go through the motions

This page is about the idiom go through the motions.

Meaning: You go through the motions when you do something without putting any real effort or thought into it.

For example:

  • They've told Jamal that he has to leave his job at the end of the month, so he's just going through the motions until then.

  • Our team was so far behind that for the last few minutes of the game it looked like they were just going through the motions.

Quick Quiz:

The band were playing their songs, but they were just going through the motions because

a. there was a huge crowd cheering them on

b. millions of fans were watching them on TV

c. they were doing a rehearsal to check the sound

Idiom of the Day

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Contributor: Matt Errey