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make headway

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Advance, make progress, as in We haven't made any headway with this project. This expression, first recorded in 1887, uses headway in the nautical sense of “a vessel's forward movement.”

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“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

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