Posted in Advanced C1, Exam Preparation Class, Phrase of the Day, Proficiency, Vocabulary Classes

Proficiency Phrase of the Day #8: Not be cut out for…

Today’s phrase is….

To not be cut out for something


To not be cut out to do something

Introduce the expression to your students with a personalised example:

After just 2 days working for an insurance company, I decided I wasn’t cut out for an office job.

While at medical school my sister realised that she wasn’t cut out to be a doctor.

Have students infer the meaning: to not be the right type of person for that job/situation. Point out that it is almost always used in the negative and that it can be followed by “for” and a noun, or my “to” and a verb.

Put students in pairs and have them discuss the following jobs and situations. They should decide how suitable they think they are for them and to give reasons for their answers:

How well do you think you would cope in these situations?

  1. As a waiter in a busy restaurant on a Saturday night.
  2. As a board member of a big corporation.
  3. In an army on a battlefield.
  4. As an Olympic athlete.
  5. As a doctor in an emergency room.
  6. As an explorer in the 1500s.
  7. As a teacher in a class of 30 4-year-olds.
  8. As a teacher in a class of 30 14-year-olds.
  9. As a world famous celebrity.
  10. As an auctioneer selling world famous artworks.
  11. As a reclusive writer living in a cabin in the woods.
  12. As an astronaut piloting a rocket to Mars.

Use this Quizlet set for recall activities with previous phrases of the day.


Barcelona based English Teacher, blogger and sometime actor and director.

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