Get a handle on something

cup_handleIf you get a handle on something, you begin to understand it.

Examples:

I used to be terrible at maths but after lots of hard work, I think I’ve got a handle on it now.

If I could just get a handle on this new project at work, I’m sure the boss would give me a pay rise.

Take note

If something or someone is too hot to handle, it is too dangerous or difficult to deal with.

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Ducks in a row

ducks_in_a_row To get your ducks in a row means to organise your things well. It’s American English.

Examples:

With the recession looming, the government has to get its ducks in a row and invest in job creation.

The company’s owner has given his managers a few days to get their ducks in a row. If they don’t improve their performance he’ll fire them.

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