2 DEFINITIONAn idiom is a group of words whose meaning must be known as a whole because it cannot be learned from the meaning of the same words used separately.There is a problem when you cannot look up individual words in a dictionary and find the meaning. That’s what you usually do with unfamiliar words. With idioms, you must learn the whole group of words.
3 WHY LEARN IDIOMS FOR RECOGNITION? It is really valuable to recognize idioms when you hear them or read them. Knowledge of idioms is essential for understanding spoken English. People use them all the time instead of more formal ways of expressing themselves. You will hear them often in movies, on TV, in songs, and through people’s everyday language use.
4 WHY USE THEM YOURSELF?Idioms add life and vitality to language. Without idioms, language can be correct, but it may be very dull.When you are able to use idioms comfortably in your own speech and writing, then you have achieved a higher level of mastery and fluency in the language.
5 THIS PRESENTATIONHere is a sample of 30 commonly-used idioms in 10 groups.The dialogues show what kind of situation an idiom may be used in. After each dialogue, an equivalent of each missing idiom is provided to help you.There’s a short test handout at the end (with answers).
6 TIME from the word go for good rush hour You’d better leave early for the airport before ___________ starts. (period of heavy traffic)I love Canada and want to stay here ___________. (always)The Titanic, that huge ship that sank on its first voyage, was a disaster ___________________.(from the very beginning)from the word gofor goodrush hour
7 ANSWERS TIME (the answers) You’d better leave early for the airport before RUSH HOUR starts.I love Canada and want to stay here FOR GOOD.The Titanic, that huge ship that sank on its first voyage, was a disaster FROM THE WORD GO.from the word gofor goodrush hourANSWERS
8 BEING REALISTIC it stands to reason down-to-earth draw the line ____________________ Obama won. He was younger, fitter, and more exciting than his opponents. (it is logical that)No, I won’t lend you $50. I have to _______________ somewhere. (set a limit)Mr. Kim is a practical and ____________ boss. He grew up in a poor family in Seoul. (showing good sense)it stands to reasondown-to-earthdraw the line
9 BEING REALISTIC (the answers) IT STANDS TO REASON Obama won. He was younger, fitter, and more exciting than his opponents.No, I won’t lend you $50. I have to DRAW THE LINE somewhere.Mr. Kim is a practical and DOWN-TO-EARTH boss. He grew up in a poor family in Seoul.it stands to reasondown-to-earthdraw the lineANSWERS
10 BEING CRITICAL he really thinks he’s something gone downhill It was a nice mall when it first opened, but it has _________________ since then. (become less attractive, deteriorated)He behaves like a very important man, but he is not. _______________________. (he’s conceited and egotistical, arrogant)My cable TV company cancelled my service during the soccer finals. Isn’t that ______________________? (typical)BEING CRITICALhe really thinks he’s somethinggone downhillpar for the course
11 BEING CRITICAL (the answers) It was a nice mall when it first opened, but it has GONE DOWNHILL since then.He behaves like a very important man, but he is not. HE REALLY THINKS HE’S SOMETHING.My cable TV company cancelled my service during the soccer finals. Isn’t that PAR FOR THE COURSE?he really thinks he’s somethinggone downhillpar for the courseANSWERS
12 ENCOURAGING OR PRAISING It’s a difficult job, but ___________________. (make an attempt)They haven’t heard from their son in Canada? Oh well, __________________. ( when you don’t hear from someone, things are probably fine)I thought you were wrong, but now __________________. (I was wrong, and I must congratulate you)take a crack at itI’ve got to hand it to youno news is good news
13 ENCOURAGING OR PRAISING (the answers) It’s a difficult job, but TAKE A CRACK AT IT.They haven’t heard from their son in Canada? Oh well, NO NEWS IS GOOD NEWS.I thought you were wrong, but now I’VE GOT TO HAND IT TO YOU.take a crack at itI’ve got to hand it to youno news is good news
14 MONEY MATTERSOnly ______________ people can drive a Mercedes car. (rich)We’ll pay all your expenses, so you won’t be____________. (spending your own money)She likes playing piano, but accounting is her __________. (main source of income)out of pocketbread and butterwell-to-do
15 MONEY MATTERS (the answers) Only WELL-TO-DO people can drive a Mercedes car.We’ll pay all your expenses, so you won’t be OUT OF POCKET.She likes playing piano, but accounting is her BREAD AND BUTTER.out of pocketbread and butterwell-to-doANSWERS
16 ANGER OR FRUSTRATIONWhen they started to laugh and joke in class, he told them to ______________________. (stop it)She’s a ________________, always complaining and being negative. (annoying person or thing)When he saw them cheating, he _________. (became very angry)cut it outpain in the neckhit the roof/ceiling
17 ANGER OR FRUSTRATION (the answers) When they started to laugh and joke in class, he told them to CUT IT OUT.She’s a PAIN IN THE NECK, always complaining and being negative.When he saw them cheating, he HIT THE ROOF.cut it outpain in the neckhit the roof/ceilingANSWERS
18 SURPRISEI _______________ when I saw my boss drunk in a bar. (looked again to make sure)It was _________________ when he shouted at me at 8 in the morning. (a surprise, revelation)His anger ____________. (really surprised me )a real eye-openercaught me off guarddid a double take
19 SURPRISE (the answers) I DID A DOUBLE TAKE when I saw my boss drunk in a bar.It was A REAL EYE-OPENER when he shouted at me at 8 in the morning.His anger TOOK ME OFF GUARD.a real eye-openercaught me off guarddid a double takeANSWERS
20 PAIRSShe understands _________ of her job. That’s why she is excellent. (the details)That he is left-handed is ______________________. He can do the work very well. (irrelevant, of no concern in this case)Ask the __________ as well as the managers. (the ordinary members)neither here nor therethe ins and outsrank and file
21 ANSWERS PAIRS (the answers) She understands THE INS AND OUTS of her job. That’s why she is satisfactory.That he is left-handed is NEITHER HERE NOR THERE. He can do the work very well.Ask the RANK AND FILE as well as the managers.neither here nor therethe ins and outsrank and fileANSWERS
22 SOCIAL LIFEDon’t give him a beer. He’s ________________. (not drinking alcohol)She wished me ___________________ when it was my birthday. (expression of best wishes)Let’s go to our student reunion and have a glass of wine with our old friends _____________________. (to relive memories)on the wagonmany happy returnsfor old times’ sake
23 SOCIAL LIFE (the answers) Don’t give him a beer. He’s ON THE WAGON.She wished me MANY HAPPY RETURNS when it was my birthday.Let’s go to our student reunion and have a glass of wine with our old friends FOR OLD TIMES’ SAKE.on the wagonmany happy returnsfor old times’ sakeANSWERS
24 SPORTSThanks for __________________ me with my citizenship application. I needed your support. (giving your support)$5 million is only _____________ for the college’s addition. (a rough estimate)His ideas are really _________________, so we shouldn’t listen to him. (unrealistic)a ballpark figureout in left fieldgoing to bat for
25 ANSWERS SPORTS (the answers) Thanks for GOING TO BAT FOR me with my citizenship application. I needed your support.$5 million is only A BALLPARK FIGURE for the college’s addition.His ideas are really OUT IN LEFT FIELD, so we shouldn’t listen to him.SPORTS (the answers)a ballpark figureout in left fieldgoing to bat forANSWERS
26 IDIOMS LET’S SEE IF WE KEPT YOU ON YOUR TOES. HAVE SOME FUN. TAKE THE HANDOUT TEST.IF YOU PASS, GOOD FOR YOU.IF YOU DON’T, IT MAKES SENSE FOR YOU TOWORK ON …IDIOMS