When Push Comes to Shove

Lisa C. Newcomer Information

In today’s “English Idioms for Newcomers“, let’s take a look at this expression: “When Push Comes to Shove”.

What does “when push comes to shove” mean?

“When push comes to shove” means if worse comes to worse. It is when

  • a decision needs to be made to resolve an urgent issue
  • matters become critical and call for an action
  • someone commits oneself to an action or decision
How to use it?
  • You can use “if” instead of “when” in this idiom: if push comes to shove
Example:
  • If push comes to shove, she will have to borrow money from friends.

Before you go, check out our English Learning tips articles!

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References:

https://www.merriam-webster.com/

https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/

https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/