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Idioms: English Expressions

Study 10 idioms below. Then answer the questions.

bat around ideas
to discuss ideas, brainstorm
Our project isn't on schedule. Let's bat around ideas and figure out how to finish on time.
blow it
to do badly, to miss a chance or success
Sorry, but I blew it! I completely forgot our appointment.
call it a day
stop working, finish (can be day or night)
We've been working hard. Let's call it a day.
call it a night
stop working, end the evening
It was a great movie, but it's getting late. Let's call it a night.
curiosity killed the cat
curiosity can lead to trouble
neutral, warning
Hey, curiosity killed the cat! Don't look at the texts on your friend's phone.
dragon lady
a very tough, stern woman
My boss is such a dragon lady. She expects me to know what she wants before she has told me.
get right on it
start immediately or very soon
O.K. I'll get right on it!
have one's heart set on
to have a strong desire for something
She has her heart set on going to school in New York, but she has to get a scholarship to help pay the expenses.
jump ship
to leave quickly (usually because a situation is bad)
The company has announced that 1,000 people will be laid off in the next three months. I think a lot of people will jump ship in the meantime.
know _____ stuff
to know a lot
This is Bob. He's our lead sales manager. He really knows his stuff!

Answer the Questions

1. Do you like to bat around ideas before starting a project or do you like to plan things on your own?

2. When was the last time you "blew it?"

3. Will you call it a day after this class?

4. Describe the last time you went out at night or worked late? When did you call it a night?

5. Describe a situation when curiosity could be a bad thing.

6. Have you ever had a teacher or boss who was a dragon lady? If so, describe her.

More Questions

7. If you have a new project, do you usually get right on it or do you like to procrastinate (do it later)?

8. Have you ever had your heart set on something? Why did you want it?

9. Do you know anyone who has had to jump ship--to leave a project or job because the situation was bad?

10. What is one subject in which you really know your stuff?

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

live with it
accept it
neutral, negative
Sorry your roommate is messy, but you just have to live with it. You signed a six month lease.
make a splash
make a great impression in a social situation or career
My friend started at the new company, and she really made a splash! Everyone likes her.
no laughing matter
not for joking, serious
serious, negative
This is no laughing matter. We have to pay off our debt.
on the right track
on a good course or path
I'm glad that you're on the right track with your career.
over the hill
old, past the age of being productive
neutral, humorous
You might be 65, but you're not over the hill yet! You're healthy and active.
practice what you preach
do what you say, have your own actions match your advice
You told me not to get angry, but you're angry now. You should practice what you preach.
sit tight
Sit tight. The test results will be available in a few minutes.
spitting image
very close resemblance
neutral, positive
Wow--you're the spitting image of your mother!
stressed out
very stressed
You've been stressed out for a week. You should give yourself at least one full day off.
what's the deal
what's the situation, what's going on
What's the deal? Why is everyone leaving the office early?
So what's the deal with your boyfriend?

Answer the Questions

1. Is there something in your life that you just have to live with?

2. Do you know anyone who usually makes a splash when he/she meets new people?

3. What is one thing that you consider no laughing matter?

4. Do you think that you're on the right track with your life goals right now?

5. Describe someone who is over the hill.

More Questions

6. Do you usually practice what you preach or do you give advice that you do not follow yourself?

7. When was the last time someone told you to sit tight? (could be a doctor's office or place where you wait)

8. Do you know anyone who is the spitting image of someone else?

9. Were you stressed out recently? Why or why not?

10. So what's the deal with your studies or career?

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