Idiom:  Par for the course

idiom par for the course


Idiom:  Par for the course

  • Something that is normal or expected for the situation

"Par for the course" means that something is normal or expected given the circumstances. It is often used to describe situations or events that are not surprising because they are typical or expected based on past experiences.


The idiom "par for the course" is generally considered to be an informal or casual expression. It is often used in everyday conversation or writing, even at work but it is not typically used in formal or academic contexts.

Before we get to some examples, let's look at some things that are par for the course for English learners:

  • Feeling embarrassed when making mistakes.
  • Struggling to learn and remember idioms and phrasal verbs.
  • Feeling overwhelmed by the vast vocabulary.
  • Feeling intimidated to speak the language with other people.

Actually, I feel all of those things when trying to speak Italian, French, Spanish and Turkish. So let's just say those struggles are par for the course for learning any language!

Origins of "Par for the course"

The origin of this expression comes from the sport of golf.

The term "par" refers to the expected number of strokes it should take a skilled golfer to complete an individual hole on a golf course. All of these figures are also added up to determine par for the entire golf course. Par makes it possible for golfers to compare their performance to each other.

"Par for the course" means achieving the expected result in golf and by extension, it has come to mean achieving a typical or expected result in any situation.

meaning what is par

Example sentences

— First of all, it's par for the course to feel nervous before a job interview. Secondly, just try to relax and do your best. If this one doesn't work out another one will.

— My son already gave up on his acting career after a few casting calls. Rejection is par for the course in the entertainment industry and he takes everything personally.

— If you're learning to ice skate, slipping and falling on your butt is par for the course in the beginning.

— Just relax. I'm a frequent traveler and I promise you that flight delays and lost luggage is par for the course.

— Yuck, I can't stand summers in New Orleans. It's so hot and humid that sweating and feeling sticky is par for the course from June to August.

— If you don't start shopping until Christmas Eve, waiting in long lines is par for the course.

— If you want to be a model, being 10 pounds underweight is par for the course.

— I was stuck in traffic for an hour this morning. It's par for the course during rush hour. How I miss my commute from my bed to my desk during COVID lockdowns.

— My husband is exhausted but he's an accountant and working late hours during tax season is par for the course.

— When you have a newborn baby, sleepless nights are par for the course.

— Parents of toddlers quickly learn that reading the same story a hundred times is par for the course.

— I thought I was in a dream when I started teaching at a private school. Dealing with classroom disruptions and noisy students was par for the course in public schools.

— What did you expect when you moved to New York city? Hearing sirens and honking horns at all hours of the day and night is par for the course in any big city.

— I had to give up bartending. Dealing with drunk customers and spilled drinks is par for the course but after three years I'd had enough!


  • business as usual
  • same old, same old
  • just another day at the office
  • nothing out of the ordinary
  • that's how the cookie crumbles

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