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Idioms: English Expressions
|Learn 20 idioms in this lesson.
10 idioms. Then practice speaking with them by answering the questions
below. Be sure to use your idiom in your answer. Then study 10 more
be a martyr
sacrifice yourself (spoken casually)
||Don't be a martyr. Tell your
manager that you're overworked.
at the end of the tunnel
end or positive outcome after long endurance
project was so huge, I thought I would never finish. But now I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
under the bridge
that cannot be changed--that is in the past
mother and I used to argue when I was a teenager, but that's water under the bridge. We're
is thicker than water
(people who share "blood") are more important than or have priority
make me take sides in your argument. You may be my old friend, but he's
my brother. Blood is thicker than
takes all kinds
are many different personalities (usually an expression of frustration or empathy)
always comes to work late, and the manager doesn't care. It takes all kinds!
I know you don't like our neighbors, but it takes all kinds and we need to get along with them.
come out of thin air
come from nothing (can be positive or negative)
job offer came out of thin air--I'm
My book didn't come out of thin air. It took me years to write it.
cover with noise, make impossible to hear
you say that again? The music was drowning
your feet wet
try something or get started by taking small steps
starting a new job, it is a good idea to get your feet wet by attempting
in / dive right in
start immediately (no small steps)
some workplaces, new employees are expected to dive in and prove their value.
to the trenches
to work; back to the hard, laborious tasks
was good to see you, but now I have to study more for my exams--it's back to the trenches for me.
|Answer the Questions
1. When could you tell someone you know "don't be a martyr?"
2. Did you have a long project or difficult goal? When did you see the light at the end of the tunnel?
3. What is something bad that happened in the past that is now water under the bridge?
4. Do you think blood is thicker than water? Why or why not?
5. Do you think it takes all kinds to make a world? What does this mean for you?
6. Did you get any news that seemed to come out of thin air?
7. Do you like going to places where the music drowns out conversation?
8. Do you generally prefer to get your feet wet when you are trying something new--or do you like to dive right in?
9. When would you normally say "back to the trenches?" Do you have regular work or study that is very laborious?
your foot down
make a firm choice, to take an authoritative stance
daughter was spending too much money on clothes. I had to put my foot down and tell her
to take two months off from shopping.
it by ear
make choices as things happen, like improvisation in music
not sure about my plans for today. I think I'll relax and play it by ear.
end of the stick
unwanted role or task
you got the short end of the stick,
but somebody has to make all the phone calls.
it with a grain of salt
not believe entirely, realize there could be errors or opinions
believe everything you read in that article. Take it with a grain of salt.
one's neck out
put oneself in a dangerous position, usually to help another person
stuck my neck out for
her all the time, but when I needed her help, she pretended she didn't
eat dog world
tough, competitive world
sorry you didn't get the job, but don't get depressed. It's a dog eat dog world--fix your resume and practice for next time.
disliked or unwanted
had an argument with my manager two weeks ago. I've been in the doghouse ever since!
professor is highly intelligent and famous in his field, but when you
talk to him, he's down to earth.
in the clouds
youngest brother always has his head
in the clouds. He has a lot of dreams, but never has any
brief summary; essentially
could talk all day about current politics. In a nutshell, I'm voting
|Answer the Questions
1. Did you have to put your foot down recently?
2. When you have a day off, do you like to plan your day or play it by ear?
3. When was the last time you got the short end of the stick?
4. Do you think people should take TV news with a grain of salt? Why or why not?
5. Have you ever stuck your neck out for someone?
6. Do you think it's a dog eat dog world?
7. Have you ever been in the doghouse with your parents, your manager or your significant other?
8. Is your personality down to earth or do you have your head in the clouds?
9. In a nutshell, what are your future goals?