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Idioms: English Expressions

Study 10 idioms below. Then answer the questions.

a breath of fresh air
something that brings gladness, a sense of relief
It's so good to see you! You're a breath of fresh air. I'm so glad to have time to relax and chat.
a cinch
Don't worry about the changes to the website. They're a cinch!
butter ___ up
to do nice things for someone in the hope that the person will give you what you want
Right now, my manager has not approved my vacation, but I plan to butter her up by taking her out to lunch.
count your blessings
appreciate what you have
neutral to positive
I know that you are depressed after not getting accepted at your favorite university, but count your blessings! Two other prestigious schools accepted you.
don't waste your breath
don't try to convince, don't bother saying anything
If you're going to ask me for more money, don't waste your breath. I'm not your bank manager.
eats like a bird
does not eat very much
My daughter has decided to come to your dinner party, but don't change your plans at all. She eats like a bird.
grab a bite to eat
get some food quickly
Wow, I'm starving! Before we go to your friend's house, let's grab a bite to eat.
hang out
to relax, to be somewhere and not doing anything particular
I've been studying all day, and I'm so bored! Let's go to the mall and hang out for a while.
in the black
financially secure
I looked at our bank accounts, and I'm glad to say that we're in the black. We have no loans and our savings account is growing.
in the red
not financially secure
Our business is in the red again! We have to cut costs.

Answer the Questions

1. Do you know anyone who is generally happy so that the person seems like a breath of fresh air?

2. What is one thing that is hard for other people, but you think it's a cinch?

3. Have you ever tried to butter up someone?
Or has someone tried to butter you up?

4. Do you think that you usually count your blessings or does someone have to remind you to do that?

5. Is there a topic that you will not discuss with your good friend or spouse?
So if the person mentioned this topic, you might say, don't waste your breath.

More Questions

6. Do you eat like a bird or do you know anyone who eats like a bird?

7. When was the last time you grabbed a bite to eat?

8. Where do you like to hang out?

9. Do you prefer to keep your finances completely in the black or do you let yourself have some debt?

10. Have you ever known anyone whose finances were in the red for a while?

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

kill two birds with one stone
to accomplish two things with one effort
We need to improve our website and get more international followers. Maybe we can kill two birds with one stone by investing in a software programmer who has experience in getting search results.
the name of the game
the important part, the main thing
neutral, positive
Congratulations on getting five new clients in one day! That's the name of the game!
step on ____ toes
to do another person's task or to take responsibility or authority from another
So sorry! I didn't mean to step on your toes. The project is yours, and I will leave it to you.
tie the knot
to get married
positive, neutral
My friend had his wedding last week. They finally tied the knot!
My girlfriend doesn't know if she's ready to tie the knot.
until blue in the face
until an extreme is reached (from the idea of being so out of breath from expressing emotion that the face has changed color)
You can argue with me until you're blue in the face, but don't bother! I'm not changing my mind.
wet behind the ears
Don't worry about the new associate's pride. He's still wet behind the ears. After he learns about the job, he will be more relaxed.
work ___ tail off
to work very hard
neutral, negative
I'm starving. I've been working my tail off all day, and I haven't eaten since breakfast!
my bad
it's my fault
So sorry you were waiting for me. It's my bad. I should have realized that I'd be late.
Do you feel me? You feel me?
I feel you.
"feel" means to understand, to have a sense of another's  emotional state or perspective
I don't care if you apologize all day! I'm angry. Do you feel me?
Yeah, I feel you. I'll leave you alone for a while.
actions speak louder than words
what we do is more important than what we say because it is a better indicator of the truth
She says that she's my friend, but actions speak louder than words. She keeps saying no when I suggest we have lunch, and she doesn't seem to care about my problems.

Answer the Questions

1. Think of the last time you were running errands or working on a project.
Did you manage to kill two birds with one stone?

2. What is your career or field of study? What is the name of the game in this profession?

3. Have you ever stepped on someone's toes without intending to do this? If so, what happened?

4. Have you tied the knot yet? If not, do you think you'll tie the knot in the future?

5.  Do you know anyone who will argue or insist on a point until blue in the face?

More Questions

6. Are you wet behind the ears in your English studies? Or do you consider yourself fairly advanced?

7. When you have a job or a project, do you work your tail off most of the time? Or do you like to avoid working too much?

8. When was the last time you might have said "my bad" to someone?

9. Describe a recent emotional situation. When might you have asked, "you feel me?"

10. Do you think actions speak louder than words? Why or why not?

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