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Vocabulary Quiz
sense of • mess with • full of air
propped up • step up to the plate
  1. My boss likes to our minds by saying strange things about our work.
  2. It is time to and get the job done.
  3. You feel a calm in her class.
  4. He is so . Never believe his promises. They will never some true.
  5. The project was by goverment funding.
Comprehension Quiz
Answer the following questions about the interview.

1025 False Praise

Nydja discusses if children today are praised too much by their teachers and parents.

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Vocabulary notes (text only) explain key vocabulary and phrases from the interview.

False sense of success

Kids have a false sense of success.

When people have a false sense of success, everything comes easy to them. They think everything they do is successful or worthy, when in reality it might just be average or worse. Here are a few examples.

  1. He has a false sense of success because he was born rich.
  2. People with a false sense of success take failure very hard.

mess with their heads

Their success is really messing with their heads.

When something is messing with someone's head, that means it is doing bad things mentally to them. It is hurting their mental state or keeps them from thinking clearly. Notice the following:

  1. My brother keeps messing with my head by playing tricks on me.
  2. This warm winter weather is really messing with my head.

step up to the plate

When they have to step up to the plate, they fail.

Step up to the plate is a baseball term. A batter in baseball has to step up the the plate (homeplate) to hit the ball. The phrase is used to express a need to take action and perform without fear or hesitation. If you are not stepping up the plate, then you are avoiding something. A few samples are as follows:

  1. You need to step up to the plate and take care of your family responsibilities.
  2. Sometimes you step up to the plate and strike out. That's life.

propped up

They have been propped up by compliments.

When something is propped up, that means it is held up or pushed up by something so it does not fall over. If you prop someone up, you do something so they do not fail naturally. In the example above, a student could be propped up by always hearing nice things about their work, so they do not know they are really failing or underachieving. Here are a few examples:

  1. Their marriage was propped up by a common love for their children.
  2. The company was propped up with debt and bad accounting.


full of air

Those compliments are full of air

When something is full of air, that means it has no substance or meaning to it. For example, a balloon is full of air. It seems like there is nothing inside. When we say something is full of air, we mean that it is not worth much. Like a balloon, on the outside it looks big, but inside there is nothing. Notice the examples below:

  1. He is so full of hot air. Never believe what he says.
  2. His speech made lots of promises that were full of air.