English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I want to convey that I am putting myself to something new to achieve a dream/goal. Hence I thought of using the phrase "baby steps" in a sentence as follows: "As I am laying my Baby Steps towards becoming a ..."

I am wondering if this a right way to use "Baby Steps". If not, please let me know how do I put these words to convey what I mean.


share|improve this question

closed as general reference by MετάEd, Kristina Lopez, aedia λ, Hellion, Kris May 8 '13 at 5:46

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Try making baby steps. – TRiG May 7 '13 at 10:39
I doubt you mean you want to use "baby steps" as a verb. – MετάEd May 7 '13 at 14:45
up vote 4 down vote accepted

Keep in mind that baby steps is a metaphor: it compares initial stages of a new endeavor to the very small and stumbling steps of a child just learning to walk.

And when you employ a metaphor you should keep your language consistent with the image you are evoking, at least within the scope of the sentence in which you introduce it. (But if you try to extend the metaphor into further sentences it becomes a “conceit”, a ruling concept. This is difficult to sustain for any length of time, and is likely to appear contrived.)

Consequently, laying baby steps is inappropriate: we do not speak of laying steps except in stonemasonry, where steps means surfaces on which to step rather than the physical acts designated in baby steps.

Usually we speak of taking steps:

John took a step toward the door.

The idiom take steps is also used in a figurative or metaphorical sense to mean take positive action:

The government is taking steps to reduce the incidence of violent crime.
We should take steps to improve communication between the two departments.

So marrying these two expressions, baby steps and take steps, would be particularly felicitous in your context:

As I take baby steps towards becoming a ...

share|improve this answer
Thanks for the knowledge :) – codeMan May 7 '13 at 11:05

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.