by fits and starts
by fits and jerks
With many stops and starts, a little now and a little more later; not all the time; irregularly.
He had worked on the invention by fits and starts for several years.
You will never get anywhere if you study just by fits and starts.
cut the mustard
To do well enough in what needs to be done; to succeed.
His older brothers and sisters helped Max through high school, but he couldn't cut the mustard in college.
start from scratch
With no help from anything done before; from the beginning; from nothing.
Dick built a radio from scratch.
In sewing class, Mary already knew how to sew a little, but Jane had to start from scratch.
get a head start on
To receive preliminary help or instruction in a particular subject so that the recipient is in a favorable position compared to his or her peers.
Получить предварительную информацию о специфичном аспекте чего-либо и тем самым оказаться в более выгодном положении; получить фору.
At our school, children get a head start on their reading ability thanks to a special program.
His father is the owner of this company so he always gets a head start on everyone else.
Его отец – владелец этой компании, поэтому он всегда получает преимущество перед всеми остальными.
get off to a flying start
get off to a running start
To have a promising or successful beginning.
Ron got off to a flying start in business school when he got nothing but A's.
get the ball rolling
set the ball rolling
start the ball rolling
To start an activity or action; make a beginning; begin.
Начинать действовать; приступить к делу; начать.
George started the ball rolling at the party by telling a new joke.
We got up early to get the ball rolling on our project.
Мы проснулись рано, чтобы начать работать над нашим проектом.
We plan to start immediately and get the ball rolling on our project.
Мы планируем начать незамедлительно и взяться за наш проект.
A beginning before someone; lead or advantage at the beginning.
The other racers knew they couldn't catch Don if he got too big a head start.
Joe has a head start. He began to study earlier than we did.
A good beginning.
Let's get a head start in painting the house by getting up early.
The teacher gave the class a head start on the exercise by telling them the answers to the first two problems.
hitch one's wagon to a star
To aim high; follow a great ambition or purpose.
Ставить перед собой высокие цели; иметь большие амбиции или намерения.
In trying to be a famous pianist, Mary had hitched her wagon to a star.
John hitched his wagon to a star and decided to try to become President.
At an early age she decided to hitch her wagon to a star and become rich and famous.
Уже в раннем возрасте она решила добиться своего и стать богатой и знаменитой.