrown To move into the position where one is ready to do a task. ...based on the baseball meaning of: step up to the plate (move into position to hit the ball)
by lalobrown
Unless It must mean:Be ready to do a task or something like that when someone is in a hard way,in another words,to accept or take a responsibility.
by Unless
I think 'step up to the plate' means' stand by someone when someone is in trouble' or 'cheer someone up when he or she is feeling depressed'.
by Mr.Bean's wife
to show initiative, not to hesitate to do what needs to be done.
by RadistkaAnn
Maja_Roxy means that they are always there for her
by Maja_Roxy
be brave to face the tough things.
by CatherineVanilla
Aneet That they´re better friends than usually. And that they can help her.
by Aneet
Liaa to take responsibility, to assume responsibility
by Liaa
melamarc your friends always there to support or help you in ur problems no matter what...
by melamarc
sofree to initiatively take the challenge together.
by sofree

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Log in to Comment



well,it's quite easy to learn this usefull slang. great.

11:15 AM May 30 2009 |


United Kingdom

Laughingight babe if any1 want's to learn any bristolian slang then ask me post on my profile or summut cuz im an expert

09:56 PM May 29 2009 |


United Arab Emirates

coool meaning ..


Thanks alot.. Laughing

06:57 PM May 29 2009 |




It means, the friends care for you, when you need them in bad times.

01:30 PM May 29 2009 |




It is intereting ,Getcha~~

05:07 AM May 29 2009 |




Thank you Bogle… very useful your speech. Mainly in some countries basseball isnt't very popular like others sports.

I'm already to set up the plate and really learning English.



10:48 PM May 28 2009 |




Doesnt matter what im going trhough, she`s always there to step up to plate, never complains about, actually she`s more than a friend, i love my great mom.

09:29 PM May 28 2009 |




Yes KaryKary, you are correct.  It does not HAVE to be bad times, but it means they step up to the challenge.  They did not avoid it.  They are a good friend and they did what a good friend would do.

09:17 PM May 28 2009 |



thanks i learnt many words

06:22 PM May 28 2009 |



I like that :)

06:17 PM May 28 2009 |



I must love it well sure 

05:30 PM May 28 2009 |



Hong Kong

Is it inlcuded 2 meanings?

1) accept a responsibility or challenge 2) help friends or people when they are in bad times

Do I get the meaning right?


04:39 PM May 28 2009 |



Hong Kong

This is really useful!! I like it! Thanks!Laughing

04:31 PM May 28 2009 |


Iran, Islamic Republic Of

It's a new idiom for me. You konw, the number of friends who step to the plate is very low, if no not rare.

Any way I do appreciate for presenting this idiom.



04:22 PM May 28 2009 |

sweet soul

sweet soul

Saudi Arabia

i like it Smile

02:45 PM May 28 2009 |

sweet soul

sweet soul

Saudi Arabia

i like it Smile

02:45 PM May 28 2009 |



Dominican Republic

Gr8 slang! it is very useful in spoken english

02:42 PM May 28 2009 |



Nice slang!

I consider myself as a friend that steps up to the plate when a friend of mine needs help!

02:23 PM May 28 2009 |




Stepping up to the plate is a baseball reference.  In baseball, you walk up to the plate to bat the ball.  It reminds me of another piece of slang "He/she will go to bat for you" (which means they will defend you or do something for you).  Stepping up to the plate means you are going to do what you need to do.  If you don't walk over to the plate, how will you hit the ball?  A good friend does their best and steps up.

12:49 PM May 28 2009 |

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