“I've got to hand it to you: you've really stepped up these last few weeks.”
You coach a girls' basketball team. One of the players on the team usually causes problems, so you yell at her a lot. But recently she's been working hard and behaving herself. You compliment her for it.
I've got to hand it to you: you've really stepped up these last few weeks.
"I've got to hand it to you" means "I have to recognize your accomplishments.
You use this phrase to praise some who you don't usually praise, like:
- someone who you don't get along with
- someone who proved that you were wrong
You can also say "I have to hand it to you" and "You've got to hand it to (him/her/them/etc.)."
When someone has taken a greater responsibility on a team and done the work that was needed, you can say that they've "stepped up". For example:
Jasper really stepped up and took charge after Tomiko left.
You can't always depend on other people. You've got to step up and do it on your own.
"Stepping up" is always positive.
You can use the preposition "on" with "step up" to explain what someone did:
She really stepped up on the Fall sales campaign.
Use this phrase to talk about something that started happening 2-6 weeks ago and is still continuing.
I've been working really hard these last few weeks to finish up my dissertation.
This expression is used in spoken English and informal writing. In more formal English, you say or write "the last few" instead of "these last few".