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Idioms: English Expressions
|twist ______ arm
||I do not normally like to cook for a lot of people, but you've twisted my arm. If you take me on a three day vacation, I'll do it.
|this, that and the other
||many things happening, usually negative
||Yes, I am very tired. It's been this, that and the other lately. I haven't had any time to relax!
|walls have ears
||someone might overhear or learn of the information that was supposed to be secret
||I'd tell you everything about that girl, but the walls have ears. I'll send you an email later.
|wear many hats
||to do many different tasks
||This is our assistant, David. He wears many hats: he makes appointments with customers, resolves conflicts with customers, and he creates our web content.
|asleep at the wheel
||not doing the job, not performing
||My coworker has been asleep at the wheel for the past week. It's a problem because I cannot do my own work, and that makes me look bad.
|bells and whistles
||extras, usually used to sell a product or make something seem attractive
||I am very cheap. When I buy a car, I look for one without any bells and whistles. I save at least a thousand that way.
|burn _____ bridges
||to destroy connections with people, to do something that ends one or more relationships
||When she told the manager that he was the most stupid person she had ever known, she burned that bridge. She's fired, and he won't recommend her to anyone.
|close, but no cigar
||almost (from the idea of almost winning, but not getting the prize, a cigar)
||We almost made the goal. It was close, but no cigar. We'll try harder next time.
|cost an arm and a leg
||to be very expensive
||This is the most comfortable mattress in the store, but it costs an arm and a leg.
|draw a blank
||to have no thoughts or ideas about something
||At the job interview, he asked me, "what is your greatest strength?" And I drew a blank. What a disaster!
Answer the Questions
1. Are you the sort of person who can twist someone's arm?
Or do you avoid twisting people's arms?
2. Did you have a bad day or week recently?
Did you feel like it was this, that and the other?
3. Is there a phrase like "the walls have ears" in your language?
4. In your job or studies, do you wear many hats?
5. Have you ever had a responsibility, yet you were asleep at the wheel?
6. If you were going to buy a car tomorrow, what kind of bells and whistles would you want?
7. Have you ever burned a bridge with someone?
Do you think burning the bridge was good or not?
8. Think about your day (or yesterday). Was there a moment when could have told someone, "close, but no cigar?"
9. Is there anything you want that costs an arm and a leg?
10. Did you draw a blank when trying to answer any of these questions?
|every time __ turn around
||all the time, has a negative tone
||Of course, I love my baby, but every time I turn around, he's crying! I can't get any sleep.
|feel like ____ pulling teeth
||it's very, very hard
||My boss is nice on most days, but whenever I ask for vacation time, it feels like pulling teeth. I don't know why she doesn't believe in vacations!
||to be successful, to move forward in one's career
||If you want to get ahead, you have to commit to your career and stay focused on your goals.
|get _______ act together
||to become good at something, also to have confidence in your present personality and/or appearance
||I was very awkward in high school. I didn't get my act together until I was twenty-one.
|hang in there
||cope with a difficult time, usually used to encourage someone
||I'm sorry to hear that your father's sick. Hang in there!
|in over your head
||to be involved with something that has become very difficult (as if drowning)
||After the first test, I knew I was in over my head, and I dropped the class.
|just what the doctor ordered
||exactly what is needed
||I was having a terrible day. My roommate saw that I was depressed and she made cookies for me. That was just what the doctor ordered.
|keep _____chin up
||to stay positive
||He is having a very bad year. I told him to keep his chin up and wait until things get better.
|leave well enough alone
||to take no action
||You already argued with the teacher once. I think you should leave well enough alone and finish the class.
||to be honest or straightforward
||I'm sorry, but I have to level with you. Your girlfriend is a mean person, and she only wants your money.
Answer the Questions
1. Is there something bad that has happened a lot lately?
If so, every time you turn around, what happens?
2. Have you ever done something that felt like pulling teeth?
3. Do you have plans to get ahead in future?
4. Do you think you have your act together now?
5. Did you ever have to hang in there while going through a difficult time?
6. Have you ever taken a class or accepted a job and discovered that you were in over your head?
7. If someone could bring you any kind of meal or desert right now, what would be just what the doctor ordered?
8. Do you like to keep your chin up or do you believe in being moody?
9. If you have no money, would you leave well enough alone or would you try to get a credit card?
10. Do you feel obligated to level with someone when you think you must give advice?
Or do you avoid these situations?