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Out of the Woods

Today’s idiom is to be out of the woods. It means to be past a critical or difficult phase or out of danger. When a person, company or a country (etc.) has successfully passed through a difficult time, one can say that he or it is out of the woods or not in danger anymore.

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Take a look at the following sentences demonstrating the use of this idiom:

1. After his chemotherapy, Eugene’s doctors told him that he is out of the woods.
2. After two difficult years, the company is still not out of the woods.

As you can see from these examples, the phrase out of the woods can be used in a positive way (out of the woods) or a negative way (not out of the woods).
Here are some recent headlines to further demonstrate the use of this English idiom:

Italy: Is There a Way Out of the Woods?
-euobserver.com, 23 August 2011, Vincenzo Scarpetta
Bank of America Still Not Out of the Woods
-money.cnn.com, 30 August 2011, Ben Rooney

If you look at wikipedia.com, you will see that the Global Financial Crisis, the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, is said to have taken place 2007 - 2010. My question for you is: Are we really out of the woods?







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