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Idioms: English Expressions
the same idea, to know what the other person is thinking
going to the park is a great idea. You read my mind!
break a sweat
answered all of the test questions and didn't break a sweat.
much ready for something
you ready to try skiing?"
"Sure! I was born ready!"
nothing about something, like a white page that will be written on
O.K. if you don't know how to run a business. You're a blank slate. You
have everything to learn.
straw that breaks the camel's back
small extra thing makes the load too much, often used when someone
told me I had to wear a uniform, and that was the straw that broke the
camel's back. I quit my job yesterday.
shortened form of the last idiom
roommate is so messy. Today the kitchen is just terrible, and it's the
last straw. I'm asking her to move out.
for the other shoe to drop
something bad to happen, especially when life is good
met many nice people at school, but I'm waiting for the other shoe to
drop. There must be some mean or annoying people here.
bullet / there's no silver bullet
way to be successful, usually used in the negative, "there's no easy
want to be an author, there's no silver bullet. You have to work hard
and promote yourself.
started, get to work
team, let's get cracking! We have a lot to do today.
blood, sweat and tears
very, very hard work
project is really taking blood, sweat and tears. If I ever finish, I'll
need a week of vacation.
Answer the Questions
1. Has anyone "read your mind" lately?
2. When did you do something that was difficult, but you didn't break a sweat?
3. Is there something you haven't done yet, but you were born ready to try it?
4. Are you a blank slate in any of these subjects: advertising, technology or sailing?
5. When was the last time you argued? What was the straw that broke the camel's back?
6. In a relationship or marriage, what would be "the last straw," the worst thing the other person could do?
7. Do you ever "wait for the other shoe to drop" or are you usually a positive thinker?
8. Do you know of a silver bullet that could make you successful quickly?
9. During this past week, when did you "get cracking?"
10. During the past year, did you do anything that took blood, sweat and tears?
agree to disagree
understand that you have opposite opinions
stop arguing over who should be president. We have to agree to disagree.
______ dirty laundry
reveal personal information publicly
should have asked for vacation time. Instead, he aired his dirty
laundry and told the manager all about his divorce.
Let's not air our dirty laundry. Our friends don't have to know about your DWI.
something that is hard, something a person does not want to do
have studied enough. It's time to bite the bullet and take the TOEFL
exam one more time.
grudge, ongoing dislike of someone or something, often obvious to others
had a chip on your shoulder for almost a year. You need to forgive your
That guy really has a chip on his shoulder. I don't know why he's angry, but he's impossible to talk to.
follow through with an order or assignment, to meet expectations
been working on the project all night, but I don't know if I can
deliver the goods by 8am.
He's an o.k. worker, but he doesn't always deliver the goods. He might get laid off.
confront a difficult situation, usually one a person has caused
the one who stayed out all night. Now you have to face the music and
take a test you probably won't pass.
diverted, to veer from a plan
didn't mean to get off track. Let's continue talking about the main
subject of our meeting.
hands are tied
can be done
sorry, but my hands are tied. You will have to talk to the manager.
My sister wanted to help with our legal case, but her hands are tied.
hit the nail on the head
or do exactly the right thing
exactly what I meant! You hit the nail on the head.
start before time (this comes from racing--the idea of beginning before
the gunshot that can begin a race)
didn't mean to jump the gun. Let's start with the first item on the
Answer the Questions
1. Did you have to agree to disagree with someone recently?
2. Do you believe in not airing your dirty laundry?
3. What is one thing you may have to bite the bullet and complete this coming week?
4. Do you know anyone who has a chip on his/her shoulder?
5. Name one time you had trouble delivering the goods.
6. Describe a time when you had to face the music.
7. When you talk about something important, do you tend to get off track sometimes or stay focused?
8. Has there ever been a time when you needed help, but someone's hands were tied?
9. Do you have a friend who often hits the nail on the head?
10. Can you think of a time when you jumped the gun?