Step

This is dedicated to Lynn

Yesterday I heard that my articles containing phrasal verbs were very much appreciated. I stepped up to the challenge straight away, barely missing a step, to write this.

In step with what has gone before, I thought to myself, it is easy, after all, to tread in one’s own steps! It is falling into step that poses more of a challenge, although once you are in step, it is simply a matter of habit to keep step, rather than breaking step.

When dancing, you must keep in step, and it is also a good idea to mind your step to avoid stepping on people’s toes. You should also mind your step in a new workplace when you are not sure how to behave, especially when you have the feeling that everyone else is one step ahead. If they give you knowing glances and raised eyebrows as you step into the room, this could make you feel out of step, but if you take a step back, you might see things differently.

You might however realise that you are in fact out of step and everyone else is thinking along different lines, perhaps stepping in a different direction. This seems to happen often in politics – the main candidate is out of step with the younger generation and has to watch her step to avoid causing offence, as, step by step, she gets closer to stepping into office.

Stepping into the shoes of the Prime Minister is not an easy task, and one can only hope you won’t be forced to step down, or indeed step aside, having climbed the steps to such a position. One you are there, it is time to step up to the plate. But take your time: there is no need to step on it!

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