Complete the Sentences Using Over and Under Words

One word Eduhyme

Look at these mini-dialogues and complete each one with a word from the box. These words all include over or under. One word can be used twice.

overhaul * overheads * overmanned / overstaffed * overpaid * overqualified * overrated * overrule * overrun * overtime * overturn * overworked * underachiever * undermanned * undermine * understanding * understudy * undertaking * underutilised * underworked

1. A. The directors think that our staff are underworked .
B. Well, they are at the moment, but that’s because demand for our products is so low.

2. A. The workers have __________ the time limit set by the production manager.
B. That’s not good. They shouldn’t go beyond the limits that set for them.

3. A. We’re rather __________ at the moment.
B. Right. And unless the market improves, we might need to lay off some of our casual workers.

4. A. Do you think our staff are __________?
B. No, I don’t. They work very hard for the money they receive.

5. A. Everyone says that Elizabeth works hard, but in my opinion she’s a bit of an __________.
B. I agree. She doesn’t do as much as she is capable.

6. A. I’m learning how to do the production manager’s job in case he needs to take some extended
time off.
B. Oh, I thought you were the __________ for the accounts manager.

7. A. Does this business make a lot of money?
B. Yes, it’s a very profitable __________.

8. A. Robert has a degree in business studies, doesn’t he?
B. Yes, so he’s rather __________ to be an ordinary shop floor worker.

9. A. Our sales revenue covers the manufacturing costs, but not the day-to-day running costs of the company.
B. Right. We need to make sure we have enough to cover our __________.

10. A. Our staff are always complaining that they’re __________.
B. I don’t know why. They get plenty of breaks, and most of them clock off before three o’clock.

11. A. Staff are worried that the director’s complaints could __________ their productive ability.
B. Well, perhaps they should call a meeting with the directors if they feel that their ability could be weakened.

12. A. Apparently the management are going to __________ some of the decisions they made last month.
B. Well I’m not sure they can cancel decisions that have already been made.

13. A. The union and management decided to make some important changes last month, but the directors decided they couldn’t go ahead with them.
B. Are they allowed to __________ changes that have been mutually agreed?

14. A. Our new computer system is excellent, but it’s being __________.
B. If it’s not being used enough, perhaps it’s because staff don’t know how to use it.

15. A. Do you think it’s time we made a few changes to the way we run the company?
B. Yes. The first thing we should do is to __________ the company’s union agreements.

16. A. We need a legally-binding promise that your workers will remain on the shop floor during negotiations.
B. Fine, we’ll provide you with a written __________ not to strike during that period.

17. A. What’s our current __________ rate?
B. Well, if you work for more than the normal working time, it’s one and a half times normal pay.

18. A. We’re worried that the department will be __________ during the Christmas period.
B. If we don’t have enough staff then, we can employ some casual workers.

19. A. I think the ‘first class service’ they offer is valued more highly than it should be.
B. I agree. It’s vastly __________.

20. A. The management and the union have come to an __________ about the demarcation problems.
B. I don’t think a private agreement is good enough. We need to have it in writing.

Correct Answers:

  1. underworked
  2. overrun
  3. overmanned / overstaffed
  4. overpaid
  5. underachiever (the opposite is overachiever)
  6. understudy (this can also be a verb: to understudy)
  7. undertaking
  8. overqualified
  9. overheads (American English is usually overhead)
  10. overworked (the noun is overwork: ‘She is suffering from overwork’)
  11. undermine
  12. overturn
  13. overrule
  14. underutilised
  15. overhaul
  16. undertaking
  17. overtime (useful expressions with overtime include: overtime ban; overtime pay; overtime rate)
  18. undermanned
  19. overrated
  20. understanding
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