to knock someone into shape


New Member
I was reading an article about building on a good impression during interviews when a found this passage. I can't understand the sentence in bold. Could you help me?

"I knew he was the right person because we just clicked, but I also knew he didn't have the right experience, that it would take three months to knock him into shape."

Thank you.
  • mammarz

    Buongiorno a tutti,
    devo tradurre la seguente frase (si parla di due adolescenti dispettosi che stanno per ricevere una punizione): "A good bit of honest work will knock you two into shape". Io l'ho pensata così: "Un pò di onesto lavoro vi rimetterà in riga" Vi sembra corretto? Grazie a tutti.


    Senior Member
    Canada, English
    The meaning is close and is probably fine. But to me to knock into shape is a little more aggressive than just getting them back into line and also it doesn't really mean to bring them back to a state where they were before. It means to make them into something better whether they like it or not.


    Senior Member
    Italy - Italian
    "Un pò di onesto lavoro vi rimetterà in riga".

    Oppure: "Un pò di onesto lavoro vi rimetterà a posto".

    Ma, se il commento deve essere più incisivo:
    "Un pò di onesto lavoro vi farà rigare diritto"


    Senior Member
    May I suggest that in the context provided, "to knock him into shape" may simply mean "to train him" or to use another idiomatic expression, "to bring him up to speed," i.e., to train him to the point that he functions at the level required for the job.


    This also make sense, but in the text it was probably meant to "give them a lesson" or something similar. Thank you very much!
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