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Grammar and Idioms For Young People

Idioms: Very Colorful

Watch the video and listen to a conversation with some very colorful idioms. Though these idioms are very colorful, some people will use them a lot! It is good to know these idioms. If you like one or two, you can use them when you speak. Remember to speak idioms as naturally as you can. Let the words flow together to sound natural.

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A: Wow, it's raining cats and dogs outside! Come in and relax.

B: I hope I'm not barking up the wrong tree by coming here to ask for help. I won't beat around the bush. I need to borrow $1,000.

A: When pigs fly! I don't have $1,000.

B: I really need it. If everyone in town finds out that we're broke, our family life will be food for wagging tongues. Can't you ask your boss for a bonus?

A: Me and what army!

B: Oh, come on. His bark is worse than his bite.

A: Says you. You're always putting all your eggs in one basket or just chasing a pipe dream.

B: I know. I never stick with the bird in the hand, but I promise I'll take any advice you give me if you can get me $1,000 now.

A: Well, I'll try.

raining cats and dogs: raining very hard, rain is heavy and coming down fast (popular in southern states)

a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush: what you have now is better than what you might have in the future (often say only, "a bird in the hand ..." which references this idiom)

when pigs fly! -- something will never happen (it will happen only when pigs start to fly)

barking up the wrong tree: putting attention in the wrong direction (like a dog barking and looking into a tree that has nothing in it)

food for wagging tongues: a topic for gossip (taken from dogs with tongues hanging out)

beat around the bush: to avoid the true subject, to say meaningless things and not say the important point, often used like this, "I won't beat around the bush. I need ..."

keep (put) all your eggs in one basket: to have only one thing, such as a job, hobby or goal--so that if you lose it, you have nothing; usually use negatively, "I don't keep ..." or "you shouldn't keep ..."

you and what army: an exclamation used when someone intends to do something that seems impossible (meaning the person would need an army's help)

(his/her) bark is worse than (his/her) bite: the person's speech is generally worse than the person's actions

pipe dream: something you want that is not likely to happen (originated from opium smoking, popular in the 1920's, but that origin is long forgotten in popular use)

stick with: stay with, do one thing

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Learn more Idioms: Common Idioms, Business Idioms and Colorful Idioms.

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