Tim Bowen’s got the bit between his teeth as he does his bit for Your English.

‘The floods have caused a lot of damage in the village but everyone is pulling together and doing their bit’. If you do your bit, you do what you can to help or you do your part of what has to be done.

Your bits and pieces are either your possessions or your furniture, as in ‘We only have a few bits and pieces of furniture, so it won’t take long to move it’, or they can be small, individual things, as in ‘You have to remember all the other bits and pieces involved in a wedding, like invitations, photos, car hire and so on’.

If you have got the bit between your teeth, you start doing something with a determined attitude and a lot of energy, as in ‘Once he’s got the bit between his teeth, there’s no stopping him’.

If something is falling to bits, it is breaking up into small pieces, as in ‘I’ve only had these shoes a few weeks and they’re already falling to bits’. The phrase to bits can also be used to mean very much, as in ‘We were thrilled to bits when our first grandchild was born’, or ‘He’ll take a while to get over her. He still loves her to bits, you know’.

If something is blown to bits, it is completely destroyed, as in ‘The entire building was blown to bits in a gas explosion’.

A bit part is a minor role in a film or play, as in ‘After years of getting no more than bit parts, she has finally landed a starring role in a major production’.