with Speak Method
|Online Classes||Pronunciation Facts||R, Th, T and other sounds||500 Words Practice|
|Local Classes||Business Communication||TOEFL Prep||ESL Stories|
||Grammar and Idioms||Learn by Language
Idioms: English Expressions
|break the ice
||to start a conversation or
relationship when there is a difficult or untried situation
got into a terrible fight with my friend, and we hadn't talked for
days. Today I saw her sitting alone and decided to break the ice.
|count on ______
||to rely on, to place trust in
||Can I count on you to finish
your half of the project?
Yeah, you can count on me.
|count ___ in
||to include in a group or in a
||I love planning birthday
parties. If you are looking for help, count me in!
We need one extra person for the committee. Can we count you in?
|drag ____ feet
||to do something slowly, often
||He's a good software programmer,
but he's been dragging his feet lately.
|go the extra mile
||to do the work required and also
to exceed it
||I know I need to go the extra
mile if I want to get this job.
|hit the sack
||to go to bed
||I was reading until 2am. Then, I
had to hit the sack.
|keep _____ head above water
||to barely survive (to keep from
||It's not easy to keep your head
above water in a tough economy.
My wife and I have kept our heads above water, but that's it. We have no savings.
||to stop being serious
||You've had a hard year, but you
need to lighten up. If you're serious all the time, you'll have a heart
Hey, lighten up! It's not so bad.
|make a bundle
||to make a lot of money
||Our finances are o.k. right now,
but it would be great if we could make a bundle and pay off our house.
I think he made a bundle at that company.
|____ gut tells me
||the intuition says ...
||My gut tells me to buy the
condo, even though I'm not sure of the value.
His gut told him to ask the girl out. He had a feeling she might say yes.
Answer the Questions
1. When was the last time you had to break the ice?
2. Out of everyone you know, who do you count on the most?
3. If you were going to be counted into a new social group, what would it be?
4. Do you know anyone who is always dragging his or her feet?
5. Do you believe in going the extra mile or in being moderate in your work?
6. What time do you usually hit the sack?
7. Do you know anyone who is struggling to keep his or her head above water?
8. If you have had a bad day, what makes you lighten up?
9. What is the easiest way for an average person to make a bundle?
10. Think about a time when you listened to your gut (intuition). What did your gut tell you to do?
|no hard feelings
||no negative feelings, often used
in an apologetic way
||I hope you don't have any hard
feelings about losing your job. Fifty other people were laid off too.
Sorry I spilled the water! No hard feelings, right?
|on the dot
||He came at 10am on the dot.
|out of the question
||beyond argument; do not try to
ask questions or argue
||My son wants to have a birthday
party with 50 friends. I told him that was out of the question. He can
have 30 friends at most.
|put your foot in your mouth
||to say something embarrassing
||I told my mother-in-law that she
had a flattering, hefty figure. Too late, I realized I'd put my foot in
|R and R
||literally "rest and relaxation,"
time off from work, time to relax
||After doing my taxes, I'll need
some R and R.
Let's go out of town and get some R and R.
||Calculus is hard for me, but for
my best friend, it's second nature.
|sleep on it
||to wait at least a day before
making a choice
||I might drop the class, but I'm
not sure yet. I'll sleep on it first.
||1) to leave
2) to gain popularity, to grow suddenly
|1) He thought the marriage was
O.K., but then his wife suddenly took off.
2) She was a waiter until her acting career took off.
|talk behind ________ back
||to gossip, to talk about a
person negatively when the person is not there
||My best friend was talking
behind my back. I couldn't believe it!
|that's putting it lightly
||this expression means that the
person agrees and also thinks the situation is worse or harder than
what was said
||"There is a new policy that all
employees have to be at work by 7am. It's so annoying!"
"That's putting it lightly!"
Answer the Questions
1. Do you know anyone who often has hard feelings about things that happen?
2. Do you usually show up for appointments on the dot?
3. Is there a lifestyle (amount of money, marriage ...) that is out of the question for you?
4. Do you remember a time when you put your foot in your mouth?
5. When was the last time you had serious R and R?
6. Do you have a talent or skill that is like second nature?
7. Do you usually sleep on tough decisions or do you make them quickly?
8. Can you think of a star whose career suddenly took off?
9. Do you know anyone who talks behind people's backs?
10. Do you think American English is a little different from British English or is that putting it lightly?