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WEEK 1 LESSON 2
EXPRESSIONS
VOCABULARY
IDIOMS
SPEAK
ENGLISH
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WEEK 1 LESSON 2
EXPRESSIONS
SECTION
NUMBER 1
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EXPRESSIONS
#1 AFTER ALL…
MEANING
EXAMPLE
In spite of considerations or expectations.
It looks like Matthew will go to medical school after all.
Don’t worry. After all, he will leave tomorrow.
In view of all the circumstances.
Of course we were afraid. After all, he was a prisoner.
#2 ALL OF A SUDDEN…
MEANING
EXAMPLE
Very quickly in usually an unexpected way
All of a sudden the lights started to flash in the room.
Suddenly
All of a sudden we heard a loud boom.
Without warning
All of a sudden she screamed at the man standing in front of her.
#3 BETTER OFF…
MEANING
EXAMPLE
To be in a more advantageous position.
They would be better off going home early.
To be in a more satisfactory condition
or situation
We would all be better off just saving money and going back home.
To be in a more favorable position or
financial circumstance.
I know I’d be better off with him, but I can’t tell him.
YOU DID IT!
I hope you enjoyed this lesson. Today you learned three new expressions that will help you Speak English
better. Remember to use each expression at least once today. Try to use them in a text message, in an
email, in a conversation, or even talking to yourself. You can do it! You can Speak English!
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“SPEAK ENGLISH AND HAVE FUN DOING IT”
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EXPRESSIONS
#4 I’M TOTALLY INTO YOU
MEANING
EXAMPLE
I like you more than a friend.
He looked into her eyes and said, “I’m totally into you”.
I really like you.
You can tell by the look in his eyes that he is totally into her.
I’m very attracted to you.
It’s true. I’m totally into you.
#5 WE’RE MEANT FOR EACH OTHER
MEANING
EXAMPLE
Perfectly matched.
He whispered into her ear, “We’re meant for each other”.
Very well suited for each other romantically.
The two of them are meant for each other.
A great couple.
We look good together but do you think we are really meant for each
other?
#6 YOU’RE MY PRINCE CHARMING
MEANING
EXAMPLE
You are my perfect partner.
Every little girl grows up wanting to find her prince charming.
A man who fulfills all of a woman’s dreams.
I think you are my prince charming.
A man who is handsome, brave, polite,
etc. and would be a perfect husband/
boyfriend.
I’m looking for my prince charming.
YOU DID IT!
I hope you enjoyed this lesson. Today you learned three new expressions that will help you Speak English
better. Remember to use each expression at least once today. Try to use them in a text message, in an
email, in a conversation, or even talking to yourself. You can do it! You can Speak English!
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“SPEAK ENGLISH AND HAVE FUN DOING IT”
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EXPRESSIONS
#7 “24/7”
MEANING
EXAMPLE
24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
In New York City, a lot of stores are open 24/7.
All the time.
The Dongdaemun shopping market in Korea is open 24/7.
Consistently, without a break.
I had to leave my previous apartment because my neighbors played loud
music 24/7.
#8 AT STAKE
MEANING
EXAMPLE
To be won or lost.
How much money is at stake?
To be at risk.
Many jobs will be at stake if this deal does not happen.
To be the issue or something in question.
There is a great deal at stake, so please think carefully.
#9 YES MAN
MEANING
EXAMPLE
A weak person who always agrees with
their political leader or their superior at
work.
Michael is the yes man of our office.
A person that does whatever he is told no
matter what.
Stop being a yes man. You should voice your opinion just like everyone
else.
If you continue to be the yes man, you will never grow as an individual.
YOU DID IT!
I hope you enjoyed this lesson. Today you learned three new expressions that will help you Speak English
better. Remember to use each expression at least once today. Try to use them in a text message, in an
email, in a conversation, or even talking to yourself. You can do it! You can Speak English!
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EXPRESSIONS
#10 HAND-ME-DOWNS
MEANING
EXAMPLE
A garment or other item that has been
passed on from another person
I always had hand-me-down clothes growing up because I had two older
sisters.
Anything that has already been used by
another
This jacket was a hand-me-down.
As a child I was always dressed in my sister’s hand-me-downs and I
longed for something new to wear.
#11 DRESS UP
MEANING
EXAMPLE
To dress in a fancy dress/outfit
They dress themselves up in their finest clothing.
To dress in smart or formal clothes.
Please dress up for the dance.
To improve the appearance or impression
of something.
He decided to dress up for his first date.
#12 DRESS DOWN
MEANING
EXAMPLE
To dress in a casual or informal manner
I dress down if I know I’m just going to be moving boxes of documents at
work.
I dressed down for the casual party.
To dress informally
At my job we normally dress down on Fridays.
YOU DID IT!
I hope you enjoyed this lesson. Today you learned three new expressions that will help you Speak English
better. Remember to use each expression at least once today. Try to use them in a text message, in an
email, in a conversation, or even talking to yourself. You can do it! You can Speak English!
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“SPEAK ENGLISH AND HAVE FUN DOING IT”
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EXPRESSIONS
#13 KNOW/LEARN THE ROPES
MEANING
EXAMPLE
To understand how to do a particular job
or activity
Anyone who’s been doing the job for a few months should know the ropes
by now.
To learn how to do something
Once I learn the ropes at my new job, I won’t be so nervous.
To know or learn how to do something,
especially a job
We need someone to teach the new staff. Someone who knows the ropes
and is good at explaining things.
#14 LINE OF WORK
MEANING
EXAMPLE
Job or occupation
I believe that the majority of you chose your line of work because you want
to help.
The principal activity in your life that you do
to earn money
In my line of work, being surrounded by gadgets is an occupational
requirement.
One’s profession
This line of work requires lots of effort.
#15 ON THE BACK BURNER
MEANING
EXAMPLE
Having low priority
We’ve all had to put our plans on the back burner for a while.
Something that is temporarily not being
dealt with or considered, especially
because it is not urgent or important
The building project is on the back burner for now.
This matter was on the back burner for a long time.
YOU DID IT!
I hope you enjoyed this lesson. Today you learned three new expressions that will help you Speak English
better. Remember to use each expression at least once today. Try to use them in a text message, in an
email, in a conversation, or even talking to yourself. You can do it! You can Speak English!
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EXPRESSIONS
#16 ASK HIM/HER OUT
MEANING
EXAMPLE
To invite someone to go out to something
or some place (sometimes on a date)
She couldn’t go, so he asked out someone else.
To invite someone for a visit to a place in
the country or some other location
We’ve been asked out to dinner twice this week.
To invite someone to a social engagement
I am so happy that Sally finally asked me out to a movie.
#17 HIT ON A WOMAN/MAN
MEANING
EXAMPLE
To flirt with someone
The woman were all hitting on George, but he didn't complain.
I thought he was going to hit on me, but he was too shy.
To make a pass at someone
She hit on him but he didn't realize it.
#18 STAND HIM/HER UP
MEANING
EXAMPLE
To fail to keep an appointment with a
boyfriend or girlfriend
He stood up his date while he played basketball with the guys.
Sally stood him up because she was mad.
To break a date by not showing up
How could he stand you up on your first date?
YOU DID IT!
I hope you enjoyed this lesson. Today you learned three new expressions that will help you Speak English
better. Remember to use each expression at least once today. Try to use them in a text message, in an
email, in a conversation, or even talking to yourself. You can do it! You can Speak English!
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EXPRESSIONS
#19 BLACK SHEEP
MEANING
EXAMPLE
A member of a family or group who is
regarded as a disgrace to them.
Rachel is the black sheep in the family because she is an artist whereas
everyone else is a lawyer.
A person who has done something bad
that brings embarrassment or shame to
his or her family.
He’s the black sheep of the family.
To be the outcast of the family.
John was the black sheep of the family, so he always felt lonely.
#20 LIKE ONE OF THE FAMILY
MEANING
EXAMPLE
We treat our dog like one of the family.
To feel as if someone were a member of
your own family.
We are very happy to have you stay with us. I hope you don’t mind if we
treat you like one of the family.
She’s like one of the family.
#21 RUN IN THE FAMILY
MEANING
EXAMPLE
(For a characteristic) to appear in many (or
al) members of a family.
Playing the piano runs in my family.
To be a common quality among members
of a particular family.
My brothers and I have red hair. It runs in the family.
His father and uncle were basketball stars in college, so athletic ability runs
in the family.
YOU DID IT!
I hope you enjoyed this lesson. Today you learned three new expressions that will help you Speak English
better. Remember to use each expression at least once today. Try to use them in a text message, in an
email, in a conversation, or even talking to yourself. You can do it! You can Speak English!
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EXPRESSIONS
#22 PUT/GET YOUR THINKING CAP ON
MEANING
EXAMPLE
To think about and find a solution
It’s time to put your thinking caps on.
To reflect deeply about something that
needs a solution
Students, let’s put on our thinking caps and do some math.
To start to think seriously about how to
solve a problem
I decided to put on my thinking cap to see if I could come up with a
solution.
#23 DRAW A BLANK
MEANING
EXAMPLE
Being unable to produce a response
He asked me about the financial statement, but I drew a blank.
To fail to remember something
I tried to remember her name, but I could only draw a blank.
To forget something
When Mike asked Sam which airline they were flying on, Sam drew a
blank.
#24 COVER A LOT OF GROUND
MEANING
EXAMPLE
To travel over a great distance
The kids covered a lot of ground, looking for all of the marbles.
To deal with lots of information and many
facts
The history lesson covered a lot of ground today.
The math class covered a lot of ground yesterday.
YOU DID IT!
I hope you enjoyed this lesson. Today you learned three new expressions that will help you Speak English
better. Remember to use each expression at least once today. Try to use them in a text message, in an
email, in a conversation, or even talking to yourself. You can do it! You can Speak English!
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“SPEAK ENGLISH AND HAVE FUN DOING IT”
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EXPRESSIONS
#25 BACKSEAT DRIVER
MEANING
EXAMPLE
A passenger in a car who gives the driver
unwanted advice
Michael was annoyed by Barry’s tendency to become a backseat driver
whenever they went on a trip together.
A person who is eager to advise without
responsibility
His mom was a backseat driver, so his dad was always frustrated.
An annoying passenger who tells the
driver how to drive
Backseat drivers are quite annoying sometimes.
#26 ON THE HOME STRETCH
MEANING
EXAMPLE
The last part of a long activity
They have been working on the project for 3 months, but now they are in
the home stretch.
The last part of an activity or campaign
We are in the home stretch of the assignment, but I’m still not comfortable
with the results.
The last part of a difficult activity
Are we in the home stretch of the project yet?
#27 HIT THE ROAD
MEANING
EXAMPLE
Set out on a journey
It’s time to hit the road.
To depart
They have to hit the road very early in the morning.
To begin one’s journey, especially on a
road trip
She wanted to stay longer, but it was really time to hit the road.
YOU DID IT!
I hope you enjoyed this lesson. Today you learned three new expressions that will help you Speak English
better. Remember to use each expression at least once today. Try to use them in a text message, in an
email, in a conversation, or even talking to yourself. You can do it! You can Speak English!
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“SPEAK ENGLISH AND HAVE FUN DOING IT”
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EXPRESSIONS
#28 ACROSS THE BOARD
MEANING
EXAMPLE
Applying to all
The boss said that the cutbacks might be across the board.
Involving everyone or everything in a place
or situation
The same requirements will be applied across the board.
Affecting everyone or everything in a group
The tax cuts will be across the board, so many people are worried.
#29 AT THIS STAGE IN THE GAME
MEANING
EXAMPLE
At a particular place in a process
At this stage of the game, it’s really too late to switch partners.
At the current point in some event or
situation
We’re past worrying about that at this stage of the game.
Currently
We can’t do much at this stage of the game.
#30 THE BALL IS IN YOUR COURT
MEANING
EXAMPLE
It is up to you to make the next move
The ball is in your court. You do something.
You need to react or answer
We made a reasonable offer for the business, and now the ball is in their court.
You have to do something before any
progress can be made in a situation
I told him that I would forgive him if he apologizes. The ball is in his court now.
YOU DID IT!
I hope you enjoyed this lesson. Today you learned three new expressions that will help you Speak English
better. Remember to use each expression at least once today. Try to use them in a text message, in an
email, in a conversation, or even talking to yourself. You can do it! You can Speak English!
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“SPEAK ENGLISH AND HAVE FUN DOING IT”
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EXPRESSIONS
#31 ACQUIRED TASTE
MEANING
EXAMPLE
A thing that one has come to like only through experience
Squash is an acquired taste.
Something that you dislike at first, but that you start to like
after you have tried it a few times.
Pumpkin pie is an acquired taste.
One that is unpleasant on immediate experience or is likable
only after being experienced repeatedly.
I think kimchi is an acquired taste, but it is good.
#32 SPILL THE BEANS
MEANING
EXAMPLE
Reveal secret information unintentionally or indiscreetly
Mary spilled the beans about the party.
To give away a secret or a surprise.
Somebody spilled the beans about the surprise party.
To let secret information become known.
My friend was afraid to spill the beans about the cost of
his house.
#33 PIECE OF CAKE
MEANING
EXAMPLE
I said that this class would be a piece of cake.
Something that is easily achieved
Cooking is a piece of cake for my friend.
Making rice is a piece of cake for some people, but hard
for others.
YOU DID IT!
I hope you enjoyed this lesson. Today you learned three new expressions that will help you Speak English
better. Remember to use each expression at least once today. Try to use them in a text message, in an
email, in a conversation, or even talking to yourself. You can do it! You can Speak English!
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“SPEAK ENGLISH AND HAVE FUN DOING IT”
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EXPRESSIONS
#34 BEAR IN MIND
MEANING
EXAMPLE
Remember and take into account
She needs to bear in mind that the figures vary from place to place.
Be mindful of
Just bear in mind that you are not alone.
To remember a piece of information when you
are making decisions or thinking about a matter
Bearing in mind that he’s had so little experience, I thought he did a
good job.
#35 HAVE IT DOWN PAT
MEANING
EXAMPLE
To know something or be able to do something
perfectly
I have to memorize these words until I have them down pat.
Be a perfect master of something
He had his story down pat.
To learn something so well that you do not have
to think about how to do or say it
Samantha had her answers down pat, but she knew they didn’t
believe her.
#36 IN ONE EAR AND OUT THE OTHER
MEANING
EXAMPLE
Everything the teacher told her students went in one ear and out the
other.
Heard but disregarded or quickly forgotten
I told him, but I think it went in one ear and out the other.
The woman felt that everything she told her husband went in one ear
and out the other.
YOU DID IT!
I hope you enjoyed this lesson. Today you learned three new expressions that will help you Speak English
better. Remember to use each expression at least once today. Try to use them in a text message, in an
email, in a conversation, or even talking to yourself. You can do it! You can Speak English!
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“SPEAK ENGLISH AND HAVE FUN DOING IT”
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EXPRESSIONS
#37 RING A BELL
MEANING
EXAMPLE
To revive a distant recollection
The name Michael rings a bell, but I’m not 100% sure I remember him.
To sound familiar
I’ve never met Sally, but her name rings a bell.
For something to cause someone to
remember something or for it to seem familiar
I’m sorry, that description doesn’t ring a bell.
#38 CHIME IN
MEANING
EXAMPLE
To interject a remark
“Yes, you do that,” Donna chimed in.
To join in harmoniously
The new employee chimed in with a suggestion.
To enter a conversation
Everyone in the room began to chime in with their own ideas.
#39 AS FIT AS A FIDDLE
MEANING
EXAMPLE
If you drink this tea, you’ll be fit as a fiddle tomorrow.
To be in good health
My grandfather said that he feels as fit as a fiddle.
The doctor was fit as a fiddle.
YOU DID IT!
I hope you enjoyed this lesson. Today you learned three new expressions that will help you Speak English
better. Remember to use each expression at least once today. Try to use them in a text message, in an
email, in a conversation, or even talking to yourself. You can do it! You can Speak English!
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“SPEAK ENGLISH AND HAVE FUN DOING IT”
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EXPRESSIONS
#40 MAP SOMETHING OUT
MEANING
EXAMPLE
The department wrote a new document mapping out its policies.
To plan something in detail
Her future is all mapped out ahead of her.
I will map out everything for you.
#41 FALL OFF THE MAP
MEANING
EXAMPLE
To disappear from view and attention
She fell off of the map.
Drop out of sight
The actor used to be famous, but he fell off the map about a year ago.
To stop being known or considered
That team played in the championship and then they fell off the map.
#42 PUT SOMETHING ON THE MAP
MEANING
EXAMPLE
The good desserts they serve there will really put them on the map.
To make some place famous or popular
This once boring town is now on the map.
The iPod put Apple on the map.
YOU DID IT!
I hope you enjoyed this lesson. Today you learned three new expressions that will help you Speak English
better. Remember to use each expression at least once today. Try to use them in a text message, in an
email, in a conversation, or even talking to yourself. You can do it! You can Speak English!
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“SPEAK ENGLISH AND HAVE FUN DOING IT”
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EXPRESSIONS
#43 BIRTHDAY SUIT
MEANING
EXAMPLE
Mike embarrassed his grandmother by answering the door in his
birthday suit.
Naked or nude
She started to blush when she saw him in his birthday suit.
He made a joke that he would go to the party in his birthday suit.
#44 PUT ON YOUR THINKING CAP
MEANING
EXAMPLE
Meditate on a problem
The teacher told her students to put their thinking caps on.
Do you have your thinking cap on?
To think seriously about something
I told my niece to put her thinking cap on.
#45 OFF-THE-CUFF
MEANING
EXAMPLE
The student decided to do his speech off-the-cuff.
Without preparation
Sometimes people speak off-the-cuff, but it doesn’t always turn out
well.
He spoke off-the-cuff but it was amazing.
YOU DID IT!
I hope you enjoyed this lesson. Today you learned three new expressions that will help you Speak English
better. Remember to use each expression at least once today. Try to use them in a text message, in an
email, in a conversation, or even talking to yourself. You can do it! You can Speak English!
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“SPEAK ENGLISH AND HAVE FUN DOING IT”
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WEEK 1 LESSON 2
VOCABULARY
SECTION
NUMBER 2
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VOCABULARY
#1 COERCE
MEANING
EXAMPLE
SYNONYM
To compel by force or intimidation
He tried to coerce him into opposing the decision, but his
efforts failed.
Oblige
To compel by authority
Do you think they have the power to coerce China?
Pressurize
To persuade someone to do
something (usually by force)
The North tried to coerce the South to agree with them.
Force
MEANING
EXAMPLE
SYNONYM
To engage in an argument or
debate
Children normally get into small disputes with each other at
school.
Squabble
To argue or quarrel
The two men were in a heated dispute.
Quarrel
To debate or discuss something
The dispute over federal taxes was not resolved.
Disagreement
MEANING
EXAMPLE
SYNONYM
To cut apart
We had to dissect the frog in science class.
Slice
To examine the structure
The man tried to dissect her answer but he couldn’t figure it
out.
Divide
To examine in detail, part by part
The doctor had to dissect the woman’s body in order to see
what caused her death.
Break up
#2 DISPUTE
#3 DISSECT
YOU DID IT!
I hope you enjoyed this lesson. Today you learned three new vocabulary words that illl help you Speak
English better. Remember to use each word at least once today. Try to use them in a text message, in an
email, in a conversation, or even talking to yourself. You can do it! You can Speak English!
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VOCABULARY
#4 PLAYGROUND
MEANING
EXAMPLE
An area used for outdoor play or
recreation especially for children.
The little boy and his sister ran to the playground.
Any place, environment, or facility used for
amusement.
All of the children were playing at the playground.
The playground was filled with children running and playing together.
#5 PUBERTY
MEANING
EXAMPLE
A period or age at which a person
is first capable of producing
offspring. (usually occurs in
children between the ages of 12
to 14)
Puberty is a very confusing time period for young people.
The stage children go through
where their hormones begin to
change
SYNONYM
Adolescence
The little boy was going through puberty.
Is your teenager going through puberty now?
Awkward Stage
#6 RECESS
MEANING
EXAMPLE
A rest, break, or vacation
The children ran outside for recess.
A period of rest from school to play
together (for young children)
We have recess after lunch everyday for an hour.
Recess is essential for elementary students.
YOU DID IT!
I hope you enjoyed this lesson. Today you learned three new vocabulary words that illl help you Speak
English better. Remember to use each word at least once today. Try to use them in a text message, in an
email, in a conversation, or even talking to yourself. You can do it! You can Speak English!
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“SPEAK ENGLISH AND HAVE FUN DOING IT”
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VOCABULARY
#7 MATERNAL
MEANING
EXAMPLE
She is my maternal grandmother.
Related to a mother
He is my maternal grandfather.
Are you closer to your maternal grandmother or your paternal grandmother?
#8 PATERNAL
MEANING
EXAMPLE
He is my paternal grandfather.
Related to a father
My paternal grandmother lives in our neighborhood.
My paternal grandparents are amazing.
#9 SIBLING
MEANING
EXAMPLE
My siblings and I love playing basketball.
A brother or a sister
How many siblings do you have?
Are you and your siblings close?
YOU DID IT!
I hope you enjoyed this lesson. Today you learned three new vocabulary words that illl help you Speak
English better. Remember to use each word at least once today. Try to use them in a text message, in an
email, in a conversation, or even talking to yourself. You can do it! You can Speak English!
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“SPEAK ENGLISH AND HAVE FUN DOING IT”
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VOCABULARY
#10 AMATEUR
MEANING
EXAMPLE
SYNONYM
A person who engages in a
pursuit on an unpaid basis.
Even amateur engineers know how to build these buildings.
Novice
Non-professional
The boy was so good that he made everyone else look like
amateurs.
Beginner
A person inexperienced or
unskilled in a particular activity.
Amateur drone operators have to be careful when flying their
drone.
Learner
#11 ATHLETE
MEANING
A participant in a sport, exercise,
or game requiring physical skill
EXAMPLE
SYNONYM
He was the best athlete I had ever seen.
Player
The coach looked at all of the athletes standing before him
and smiled.
Contender
She was an Olympic athlete, so many companies wanted to
work with her.
Jockey
#12 SUB (SUBSTITUTE)
MEANING
EXAMPLE
SYNONYM
A person or thing acting or serving
in place of another.
Who was the sub for your class yesterday?
Backup
Are we going to have a sub for our class tomorrow?
To take the place of
Representative
She was the best substitute teacher ever.
YOU DID IT!
I hope you enjoyed this lesson. Today you learned three new vocabulary words that illl help you Speak
English better. Remember to use each word at least once today. Try to use them in a text message, in an
email, in a conversation, or even talking to yourself. You can do it! You can Speak English!
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“SPEAK ENGLISH AND HAVE FUN DOING IT”
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VOCABULARY
#13 CRAM
MEANING
EXAMPLE
SYNONYM
To fill by force with more than it
can easily hold
The high school student tried to cram the night before her
exam.
Squeeze
To force or stuff
The man tried to cram all of the boxes into the small bag but
it didn’t work.
Compact
To fill with an excessive amount
I’m trying to cram all of this work into one hour.
Pack
#14 STUDY HALL
MEANING
EXAMPLE
A room used mainly for studying
The teacher said that we have to study for an hour in study hall today.
A period of time in a school day, set aside
for study and doing homework.
Did you have study hall when you were in high school?
What classroom is study hall in?
#15 THESIS DEFENSE
MEANING
EXAMPLE
Michelle had her first thesis defense today.
The meeting where a student explains and
defends the contents of their thesis.
After his thesis defense Michael felt very relieved.
When is your thesis defense.
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VOCABULARY
#16 INFATUATION
MEANING
EXAMPLE
Falling in love with or becoming extremely
interested in someone or something for a
short time
Other than an infatuation with Josh before she met Michael, there had
been no one else.
To inspire with a foolish or extravagant love
His infatuation with Sally made him go crazy.
or admiration
To like something foolishly
She had an infatuation with John, but it was only a one-sided love.
#17 AFFECTIONATE
MEANING
EXAMPLE
Readily feeling or showing fondness or
tenderness
I like your brother a lot. He is very affectionate.
He gave his wife an affectionate kiss to express his thanks for dinner.
Expressing fondness
Americans are very affectionate people.
#18 TENDERNESS
MEANING
EXAMPLE
The tenderness she saw in his eyes made her heart melt.
Gentleness and kindness
There was a tenderness in the way that she spoke to him.
The tenderness on Mary’s face confirmed her love for Matthew.
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VOCABULARY
#19 HARMONIZE
MEANING
EXAMPLE
Add notes to (a melody) to produce a
harmony.
The singers harmonized their voices beautifully.
Sing in harmony.
A group of singers were harmonizing on the street corner.
Produce a pleasing visual combination.
The garden has been designed to harmonize with the natural landscape.
#20 TUNE
MEANING
EXAMPLE
I hummed a little tune while I cleaned the kitchen.
A pleasing succession of musical tones.
They sang in tune.
A frame of mind.
Your negative review of the restaurant seems to be in tune with the
opinions of the critic.
#21 DUET
MEANING
EXAMPLE
Tom sang a duet with Cindy.
A performance by two people, especially
singers, instrumentalists, or dancers.
He asked me to sing a duet with him, but I told him no.
Will you sing a duet with me?
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VOCABULARY
#22 PLAYWRIGHT
MEANING
EXAMPLE
A person who writes plays.
We are reading the works of many modern playwrights.
Sally told her mother that she wants to be a famous playwright.
A writer of plays
Do you know any famous playwrights?
#23 DOWNSTAGE
MEANING
EXAMPLE
Jennifer is standing downstage in the open area.
At or toward the front of the stage
The director called all of the dancers to come downstage.
Of or relating to the front part of a stage
Please put this table downstage.
#24 DRESS REHEARSALS
MEANING
The final rehearsal of a live show; in which
everything is done as it would be in a real
performance.
EXAMPLE
I would love to have dinner with you tonight, but I can’t because I have a
dress rehearsal at 7pm.
What time is our dress rehearsal?
Dress rehearsals are necessary before any play opens in a theatre.
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VOCABULARY
#25 GETAWAY
MEANING
EXAMPLE
An escape or quick departure, especially
after committing a crime
The criminal was trying to make a getaway, but the cops caught him.
My friends and I are planning a weekend getaway to the beach.
A vacation
The resort advertises itself as the perfect island getaway.
#26 QUAINT
MEANING
EXAMPLE
This is a quaint old house.
Attractively unusual or old-fashioned
I want to live in a quaint little neighborhood.
Strange, peculiar, or unusual in an
interesting, pleasing, or amusing way
He has a quaint sense of humor.
#27 SECLUDED
MEANING
EXAMPLE
Sheltered or screened from general
activity, view, etc.
They passed by a secluded cottage.
Withdrawn from or involving little human or
social activity
She wanted to live a secluded life.
He lived a secluded life for more than 10 years.
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VOCABULARY
#28 ALTERNATE
MEANING
EXAMPLE
Occur in turn repeatedly
The position alternated between the Republican and Democratic
parties.
We all had to work on alternate days.
Every other
The traffic was bad, so we had to take an alternate route.
#29 REBOUND
MEANING
EXAMPLE
Her shot hammered into the goal post and rebounded across the goal.
To bounce back off something after hitting it
The small ball rebounded off the wall.
To increase or improve after a recent
decrease or decline
The company had a bad year last year, but they were able to rebound
quickly.
#30 TORSO
MEANING
EXAMPLE
The main part of the human body not
including the head, arms, and legs
The doctor gave me a series of exercises to strengthen my torso.
The sculpture focused on the details of the torso.
The trunk of the human body
There were burn marks all over the man’s torso.
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VOCABULARY
#31 ALL YOU CAN EAT
MEANING
A restaurant that serves all-you-can-eat food
will continue serving you as much of that food
as you want for a fixed price (price that will
not increase or decrease)
EXAMPLE
This is an all-you-can-eat buffet.
The hotel restaurant has an all-you-can-eat buffet lunch for $15.
Our boss agreed to take us to an all-you-can-eat buffet for lunch.
#32 BUSBOY
MEANING
A young man who clears tables in a
restaurant or cafeteria
A restaurant employee who clears away dirty
dishes, sets tables, and serves as an
assistant to a waiter or waitress.
EXAMPLE
The busboy was happy to see the large tip on the table.
My friend was a busboy at one of the most famous restaurants in New
York.
He is the best busboy at our restaurant.
#33 CASHIER
MEANING
EXAMPLE
A person handling payments and receipts in a
store, bank, or other business.
The cashier took my money and then gave me my change.
An executive who has charge of money,
especially one who superintends monetary
transactions, as in a bank.
A cashier at a supermarket, makes $40,000 a year.
That document discloses more information than the cashier requires.
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VOCABULARY
#34 BLURRED
MEANING
EXAMPLE
Unable to see or be seen clearly
Her blurred vision made her realize that she needed glasses.
Not clear or distinct
Everything blurred as she ran.
Hazy
The windows were blurred with black soot.
#35 DIM
MEANING
EXAMPLE
Not bright
The flashlight was getting dim.
Obscure from lack of light or emitted light They entered the dim room and stood along the wall.
Not seen clearly or in detail
The lights in the house are pretty dim.
#36 ELUSIVE
MEANING
EXAMPLE
Success will become more elusive in the next few years.
Difficult to find, catch, or achieve
This is a very elusive concept.
The answers to the questions of life remain elusive.
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VOCABULARY
#37 DISCORDANT
MEANING
EXAMPLE
Disagreeing or incongruous
Without proper guidance, the band will produce discordant music that
no one wants to hear.
Harsh and jarring because of a lack of
harmony
The scared dog gave a discordant shriek and flew out of the door.
The discordant sound of the principal’s high-pitched voice silenced the
students.
#38 FLAT
MEANING
EXAMPLE
The soloist normally sings well, but today he is flat.
Lower in pitch and below the true pitch
She is singing a little flat. Please give her the right note.
Do you know what it means to sing flat?
#39 OFF-KEY
MEANING
EXAMPLE
Music pitched higher or lower than the correct
notes of a melody
The woman was singing off-key.
A loud sound came from an off-key instrument.
Out of tune
A man played a piano while a woman led a choir that was singing offkey.
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VOCABULARY
#40 ELEVATION
MEANING
EXAMPLE
The action or fact of elevating or being
elevated
The elevation is too high to use heavy pieces of wood.
Height above a given level, especially
sea level
This city is located at a very high elevation.
The elevation of the city is quite high.
#41 PARALLEL
MEANING
EXAMPLE
I need to place the walls parallel to each other.
Side by side and having the same distance
continuously between them
The openings were situated parallel to each other.
My house runs parallel to the river.
#42 CONTOUR
MEANING
EXAMPLE
He traced the contours of her face with his finger.
An outline, especially one representing or
bounding the shape or form of something
As an artist, you must make sure to draw contour lines.
The contours of the dress make you look great.
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VOCABULARY
#43 NIGHTGOWN
MEANING
EXAMPLE
The little girl sat up, pulling the blanket around her nightgown and
shivered.
A light, loose garment worn by a woman or
child in bed
The woman put her nightgown on and crawled into bed.
Do you like long or short nightgowns?
#44 CLINGY
MEANING
EXAMPLE
To hold onto something or someone very
tightly
He said that she was too clingy for him.
The dress was a little too clingy.
To stick to something or someone
She wore a really clingy top.
#45 CONSERVATIVE
MEANING
A person who is against change and holds to
traditional values and attitudes, typically in
relation to politics.
EXAMPLE
After purchasing a conservative blouse and jeans she went back to her
car.
He has very conservative views about relationships.
The opposite of a conservative person is a person who is liberal.
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WEEK 1 LESSON 2
IDIOMS
SECTION
NUMBER 3
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IDIOMS
#1 GET AWAY FROM IT ALL…
MEANING
EXAMPLE
To go on vacation
I have been so busy these days. I really just want to get away from it all.
To take a break from work and other
duties
She just wanted to get away from it all.
He decided to get away from it all.
#2 HAVE A LOT ON ONE’S PLATE
MEANING
EXAMPLE
To have a lot of work to do.
I have a lot on my plate these days.
To have a lot of problems to deal with.
Why are you upset? I told you I would not be able to go because I have a
lot on my plate these days.
He has a lot on his plate, so he is not able to meet any women.
#3 KICK BACK AND RELAX
MEANING
EXAMPLE
To relax
What do you want to do after work? I just want to kick back and relax.
To lean back and relax
On Sundays my dad normally just kicks back and relaxes.
To relax and enjoy something
Instead of going out, let’s just kick back and relax.
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#4 HIT THE TOWN
MEANING
EXAMPLE
To go out and have fun.
We decided to hit the town last Saturday night.
To go out and have a good time in the city.
She said that she is a little too tired to hit the town tonight.
To go to a busy city/town for shopping,
dancing, eating, or any other activity.
It's my birthday! Let’s hit the town.
#5 OFF THE BEATEN TRACK
MEANING
EXAMPLE
In a place where few people go.
The guest house that we decided to stay at was completely off the
beaten track.
I think the building we are looking for is a little bit off the beaten track.
In a place far away from roads and towns.
We found a great vacation spot off the beaten track.
#6 SOAK UP SOME SUN
MEANING
EXAMPLE
To go outside and get a suntan.
This summer I want to soak up some sun.
To go outside and sit in the sun.
Were you able to soak up some sun when you went to Bermuda last
month.
He decided to soak up some sun this afternoon at the beach.
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IDIOMS
#7 THE SHOW MUST GO ON…
MEANING
EXAMPLE
Even if it rains, the show must go on.
Something that you say which means that
an event or activity must continue even if
there are problems/difficulties
No matter what happens, the show must go on.
Even if the main actor gets sick, the show must go on.
#8 A SHOW STOPPER
MEANING
EXAMPLE
Her speech in class was a real show stopper.
A performance or part of a performance
that is extremely good.
The director of the play wanted every scene to be a showstopper.
His song was a show stopper.
#9 TO BE IN THE LIMELIGHT
MEANING
EXAMPLE
To receive attention and interest from the
public.
He’s been in the limelight recently, following the release of his new movie.
Sally loves being in the limelight.
At the center of public attention.
The reporters made sure the attractive new actress was in the spotlight.
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IDIOMS
#10 CREAM OF THE CROP
MEANING
EXAMPLE
This car is the cream of the crop.
The best of the best
These three students are very smart. They are the cream of the crop in
their class.
This ring is the cream of the crop.
#11 BUTTER SOMEONE UP
MEANING
EXAMPLE
To flatter someone
A student tried to butter the teacher up.
To treat someone nice in hopes of
receiving some special favor.
She buttered up her boss again.
The magazine tried to get her to write an article by buttering her up.
#12 BRING HOME THE BACON
MEANING
EXAMPLE
To earn a salary
If he stays at home with the kids, someone else will have to bring home the
bacon.
I’ve got to get to work if I’m going to bring home the bacon.
To bring home money earned at a job
I bring home the bacon.
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IDIOMS
#13 EXPERIENCE IS THE BEST TEACHER
MEANING
EXAMPLE
Experience is the best teacher, and the worst experiences teach the best
lessons.
Life experiences teach more effectively
than books or school.
Mistakes may happen, but always remember that experience is the best
teacher.
The older I get, the more I realize that experience is the best teacher.
#14 TEACHER’S PET
MEANING
EXAMPLE
Michael is the teacher’s pet. He always gets special treatment.
A person who is treated as a favorite by
one in authority (usually a teacher)
The other students don’t like the teacher’s pet.
When I was younger, it was not popular to be the teacher’s pet.
#15 LEARN SOMETHING BY HEART
MEANING
EXAMPLE
The piano player had to learn the piece of music by heart so he could
perform it.
To have something memorized perfectly
Do you know all the words to the song? Yes, I learnt it by heart.
The man learned all the songs by heart.
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#16 TAKE A TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE
MEANING
EXAMPLE
We were just taking a stroll down memory lane and recalling the days of
our youth.
To deliberately recall pleasant or
sentimental memories
Let's go there and take a trip down memory lane.
Before we take a trip down memory lane, let’s look at the facts.
#17 COMMIT SOMETHING TO MEMORY
MEANING
EXAMPLE
He committed the entire letter to memory.
To study something carefully so that you
can remember it exactly.
She was too nervous to speak freely, so she decided to commit the entire
acceptance speech to memory.
If you want to pass the test, you must commit all of the equations to
memory.
#18 IF MY MEMORY SERVES ME CORRECTLY
MEANING
EXAMPLE
I think he was called Sam, if my memory serves me correctly.
If I remember correctly
If my memory serves me correctly, we should turn left here.
If my memory serves me correctly, we went to the same high school.
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IDIOMS
#19 THE HOTSPOT // HOT SPOT
MEANING
EXAMPLE
A very popular or active place.
This restaurant is the hot spot. Everyone is here.
A physical location where people may
obtain internet access.
Do you know if there is a hotspot here? I need to email someone.
There are hotspots everywhere in Korea.
#20 BOOKED SOLID
MEANING
EXAMPLE
To be completely full.
The restaurant was booked solid.
To have no more time for new clients.
I went to the hair salon, but the hairdresser said that she was booked
solid.
Can I have a room for tonight, please? I’m so sorry sir, we’re booked solid.
#21 GET SOME R&R
MEANING
EXAMPLE
I’m really stressed out. I need some R&R.
Rest and Relaxation
Last weekend I enjoyed some much needed R&R.
Where do you go when you need some R&R?
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#22 “A” FOR EFFORT
MEANING
EXAMPLE
Acknowledgement for having tried to do
something, even if it was not successful
The plan didn’t work, but I’ll give you an A for effort.
Your work is not the best, but because
you put great effort into it, you deserve
recognition
Your presentation was not the best, but I will give you an A for effort.
The cupcakes didn’t turn out like he planned, but I give him an A for effort.
#23 CRANK OUT SOMETHING
MEANING
EXAMPLE
To produce something continually, like a
machine
Stanley can crank out a lot of essays in a single day.
To make something in a casual and
mechanical way
The new robot they created can crank out over 100 mechanical parts in
one hour.
The director cranks out one move a year.
#24 HAVE IT DOWN TO A SCIENCE
MEANING
EXAMPLE
We have memorizing vocabulary down to a science.
Said when you are able to manage doing
something very well.
They have the new dance moves down to a science.
She has swimming down to a science.
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#25 DRIVE A HARD BARGAIN
MEANING
EXAMPLE
Be uncompromising in making a deal
I had to drive a hard bargain with the Korean man at the store.
To work hard to negotiate prices or
agreements in one’s own favor
The shop manager was driving a hard bargain, but I still got a discount in
the end.
To make someone agree to an
arrangement that benefits you
You drive a hard bargain, but I’ll sign the contract.
#26 HIGHWAYS AND BYWAYS
MEANING
EXAMPLE
Major and minor roads
The governor planned to plant new trees along all the highways and
byways of the town.
Cliche’ routes and pathways, both major
and minor
The two girls traveled America’s highways and byways from New York to
California.
She wanted to spend her holiday exploring the highways and byways of
the country.
#27 PUT THE PEDAL TO THE METAL
MEANING
EXAMPLE
To press a car's accelerator to the floor
It’s time to put the pedal to the metal.
Dude, put the pedal to the metal! We have to go now.
To drive very fast
He put the pedal to the metal and we were out of there.
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IDIOMS
#28 GO TO BAT FOR SOMEONE
MEANING
EXAMPLE
To support someone when the person
needs help
The government will go to bat for rich people because they pay lots of
taxes.
To support or help someone
I went to bat for my friend because I cared about her.
To give help and support to someone who
is in trouble
She went to bat for her younger sister.
#29 HAVE THE UPPER HAND
MEANING
EXAMPLE
Have or gain advantage or control over
someone or something
We are still waiting to see which party will have the upper hand in the
election.
They have a position of power and control
over someone else
By half time, the Mexican soccer team seemed to have the upper hand.
There is always worry over who will get the upper hand in the stock
market.
#30 HIT A SNAG
MEANING
EXAMPLE
Encounter a problem or obstacle
We’ve hit a snag with this design project.
To encounter an unexpected problem or
delay
Their plans hit a snag so they had to do something else.
Our project hit a snag, so we had to cancel everything and start over.
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#31 ACQUIRE A TASTE FOR (SOMETHING)
MEANING
EXAMPLE
He acquired a taste for salad after years of his mom giving it to him.
To develop a desire for a particular food,
drink, or experience
She acquired a taste for spicy food.
They acquired a taste for Mediterranean food after living overseas.
#32 BITTER PILL TO SWALLOW
MEANING
EXAMPLE
Something that is very unpleasant but
must be accepted
Losing to my younger sister was a bitter pill to swallow.
An unpleasant fact, disappointment, or
humiliation that is difficult to endure.
Not passing the exam was a bitter pill to swallow.
It was a bitter pill for her brother to swallow when she married his enemy.
#33 BITE THE HAND THAT FEEDS ONE
MEANING
EXAMPLE
Deliberately hurt or offend a benefactor.
How can you bite the hand that feeds you?
To do harm to someone who does good
things for you.
He can’t expect sympathy when he bites the hand that feeds him.
You shouldn't bite the hand that feeds you.
YOU DID IT!
I hope you enjoyed this lesson. Today you learned three new idioms that will help you Speak English better.
Remember to use each idiom at least once today. Try to use them in a text message, in an email, in a
conversation, or even talking to yourself. You can do it! You can Speak English!
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“SPEAK ENGLISH AND HAVE FUN DOING IT”
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IDIOMS
#34 STROLL DOWN MEMORY LANE
MEANING
EXAMPLE
We were just taking a stroll down memory lane and recalling our high
school days.
To remember some of the happy things
that you did in the past
Every once in awhile, it’s good to take a stroll down memory lane.
Let’s take a stroll down memory lane.
#35 CAN’T GET A WORD IN EDGEWISE
MEANING
EXAMPLE
Sally got so excited when she was talking that nobody else could get a
word in edgewise.
You can’t say anything because someone
else is talking so much.
So many people were talking at one time that I couldn’t get a word in
edgewise.
He was talking so much, so I couldn’t get a word in edgewise.
#36 LOSE MY TRAIN OF THOUGHT
MEANING
EXAMPLE
I’m sorry, I lost my train of thought. What were we talking about again?
To forget what one was talking or thinking
about
When she walked in, he lost his train of thought.
The question made the speaker lose his train of thought.
YOU DID IT!
I hope you enjoyed this lesson. Today you learned three new idioms that will help you Speak English better.
Remember to use each idiom at least once today. Try to use them in a text message, in an email, in a
conversation, or even talking to yourself. You can do it! You can Speak English!
SPEAKENGLISHWITHTIFFANI.COM
“SPEAK ENGLISH AND HAVE FUN DOING IT”
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IDIOMS
#37 BLOW YOUR OWN HORN/TRUMPET
MEANING
EXAMPLE
Stop blowing your own horn. It’s annoying.
To tell everyone proudly about your
achievements
Michael always blew his own horn.
I am usually quite humble, but I felt like blowing my own horn today.
#38 LIKE A BROKEN RECORD
MEANING
EXAMPLE
He was starting to sound like a broken record.
Someone or something that annoyingly
repeats itself
She’s always complaining about how he treats her. She sounds like a
broken record.
You sound like a broken record.
#39 BLOW THE WHISTLE
MEANING
EXAMPLE
To report someone’s wrongdoing to
someone (such as the police) who can
stop the wrongdoing
The bank manager blew the whistle on the employee by telling his boss
about the illegal activity.
To show the public dangerous
conditions or illegal activities
He was fired for blowing the whistle on the company’s mismanagement of
accounts.
The young attorney blew the whistle on his boss.
YOU DID IT!
I hope you enjoyed this lesson. Today you learned three new idioms that will help you Speak English better.
Remember to use each idiom at least once today. Try to use them in a text message, in an email, in a
conversation, or even talking to yourself. You can do it! You can Speak English!
SPEAKENGLISHWITHTIFFANI.COM
“SPEAK ENGLISH AND HAVE FUN DOING IT”
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IDIOMS
#40 DOWN TO EARTH
MEANING
EXAMPLE
Ruth is a very down-to-earth woman.
Straightforward; simple in style
I like his down-to-earth approach to fixing problems.
My ideal type is a man who is down-to-earth.
#41 OUT OF THE WOODS
MEANING
EXAMPLE
Out of danger or difficulty
When the patient got out of the woods, his parents relaxed.
Past a critical phase
The doctor said you would be out of the woods in a week.
Out of the unknown
As soon as her temperature goes down, she’ll be out of the woods.
#42 GET WIND OF SOMETHING
MEANING
EXAMPLE
To learn of something
He caught wind of the story being spread about him.
As soon as she got wind of the play, she ordered tickets.
To hear about something
I don’t want my teacher to get wind of the fact that I’m leaving early today.
YOU DID IT!
I hope you enjoyed this lesson. Today you learned three new idioms that will help you Speak English better.
Remember to use each idiom at least once today. Try to use them in a text message, in an email, in a
conversation, or even talking to yourself. You can do it! You can Speak English!
SPEAKENGLISHWITHTIFFANI.COM
“SPEAK ENGLISH AND HAVE FUN DOING IT”
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IDIOMS
#43 ROLL UP ONE’S SLEEVES
MEANING
EXAMPLE
The young basketball player is going to roll up his sleeves by practicing
every day, so he can play professionally one day.
To prepare to fight or work
I rolled up my sleeves and exercised every day.
If you roll up your sleeves and work hard, you will succeed one day.
#44 ON A SHOESTRING BUDGET
MEANING
EXAMPLE
The movie was produced on a shoestring budget.
Having very little money to spend
They decided to do their wedding on a shoestring budget.
We are working on a shoestring budget, so we have to spend money
wisely.
#45 TAKE YOUR HAT OFF TO
SOMETHING/SOMEONE
MEANING
EXAMPLE
I took my hat off to him for the excellent work he had done.
It means you admire or respect them, or
something they have done.
We have our hats off to him for all that he has accomplished.
She took her hat off to him.
YOU DID IT!
I hope you enjoyed this lesson. Today you learned three new idioms that will help you Speak English better.
Remember to use each idiom at least once today. Try to use them in a text message, in an email, in a
conversation, or even talking to yourself. You can do it! You can Speak English!
SPEAKENGLISHWITHTIFFANI.COM
“SPEAK ENGLISH AND HAVE FUN DOING IT”
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