English Online with Speak Method



Online Classes Pronunciation Facts R, Th, T and other sounds 500 Words Practice
Local Classes Business Communication TOEFL Prep ESL Stories
Contact Us
Vowel Sounds
Grammar and Idioms Learn by Language

Idioms: English Expressions

Study 10 idioms below. Then answer the questions.

on the same page
having the same understanding, having the same ideas
neutral, positive
I want to make sure we're on the same page. We will meet for one hour and discuss all three projects, right?
blessing in disguise
a good thing that did not seem good at first
You were so worried when you were laid off, but it was a blessing in disguise. Now you have a much better job.
check out/ checkout
1) look at, discover (verb)
2) payment place (noun)
3) the process of leaving a hotel (adjective or noun)
For more information, check out our new website.
You can pay for those at the checkout.
This hotel's checkout time is 11:00am.
drive ____ crazy
to make frustrated or upset
neutral, negative
Our neighbors are always playing loud music. It drives me crazy!
give credit where credit is due
give ___ the credit
to give recognition, to acknowledge another person's work
Let's give credit where credit is due. Laura, you did an amazing job!
I have to give John most of the credit for this project. The major ideas were his.
take credit / take the credit / take all the credit
1) to assert recognition of oneself
2) to take recognition dishonestly
neutral to negative
Sorry, but I have to take the credit for this business plan. It was my idea.
I couldn't believe that Bob took all the credit for our team's work! He was the least productive person.
if worse comes to worse
if the situation gets even worse than now or very bad
Don't worry about losing your job. If worse comes to worse, we can sell the house and buy a condo.
low blow
a mean remark, an insult
negative, sometimes humorous
She told me I was fat even though she knows I'm dieting and losing weight. It was such a low blow! I'm very angry.
no wonder
not surprising
It's no wonder she had trouble getting into a university. She never studies!
off the record
not official, related to personal things or feelings
I enjoy this workplace, but ... off the record, my manager drives me crazy.

Answer the Questions

1. Is there someone that you are usually on the same page with (a spouse or best friend)?
2. If something bad happens to you, do you try to see it as a blessing in disguise?
3. What do you like to check out on the internet? Do you prefer looking at videos, websites or social media?
4. Think of someone you know well. What is one thing this person does that drives you crazy?
5. Do you like to give credit where credit is due? Or do you try to take credit when you can?

More Questions

6. Have you ever met anyone who likes to take credit for things--even if the person did not actually do much work?
7. If worse came to worse and you had to leave America very quickly, what would you do?
8. Have you ever said something that was a low blow? Or has someone said something to you that was a low blow?
9. Describe something that happened recently and use "no wonder." For example: It's no wonder I strained my knee. I have been jogging too much.
10. Off the record, what do you think of American food?

Now learn 10 more idioms. A blank ____ indicates a place for a pronoun.
Then answer more questions about your everyday life.

out of touch / out of touch with reality
not aware of current events or trends
Some news reporters criticized the president's speech. They said he was out of touch with the American people.
I have been staying home all the time to study. I'm so out of touch!
put ____ mind to it
to try
If you put your mind to it, you can do anything.
you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours
if you do something for me, I will do something for you
I could use your help at the business conference, and hey, if you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours.
don't let the cat out of the bag
don't reveal the secret
I'm going to graduate school in London. When you talk to Mom, please don't let the cat out of the bag. I want to tell her myself.
running around
busy, doing many things
I've been running around all day! I'm so tired.
stand up for ____self
to choose to act for oneself, usually to avoid being bullied or dominated by another person or social group
My friend works for a small company, and he is not getting his vacation this year because of his current project. I told him he should stand up for himself and insist on getting the vacation time later.
stay in touch / keep in touch
to stay in contact by phone, email or online
We so enjoyed your visit. Let's all stay in touch! Do you use Facebook or should we trade email addresses?
___ have/has issues
to have problems with a situation; to have personal problems such as difficulties with emotions or past memories
She finally broke up with her boyfriend. I'm so glad for her because he really had issues.
up to ___ old tricks
doing bad or deceitful things--dishonest methods that the person has used in the past
--can also be used with pets that return to bad habits
Our manager's up to his old tricks again. He is complaining about profits and pushing the new employees to take pay cuts.
Unfortunately, our cat is up to her old tricks again. She is leaving dead mice on our doorstep.
zip it
stop talking, shut the mouth
negative or used with kids
O.K., zip it! You and your brother need to stop arguing.

Answer the Questions

1. Do you tend to be out of touch wih reality or do you keep track of trends and current events?
2. Is there a project or goal right now that you are putting your mind to?
3. Do you have a friend or family member with whom you often trade favors (scratch each other's back)?
4. Do you have any secret plans right now, so that you would tell a friend, don't let the cat out of the bag?
5. Have you been running around a lot lately? What have you been doing?

More Questions

6. If you are in a new social group or situation, do you stand up for yourself?
7. Now that you are in America, who are you staying in touch with?
8. Do you know anyone who has issues? Describe this person.
9. Try to think of a person (or animal) that returned to a bad or dishonest habit. Explain how the person/animal was up to ___ old tricks.
10. Describe a situation when you might tell a friend or family member to zip it.

Contact us
* Speak Method is a part of I.E. Tutoring which holds the copyright to all materials on this site.