Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Have you ever heard these phrases in English?

  • I have to hit the road around 4:00 to avoid rush hour.
  • I’m going to get it all done today and really hit the ground running.

Why would anyone want to “hit the ground”?

Wouldn’t it hurt to hit the road?

These are the types of phrases that raise confusion.

It simply doesn’t make sense that anybody would touch or hit the road.

Can there be another meaning for these phrases?

Today we’ll show you what those meanings are and we’ll clear up any confusion.

Let’s start by looking at a question from a listener in today’s episode.


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Here is the question:

Hello, Lindsay, Michelle!

Thank you for the amazing episodes! I’m always energized by you every morning while listening AEE.

I have a question about a phrase “hit the road/ground”. I cannot understand what that means exactly. Is there a difference between “hit the road” and “hit the ground”?

When listening to episode 895, Charlie used “hit the ground (maybe). It reminds me a part of musical lyric “hit the road”. (That is the musical RENT, I love it!)

Thank you!

Chiharu Nagayoshi

Great question! 

So let’s look at each of these phrases:

  • Hit the road: This means to leave. Most basically defined, it means that you are going to get into a car and leave. It can also mean just to leave, like at the end of a party or a road.
    • Example: The party was great, but I have to hit the road now. I’m exhausted!
    • Example: If we want to make our flight on time then we have to hit the road now.


  • Hit the ground: This is about descending or dropping. You don’t hear this one as often, but it’s important to understand its place in all of this.
    • Example: She hit the ground and broke her leg. It was a sad situation.


  • To hit the ground running: To get a good, enthusiastic, productive start to something.
    • Example: I have so many great ideas for this project, so I’m going to hit the ground running
    • Example: She is so productive and great at her job. You give her something to do and she can really hit the ground running.


Those are the type of examples that you likely hear more than anything.

These examples are only different from each by a few words, but they have unique meanings to them.

These are the types of phrases that you may hear in everyday English conversation.

They are a bit tough to distinguish at first, but you can see the best way to use each one.

This is another example of trying to use new phrases in conversation.

It doesn’t matter if you make any mistakes, for you will just learn from them and know how to change them up in the future.

Remember even native speakers learn by trial and error with phrases like these.

There are other phrases that use the word “hit” in them.

They are different than the examples above, but they are well worth mentioning.

The word “hit” is involved in many different phrases.


 Some additional phrases that use the word “hit” include: 

  • Hit rock bottom: to get to your lowest point
    • Example: He really hit rock bottom when she broke up with him.
  • Hit someone’s head against a wall: getting frustrated
    • I want to figure out the answer to this, and I’m hitting my head against a wall. I can’t figure it out!
  • Hit it: To begin, often with music or a show
    • I’m going to count us in at 1, 2, 3, 4 and hit it!
  • A hit: something great, the best
    • Wow, you’re gonna be a hit at the talent show!


Yes there are a lot of phrases that use the word “hit” and at first it can be a lot to understand.

You should see each one in context and begin to use it in conversation.

Use just one correctly and you will begin mastering it one phrase at a time.



It’s fun to find different examples of idioms with similar words.

Listen to real life examples and don’t be afraid to try these phrases.


What questions do you have for today?

Leave your questions in the comments section below.

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