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Wake-up Call

Wake-up Call

Offered by many hotels as a service, wake-up calls are literally telephone calls that are intended to wake you up at a predetermined time in the morning. Idiomatically speaking, a wake-up call is an occurrence or event that makes you realize that you have to deal with a problem or change a situation. For example:

Last week’s English exam was the
wake-up call that Luigi needed. He now knows that he is going to have to study harder to pass the course.
The election loss was a
wake-up call for the political party. It was very clear that it would have to re-evaluate its policies and strategies.
Thank you for the
wake-up call. I now know what I have to do to solve the problem.

In other words, a
wake-up call is a warning that you are going to have to take action in regard to a problem or situation. Some good examples of how to use the English idiom wake-up call can be found in these recent headlines:

UK floods ought to be wake-up call for urgent climate action
-blueandgreentomorrow.com, 26 November 2012, Alex Blackburn
The wake-up call Qantas needed
- businessspectator.com, 2 November 2012, Stephen Bartholomeusz
Hurricane Sandy and climate change: A wake-up call
- voxxi.com, 31 October 2012, Eduardo Sanchez-Ubanell


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