Idiom of the Week – Week 17

Each week of 2017 we present an English idiom.

“to scratch the surface”:  to deal with something only in a superficial way that doesn’t deal with the main issue;  nur an der Oberfläche kratzen

Example 1:  The team-building weekend was helpful, but it only scratched the surface when it comes to solving the issues among the employees.

Example 2:  It’s a start, but the amount of money promised by the government will only scratch the surface. It isn’t enough to deal with the root of the problem.

Mindy Ehrhart Krull
About the author

Originally from the US, Mindy Ehrhart Krull holds a master's degree in journalism and has been teaching English and working as an author, editor and proofreader in Germany since 2008.

At DELS, she leads a team of several English trainers and language professionals.

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