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Idioms: English Expressions

Study 10 idioms below. Then answer the questions.

beside the point
not needed, not related to the topic or situation
neutral, negative
I like your new idea, but it's beside the point right now. First, we have to get started on the basic project.
blows ____ mind
is very amazing or surprising
usually positive
That movie blew my mind! The plot was so intense.
clean up _____ act
to become better in appearance and behavior
My brother used to go to parties every night, but last year he cleaned up his act. He's a responsible business man now.
don't count your chickens before they're hatched (usually shortens to don't count your chickens)
don't assume the best outcome--wait and see what actually happens
neutral, a warning
Your new website looks great, and I think you will make some money on it, but don't count your chickens! There's a lot of competition these days.
foot the bill
to pay the bill, usually when you do not want or expect it
We took the executives out to dinner, and the networking was very productive. Unfortunately, I had to foot the bill.
get out of hand
to get out of control
neutral, negative
My roommate and I were never friends, but lately things are getting out of hand. She won't even clean her own dishes.
wasn't born yesterday
not stupid
neutral, negative
The car salesman told me that I should consider luxury and speed before cost. I told him that I wasn't born yesterday.
jump to conclusions
to make decisions too quickly (without thinking about all the facts)
negative, usually a warning
I'm glad the interview went well, but don't jump to conclusions. You don't know for sure if they will hire you or what salary they will offer.
keep ____ in the loop
keep informed
neutral, positive
Thank you for inviting me to this meeting. Please keep me in the loop as you develop your project.
kid around
positive, humorous
Hey, stop kiding around! We all have to get back to work.

Answer the Questions

1. Do you know someone who often gets off topic?
When might you say, "that's beside the point?"

2. Describe something (a movie, some news) that blew your mind.

3. Think of someone who has cleaned up his or her act. How did the person change?

4. When is a time that you warned someone not to count his/her chickens?

5. Have you ever had to foot the bill for a dinner or event? Or has someone had to foot the bill for you?

More Questions

6. Have you ever felt that life was getting out of hand (you were very busy or having difficulties)?

7. Describe a time when you might say, "I wasn't born yesterday."

8. Do you know anyone who often jumps to conclusions?

9. Are  you working on a project or team and other people are keeping you in the loop?

10. Do you like kidding around or are you more serious?

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

likely story
its probably a lie, the story is not likely
sarcastic, negative
You walked for twenty blocks in the rain because you wanted fresh air? Likely story! You were drinking.
miss the point
to not see the important part, the main topic
I tried to tell my manager that I was unhappy. He missed the point and started recommending vacation spots.
to make money through small, unnoticed fees
You shouldn't open an account at that bank. They'll nickel-and-dime you!
politically correct, safe, avoiding offense
The comedian was very funny. His jokes definitely weren't PC.
settle down
to get married
He was single until he was 38. Then he finally settled down. Now he has three small kids.
sweet tooth
a taste for sweets
The cake looks very good, but I don't have much of a sweet tooth today.
the gloves are off
no more gentleness, it is time for tough competition
That company is taking our customers. The gloves are off! We need to beat them.
under the weather
a little sick
Even since the season changed, I've been feeling under the weather.
way to go
good job!
positive or sarcastic
You got a new job. Way to go!
You broke three glasses. Way to go!
wrap up or wrap it up
It's been a good meeting. Let's wrap it up and go to lunch.

Answer the Questions

1.Describe a time when someone told you a story that was not likely.

2. Do you know someone who often misses the point of conversations?

3. Do you know of a company that nickel-and-dime's people?

4. Do you like to be PC or do you like to say whatever you want?

5. If you are single now, do you plan to settle down soon? If you're married now, when did you settle down?

More Questions

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? How often do you eat sweets?

7. Think of any competitive situations you have experienced. Was there a time when you or your team decided that the gloves were off?

8. Have you felt under the weather recently?

9. Think of your friends and family and their recent accomplishments (or mistakes). Why might you say "way to go" to someone?

10. Is there a project that you plan to wrap up soon?

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