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Go back to the drawing board

"to go back to the drawing board"

Meaning: to start planning something again because the first attempt failed or did not work

Similar Expressions
  • We need to go back to the drawing board.
  • We need to start again.
  • We need to think of a new plan.
  • We need to find a different way.
When do we use it?

This a very useful expression especially at work or in business. The first step of any project is brainstorming and planning. We often use a whiteboard to write our ideas on while we are planning.

This expression does not mean that we need to use a whiteboard. It just means that we need to go back to the beginning and start again.

So, we usually use this expression to talk about things like a project, plan, strategy, etc.

How do we use it?

This expression is often used with the verbs "need", "must", and "have".
  • Our plan didn't work. We need to go back to the drawing board.
  • Our strategy isn't working. We must go back to the drawing board and think of a new strategy.
We can also use this expression after modals like "will", "should", and "could".
  • We should go back to the drawing board and think of a new plan.
  • It failed. We will go back to the drawing board and try again.
Example English Conversation

A) How is your team's project going?
B) It is not going well.
A) What are you going to do?
B) I think we need to go back to the drawing board and think of some new ideas.

Adding expressions and idioms to your vocabulary will help you become a better English speaker. You do not need to learn a million expressions or idioms at one time! If you study new English expressions and idioms steadily and consistently, then your vocabulary will get better and better. Use these free English lessons to expand your vocabulary and learn useful English idioms, slang, and expressions.

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