Extracts from the book by Thomas W. Adams and Susan R.Kuder

"Experience is the wonderful knowledge that enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again."


A person has had experience:

  • Kepling is an old hand at carpentry. He builds very good cabinets// Ann has been repairing bicycles for years. She is an old hand at it.
  • Barb has driven to New York so many times that she knows the way like the back of her hand// Mr. Riley knows the way to the supermarket like the back of his hand, he never gets lost going there and he goes there every day.
  • Harry has been working here for a long time. He will show you round. He knows the ropes// Miss Harper knows the ropes. She is used to fixing up old houses and she paints rooms very well.
  • You do not have to worry about Frank getting lost. He can take care of himself. Frank was not born yesterday// Mrs. Harrison was not born yesterday. She is far from being naïve and she understands what life is all about.
  • Mark, an insurance salesman, never went to college, but he knows all there is to know about selling insurance. He went to the school of hard knocks// Mrs. Pierson went to the school of hard knocks. She never received a university degree, but she knows everything about the field she is working in.
  • Barry repairs cell phones. He takes a live-and-learn approach in his work. That is why he is good. Every day he knows more about repairing these devices// Ms. Cramer said, “Live and learn.” When she washed all her clothes together, the white ones came out red. She will never make the same mistake the next time.

A person has no or little experience

  • This is the first time Sue has gone skiing. She will need some help because she is wet behind the ears// Mr. Samuelson is wet behind the ears. He is a new member of the club.
  • Yesterday was only Jenny’s second time horseback riding. That is why she fell off. She is still green// Dr. Davidson is green. He has just graduated from medical school, and he has performed only a few operations.
  • Yesterday Martha started a new job. She is just getting her feet wet// Mr. Anderson is getting his feet wet. He is learning how to repair his car. He has never done it before.

experienceYour friend Bill has invited you to go camping with you to the mountains. You want to go, and although you know Bill is an experienced camper, you are a little scared because you have never camped out before. Bill is trying to reassure you:

Look, don’t worry. I am an old hand at camping. I know you are wet behind the ears, but I know the ropes. We won’t get lost. I know the trail like the back of my hand. When it comes to camping, I was not born yesterday. After you get your feet wet, you’ll love it. It’s really lots of fun.


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