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Vocabulary Quiz
overcome • barrier • racism
bite my lip • down-to-earth
  1. One thing that he wasn't prepared for when he was traveling was enduring an enormous amount of .
  2. Although he has made over 30 movies in his career, people say that he is still very .
  3. Sometimes I just have to and do what my boss tells me.
  4. I know that this is a barrier that I will , but I have to give myself time to deal with it in my own way.
  5. By wanting to work in construction, she is breaking down a quote-unquote gender .
Comprehension Quiz
Answer the following questions about the interview.
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737 Who do you admire?
Matt talks about two people he admires. He talks about an athlete and an actor.

  • Transcript
  • Audio Notes
Vocabulary notes (text only) explain key vocabulary and phrases from the interview.

the barriers he had to overcome

I would have to say Jackie Robinson would come to mind, just because the barriers he had to overcome and the things that he experienced.

The 'barriers that he had to overcome' refers to the obstacles or difficulties that he had to conquer he could achieve something.

Notice the following:

  1. I think he did very well considering the barriers that he had to overcome.
  2. They had a lot of barriers to overcome in order to build the house but it looks great now.

to break the quote-unquote color barrier

Jackie Robinson was the first black man, the first man to break the quote-unquote color barrier in baseball.

To 'break the quote-unquote color barrier' refers to the metaphorical barrier that exists between people of different races. You can use the phrase 'quote-unquote' when speaking to show that something is a commonly used phrase and should be put in " " (quotation marks). To 'break a barrier' can also be used to talk about any situation where there is an unspoken rule about something.

Notice the following:

  1. I am not sure if the quote-unquote color barrier exists any more.
  2. I think he always wanted to break the quote-unquote age barrier in his law office.

he endured an enormous amount of racism

The first three years he endured an enormous amount of racism and hatred.

When someone 'endures an enormous amount of racism,' it means that he has come up against a lot of negativity due to their race, and he has suffered because of it.

Notice the following:

  1. It is such a shame that so many people have had to endure an enormous amount of racism.
  2. The first black footballers had to endure an enormous amount of racism.

bite his lip

He had to basically bite his lip and wasn't able to seek revenge or fight for three years.

When you 'bite your lip' it means that you stop yourself from saying something.

Notice the following:

  1. Try and bite your lip, as you don't want to have an argument.
  2. He had to bite his lip, as he knew that his honesty would not work well in the situation.


He seemed like a really down-to-earth, cool guy so I've always admired him.

When someone is 'down-to-earth' it means that they do not have any falseness and they are easy to talk to. This phrase is usually used to describe someone who is in a position of power or is famous and still manages to behave like a normal person.

Notice the following:

  1. Even though I am rich, I still feel as though I am down-to-earth.
  2. I only make friends with down-to-earth people.