English Language Blog

Do you want a shot? Posted by on Apr 30, 2021 in English Language, English Vocabulary

What’s up, guys? If there’s one thing we can’t stop talking about since the beginning of the year, it’s the vaccines. A lot of people must be wondering when they might be getting their first shot and long they should wait in between shots. But since mass vaccination might still be a while, let’s change the subject for the time being, because what truly interests me today is the fascinating word shot.

Besides being useful to talk about vaccinations, shot has many other possible meanings in the English language. So stick around for a vocabulary boost, since today’s post will cover the most common uses for shot, plus some bonus idioms! So how about we give it a shot?

Don’t forget to get your shots! (Photo by Steven Cornfield on Unsplash)

First things first: Shot is the past tense of the verb to shoot:

  • The police shot the suspect when they saw he had a gun.
  • Her latest movie was shot in ten months.

As a noun, shot could mean:

Shot as in firing a weapon

  • The neighbors told the police they heard three shots.
  • One of the shots fired hit the robber in the shoulder.

(Alcohol) shot

  • Let’s hang out at the bar tonight and do some shots.
  • Excuse me, can I get another round of tequila shots?

A shot as a picture

  • We got some great shots of the sunrise over the mountains today.
  • The photographer took amazing shots of the guest dancing at the wedding.

Nice shot! (Photo by Jeffrey F Lin on Unsplash)

A shot as in an injection

  • The paciente asked for a shot of morphine for the pain.
  • You must get a malaria shot before traveling to Thailand.
  • It’s extremely important that children get all their shots according to age.

Shot as in throwing a ball to score points

  • And that was a great shot by Cristiano Ronaldo!
  • The basketball player seemed to be doing well, but he missed his shot.

So how about we have a shot at some idioms?


Attempt or try something new, give someone a chance

  • A job position just opened up in my company. Why don’t you give it a shot and send them your resumé? 
  • I know I messed up our relationship. But just give me one more shot and I promise I’ll change! 
  • I’ve never tried snowboarding before, but I thought I’d have a shot at it.
  • Although my uncle has no gardening experience, he decided to have a shot at planting some vegetables.


To have control and power to make the decisions

  • You should ask Sarah. She’s the one who calls the shots around here.
  • Now that you’ve been promoted to general manager, you call the shots

    Do you want a shot? (Photo by Camylla Battani on Unsplash)


An attempt that is unlikely to be successful

  • I know it’s a long shot, but you could try to apply for a scholarship.
  • It was a long shot, but we were able to get last minute tickets to Amsterdam.


When you are not sure about something so you just guess

  • Saying that she added red wine to the sauce was just a shot in the dark, but I was right!
  • I think we should make a left here to get to the hotel, but it’s a shot in the dark.

So, what do you guys think? Do you know any other possible meanings for the the word shot? Let us know in the comments below! Just give it your best shot – that’s all you can do!

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  1. zain malik:

    What an amazing blog…hope it will be enough to get more positive result and looks like a good starting point!

    • carol:

      @zain malik Hey there! Thank you so much for your comment, we’re glad you like it.