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Grammar and Idioms For Young People

American English Idioms: Common, Everyday Expressions

: Watch a video with these idioms and read along with a conversation.

These are good expressions to use in your speech--and also to help you understand others. Remember, there's no need to speak a lot of idioms. Choose the ones that seem to fit your personality.

Learn the Idioms
make yourself at home: my house is your house
help yourself: get something for yourself, feel free to get things for yourself (while at another's house)
cheer (a person) up: do something nice, meant to make the person feel better
give it a rest: stop talking about something (usually something where there is disagreement)
give me a break: exclamation--you think something is untrue or unfair or you think too much is expected of you
stand a chance: to have a chance
don't stand a chance: to not have a chance
one thing after another: usually negative, means that things happened close together in time which leads to frustration, used after "it's" or "it was"
good for you: speaker is congratulating the other person or approving of the other person
sticking to: to continue with or stay with something

In Use:

Come in. Make yourself at home.

I have to finish cooking. If you would like some water, please help yourself. It's on the counter.

Thanks for cheering me up. I needed to laugh after such a hard day.

When I was sick, I decided to cheer myself up by watching some good, new movies.

Your sister's sad about her friend moving to another city. Why don't you go cheer her up?

"Would you two give it a rest? You've been arguing all day."

"I don't want to talk about work anymore. Let's give it a rest."

My manager said they aren't giving raises because no one is performing any better than last year. I said, "Give me a break. I know our profits are going up."

"Give me a break! I'm already behind in my work as it is--I don't have time to do anything else."

I think I stand a chance of getting that job. The other applicants didn't look very qualified.

I don't stand a chance of winning the competition. There are 1,000 people competing!

I had such a hard day. It was one thing after another! I'm ready to watch some TV.

I'm glad you finally broke up with your girlfriend. It was one thing after another with her.

You're sticking to the new diet? Good for you!


More Idioms
it just so happens: introductory remark used, positively or negatively, to get the listener's complete attention

[something] leaves a lot to be desired: a polite way of saying you don't like something

to come across as (something): to seem to be a certain way, used to describe people

knock on wood: means that you give yourself luck (or someone else), often used when people make a positive statement and fear that the opposite could happen (people sometimes knock on something wooden when saying this), comes from old times when people believed spirits lived in wood and would come to you if you knocked.

to let someone/something get to you: to allow someone/something to upset you

over (my/your/his/her) head: too hard to understand, one doesn't have the knowledge to understand

little did (a person) know: the phrase is used to create suspense before a previously unkown idea/fact is expressed

paid off: a reward was received for effort

In Use:

You're looking for new teachers? It just so happens that I'm looking for work and I'm a great teacher.

They are forcing us to move from the apartment building. I said to the landlord, "It just so happens, I know a very good lawyer."

It's been raining for 4 days. This weather leaves a lot to be desired.

I decorated the living room, but our old, plastic Christmas tree leaves a lot to be desired.

He comes across as sarcastic, but he's actually very nice.

My old manager came across as a tyrant, and that's exactly what she was.

I caught a cold, then a flu, and then I had a backache for a week. Hopefully, that's the end of my ill health--knock on wood!

Our company's stock went up by 2.5%. It could go up more--knock on wood!

Don't let the new manager get to you. I don't think he will last long here.

My son knows more about computers than I do. He says things that are over my head all the time.

Everyone was behaving strangely all day. Little did I know, they were planning my surprise birthday party.

His persistence eventually paid off. His sales improved and his company began to do well.


: Watch a video with these idioms and read along with a conversation.

Learn more idioms: Business Idioms, Colorful Idioms, Very Colorful Idioms.

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