Idiom: run a tight ship

English Idioms and Expressions, Intermediate level

ESL/EFL Test #13 [color=blue]“On the Water”, question 5

We were all a bit worried about the new manager because we heard that she liked to run a tight ship.

(a) be well organized
(b) be well disposed
© be well received
(d) be well placed

English Idioms and Expressions, Intermediate level

ESL/EFL Test #13 [color=blue]“On the Water”, answer 5

We were all a bit worried about the new manager because we heard that she liked to be well organized.

Correct answer: (a) be well organized

Your answer was: [color=red]incorrect
We were all a bit worried about the new manager because we heard that she liked to be well disposed.
[size=200]_________________________[/size]

From the point of view of a non-native speaker, I would feel easier if the sentence went like this:

We heard that she liked the office to be well organized.

Sorry for the silly question. haihao

1…This is an idiom question.
2…Maybe there is no office; maybe it’s striictly an online business.
:wink:

Aha, interesting supposition: an online business! Sorry for the imprudence to my English teachers but What I didn’t feel easy and safe about was that if ‘she liked to be well organized’, needn’t I bear any misgiving that the sentence could virtually mean ‘she…was…organized’? I mean, she comes to play the subject role. I know this is a stupid question and nobody would be confused by that… I am sorry…

haihao

You don’t need to be sorry!

I am pondering your last post but it is late here and my brain is already asleep. Maybe someone in the European morning can help you more.

konbanwa! (? sp)

Hi Haihao

Your question is logical and it would indeed be possible to say “she liked the office to be well organized.” However, saying it that way would lose a little bit of the sense of “run” from the idiom. Saying “she is well organized” suggests that she organizes herself and the things around her (i.e. she runs things in an organized manner).

Saying “she liked the office to be well organized” is a little more passive. In this case, possibly someone else is responsible for the organizing and she simply likes the good organization that someone else has provided.

But, bottom line, I think both ways would be OK here. The focus of the question is on knowing that “run a tight ship” means that things are “run in a highly organized fashion.” The word organized is key.

Hope that helps.

Amy

As clear as a bell. Now I think I caught the drift of the whole picture and its nuance.

Many many thanks.

You’re very welcome, Haihao.
I’m looking forward to more questions from you because I think you ask very good ones. :smiley:

Amy