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by fits and starts

by fits and starts или jerks  {adv. phr.}
Часто начиная и останавливаясь, немного сейчас и немного позже; не все время; нерегулярно.
He had worked on the invention by fits and starts for several years.
You will never get anywhere if you study just by fits and starts.
Категории: time {adv. phr.}