The Ball Is In Your Court

This is another of those useful little idioms that one comes across quite frequently in daily conversation.  So – as opposed to infamous idioms I learned in school like “it is raining cats and dogs” which make people here wonder which  planet/century you are from – this one is actively being used in casual as well as in business conversations.

The ball is in your court © Christina Deridder |

Again it is a sport reference, this time from tennis.  There it means, it is the other’s turn to serve or return the ball.

In everyday English “the ball is in your court” means that it is your turn to act/react to something.   Maybe I want to buy the bike your child has outgrown and I make you an offer of $30.  You ask me for a couple of days to think about it and in the meantime a mutual friend asks me: “did you buy that bike from him/her.”   My reply could be: “I made a reasonable offer, now the ball is in his/her court.”

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