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English Idioms

“Be in the Same Boat”

Be in the same boat


  • Be in the same difficult or uncomfortable situation as other people

Frequency of Use: High

Sample Sentences

  1. This class is very difficult for everyone, so we’re all in the same boat.
  2. So many people are in the same boat these days because everyone is having a difficult time with the economy.
  3. Do you really think that we are in the same boat? I don’t think so. You have a job, and I don’t. Remember that.
  4. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many families experienced great social, economic, and emotional struggles, and in many ways, they have found themselves in the same boat.

Conversation Questions

  1. Why is it is sometimes difficult for other people to understand your life challenges when they aren’t in the same boat as you?
  2. Many international students struggle to fit in when they live in a new country away from their families. Thus, because many of these students are in the same boat, what can they do to adjust better to a new culture and school environment?

Speaking Situation

As you are riding the train home from work, you run into an old friend from high school. In your conversation, you friend opens up and explains that he is going through a divorce, his father died of cancer two weeks before, and he just lost his job. He then bursts into tears and sobs.

You then tell him that you understand how he feels because you are in the same boat: You have had problems, too. In response to this, your friend looks at you sternly and exclaims that you have you have no idea how he feels. “Your problems are nothing like mine.” Now, you feel terrible that you had said anything. 

So, how can we validate the struggles of others better and understand them better?

Possible Answer

“I know you like poetry and grammar, but most college students are more interested in pop music and culture. Why not take down the grammar posters and put up a poster of a band that our roommates like?”

Language Activity

Sometimes, learners know the meaning of an idiom, but they don’t know how to use it correctly in conversation or writing. Thus, this activity checks your grammatical accuracy with the idiom so you become more confident in using it. 

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