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Grammar and Idioms For Young People

American English Idioms: Common, Everyday Expressions

Watch the video of this conversation which includes many everyday idioms. Review the definitions below. Remember: it is important to learn idioms in order to understand other people. Putting a few idioms into your speech will help you sound fluent. Choose idioms you like, since these will fit your personality.

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A: Good to see you. You look a little down in the dumps.

B: Well, it just so happens that I'm concerned about my new neighbor.

A: Huh. What's the problem?

B: Well, he's this older man and he comes across as a military commander. He already complained that one of my trees is leaning into his yard. He's the sort of person I don't stand a chance with.

A: You realy shouldn't let him get to you. Just cheer up and stick with a positive attitude.

B: Give me a break! You and your positivity. I'd like to see you smile at this guy. He makes me feel like everything is over my head.

A: Well, why not take a vacation?

B: It has been one thing after another lately. A vacation might pay off! Maybe it will even change my luck, knock on wood.

cheer up: to make yourself more happy, to choose to be happier

give me a break: exclamation--you think something is untrue or unfair or you think too much is expected of you

don't stand a chance: to not have a chance

down in the dumps: sad, low in spirit or mood

one thing after another: usually negative, means that things happened close together in time which leads to frustration, used after "it's" or "it was"

sticking to/with: to continue with or stay with something

it just so happens: introductory remark used, positively or negatively, to get the listener's attention

to come across as (something): to seem to be a certain way, to act a certain way, used to describe people

knock on wood: means that you give yourself luck (or someone else), often used when people make a positive statement and fear that the opposite could happen (people sometimes knock on something wooden when saying this), comes from old times when people believed spirits lived in wood and would come to you if you knocked.

to let someone/something get to you: to allow someone/something to upset you

over (my/your/his/her) head: too hard to understand, one doesn't have the knowledge to understand

pay off: to have a good outcome

Back to: Idioms Video Lessons.

Learn more idioms: Business Idioms, Colorful Idioms, Very Colorful Idioms.

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