Friday, 17 January 2014

Idioms and Phrases

(To) bank on something:
             To count or rely on something.

(To) blow someone's cover:
To reveal someone's secret, or true identity. ex. "The spy was very careful not to blow her cover."

To) break even:
To neither win nor lose. ex. "Michael thought he would lose $200, but he ended up breaking even."

To) call it a day:
To end work and go home. ex. "Let's call it a day. It's getting late."

A) clean bill of health:
A report from the doctor that one's health is good; good results from a doctor's medical examination. ex. "I went in for my yearly physical and got a clean bill of health from Dr. Jones

(To) come away empty handed:
To return without anything. To expect to receive something but to end up receiving nothing. ex. "The union workers came away empty handed from the negotiations."

(To) come out of the closet:
To reveal that one is gay. ex. "The Republican senator shocked his constituents last June by coming out of the closet."

(To) cover a lot of ground:
To go through a lot of information. ex. "We've covered a lot of ground in my English class in the past two months."

(At the) crack of dawn:
Right at dawn (when the sun comes up). ex. "When the road came to an end, we turned left."

(A) cut above (something):
Superior/ better (than something). ex. "The commercial claimed that this car company was a cut above the rest."

About time:
Nearly time, high time. ex. "It's about time you bought a new car!"

Absence makes the heart grow fonder:
Proverb that means that our feeling for those we love increases when we are apart from them

Don't let it get you down:
Don't let it upset you; don't allow it to make you feel bad.

(To) drive a hard bargain:
To be firm when bargaining about something. ex. "You drive a hard bargain, but alright, I'll pay you $10 for the lam

To) drive someone crazy:
To make someone very agitated, upset, or emotional (either in a good or bad way).ex. "That teacher is so awful! He drives me crazy with his attitude."

(To) drown one's sorrows:
To get/ become drunk. ex. "Drowning your sorrows won't solve anything."

(To) dump someone: (very informal)
To end a relationship with someone; to break up with someone. To stop seeing someone (romantically). ex. "She dumped me."

(To) enter one's mind:
To cross one's mind; to start thinking about something. ex. "You want me to become a doctor? The thought never even entered my mind."

  Every so often:
Once in while; occasionally. ex. "I think about her every so often."

Every other:
Every second. Alternate. ex. "In Los Angeles, every other person is an actor."

Pregnant. ex. "She is expecting."

(A) falling out:
A disagreement/break in a friendship. ex. "We had a falling out over what she said."

(A) fine line:
Not much difference. ex. "Sometimes there's a fine line between love and infatuation."

To) fix someone (some food - like cocoa, oatmeal, etc.):
To prepare (some food) for someone. ex. "I'll fix you a cup of cocoa."

(To) follow one's heart:
To act according to your feelings/ emotions. ex. "I couldn't decide what to do, so I just followed my heart."

(To) get a move on:
To go or do something quickly, to get going, etc. ex. "Hey if we want to make the 8:00 PM show we should get a move on."

(To) get carried away:
To exaggerate/ go too far/ to become emotional. ex. "I got carried away. I bought 10 shirts!"; "She got carried away when she started talking about the war."

(To) get caught up:
To become involved, especially emotionally. ex. "I just got caught up in his plan and couldn't think straight."

(To) get cold feet:
To become timid or frightened. ex. "I usually get cold feet when I have to speak in public."

(To) get down to business:
To start working seriously. ex. "Enough playing around. Let's get down to business.

To) get something straight:
To clarify something. To understand something clearly. ex. "Let me get this straight. Your mother's cousin stole money from your father's cousin's daughter?"

(To) give someone the benefit of the doubt:
To believe in someone despite information that makes them seem guilty of something. ex. "Hey, don't believe the rumors. Give him the benefit of the doubt."

 To) go overboard:
To do too much; to exaggerate. ex. "They really went overboard with the party preparation

(To) have one's heart set on something:
To really want (and/or expect) something to happen. ex. "Julie has her heart set on going to London this summer."

(To) hit the spot:
To satisfy a need exactly. To be exactly right (often said about food or drinks). ex. "That was a delicious meal. It hit the spot."

(To) hit the road:
To leave, start on a trip, etc. ex. "It's already 9:00 AM. We have to hit the road!"

To) hit a snag:
To run into a problem. ex. "The project hit a snag when testing failed to produce favorable results."

In the long run:
Over a long period of time; ultimately. ex. "He smokes a lot now, and I'm afraid that in the long run it will cost him his health."

Just about:
Almost. ex. "I'm just about finished."

Just now:
Just a minute ago. ex. "He called me just now to tell me he was going to quit his job

To) keep a straight face:
To force oneself not to laugh, even though one wants to. ex. "He was saying the stupidest things, and I was finding it hard to keep a straight face."

(To) keep one's cool:
To remain calm. ex. "It's not easy to keep one's cool in stressful situations."

To) keep someone posted:
To keep someone informed. ex. "I'm not sure what the plan is for this evening, but I'll keep you posted."

(To) kill time:
To waste time. ex. "I'm just killing time until my brother arrives."

To) know something inside-out:
To know something completely and thoroughly. ex. "Let me show you around. I know this neighborhood inside-out."

To) lay a finger on someone:
To touch someone even very slightly. ex. "If you so much as lay a finger on him, you will be in trouble."

(To) lose one's temper:
To become angry. ex. "He has a short fuse, and loses his temper quite often."

(A) lucky break:
Good luck, good fortune. ex. "I was supposed to speak at the meeting today, but I found out it was cancelled. What a lucky break!"

(To) make a pass (at someone):
To make romantic advances; to hit on (someone). ex. "Karl was fired because he made a pass at his co-worker Fiona."

(To) meet someone halfway:
To compromise with someone. ex. "They settled the argument by deciding to meet each other halfway."

(A) must:
A necessity. ex. "In Los Angeles, having a car is a must."

To) need a hand:
To need help. ex. "Do you need a hand? (Would you like some help?)"

No rush:
You don't have to hurry. ex. "P1: Do you want this done by this evening? No, there's no rush - you can finish it tomorrow."

Pressed for time:
In a hurry. ex. "I'd love to stay and chat, but I'm a little pressed for time."

To) promise someone the moon:
To promise someone lots of extravagant things (unrealistically). ex. "He promised her the moon, but couldn't deliver on any of his promises."

(To) put up a good fight:
To try very hard. ex. "Well, although my team lost, they put up a good fight, so I'm not upset."

Quite a few:
Many. ex. "There were quite a few people at the concert yesterday."

Quite a bit:
A lot. ex. "There is quite a bit to do still."

Quick on the uptake:
Quick to understand. ex. "Many of the people in town thought that Thomas wasn't too quick on the uptake, but he was actually a very bright boy."

(To) rack one's brain:
To try very hard to think of something. ex. "I racked my brain, but I couldn't remember his name."

To) raise (some) eyebrows:
To shock. ex. "The art show raised some eyebrows due to its explicit content

To) rest one's case:
When people say "I rest my case", it usually means that they feel that they just proved that they are correct.

(To) run a fever:
To have a fever. ex. "Jamie has been running a fever all day."

(To) run in the family:
To happen/ occur often in the family (through generations). ex. "P1: Frank is always so angry. P2: Yeah, his bad temper runs in the family."

A) score to settle:
To get even. To pay someone back for something negative that they did. ex. "Don't stop me. I have a score to settle with him."

To) scratch the surface:
To begin finding out about something. ex. "We've only begun to scratch the surface in this field."

Second nature (to someone):
Easy and natural. ex. "Scoring goals is second nature to him."

To) see fit:
To deem/believe to be appropriate. ex. "You can do that any way you see fit."

(To) serve someone right:
To serve as appropriate punishment for someone. ex. "They put him in jail for 5 years? Serves him right!"

(To) set one's sights on something:
To select something as one's goal. ex. "We would like to buy out one of our competitors. We've got our sights set on

To) stir up trouble:
To cause trouble. ex. "Sometimes I think she gets great pleasure from stirring up trouble."

(To) take its toll:
To cause damage (or loss). ex. "The long hours he puts in at work have begun to take their toll on his health."

(To) take something/ someone for granted:
To accept something/ someone (without gratitude) as a matter of course. ex. "We tend to take a lot of things for granted."

(To) think straight:
To think clearly. ex. "I was so tired that I couldn't think straight."

(To) tie the knot:
To get married. ex. "They tied the knot in Puerto Vallarta."

(To) tighten one's belt
To spend less money. ex. "After Becky lost her job, we really had to tighten our belts for a while."
Up in the air:
Uncertain. ex. "His future at this company is up in the air."

(To) use every trick in the book:
To use every method possible. ex. "He used every trick in the book to get her to go out on a date with h

(To) vanish into thin air:
To disappear without leaving a trace. ex. "Whatever happened to that actor? He seemed to have vanished into thin air."

Variety is the spice of life:
Proverb meaning life is made more interesting by doing new or different things.

Very last:
The last. ex. "We were able to buy the very last tickets to the concert."

Very well:
OK. Agreed.

Vicious circle:
Sequence of cause and effect with bad results. ex. "He had fallen into a vicious circle of drinking too much and then losing his job and then drinking even more."

To) wait tables:
To work as a waiter/ waitress in a restaurant. ex. "Becky waited tables while she was in college."

(To) wear out one's welcome:
To stay too long (at an event, at someone's house, etc.) ex. "Let's only stay with them for 2 days. I don't want us to wear out our welcome.

What makes someone tick:
What motivates someone. ex. "He's such a mysterious guy. I don't quite know what makes him tick."

(To) work out for the best.
To work out in the best possible way. ex. "It seems bad now, but things will work out for the best.

Year-round (adj./adv.)
Operating all year. ex. "This facility is open year-round."

You can say that again:
That is true (stress on "that"). ex. "P1: It sure is hot today! P2: You can say that again!"

You can't teach an old dog new tricks:
A proverb meaning that old people can't learn anything new.

(To) zero in on something:
To aim or focus directly on something. ex. "I would like to zero in on another important issue."

(To) zonk out:
To fall asleep.

It is what it is.
It's so fun.
just as an FYI
kick the can down the road
Let me be clear.
Let me be honest with you.
Let's agree to disagree.
Listen up, people.
looks to be (as in "Wow, that looks to be a real bad accident")
love me some
magic and miracle (as used by advertisers)
please excuse (when used without an object)

  1. * A good book is the life-blood of its author.
  2. * The facts speak for themselves.
  3. * We will get to the root of the matter.
  4. * I don't believe in hair-splitting.
  5. * You can't escape from clutches of law.
  6. * It takes ages to build a reputation.
  7. * He frequently picked fights with other.
  8. * A reply would be made in the same vein.
  9. * He accused the centre of meting out ‘step-motherly’ treatment to the state,
  10. * At last fortune smiled on him.
  11. * Attack jolted the government out of its deep slumber.
  12. * Attackers were condemned in the strongest words.
  13. * 9/11 strike sent shock waves across the globe.
  14. * I see the moon smiling down at me.
  15. * Bombing rocked the heart of the regime.
  16. * He had tried to lob the ball in CM’s court.
  17. * Now ball is in the government’s court.
  18. * We broke the back of terrorist groups.
  19. * Building collapsed like house of cards.
  20. * Cartoon was not in good taste.
  21. * Case has begun to look more like a cat and mouse game.
  22. * Investigating Agency found holes in the state police theory.
  23. * Centre will add more teeth to RTI law.
  24. * Clarification didn’t clear the air.* Defects in the new vehicle had already left a bad taste in his mouth.
  25. * Fingers are also being raised at the police failure in exposing the case.
  26. * For years she thought this was due to sins committed in a past life.
  27. * Battered by scams, his ship is sinking.
  28. * Governor has given the green light to MCD’s project.
  29. * Don’t jump to any conclusion.
  30. * Don’t leave the cause of freedom.
  31. * Turning a deaf ear will not sort out the problem.
  32. * If I open my mouth, a lot of people will be in trouble.
  33. * The news came as a shock.
  34. * Even the stoniest of hearts melts before flower.
  35. * We don't want to get on the wrong side of the judiciary.
  36. * He always stands in my way.
  37. * He appeared close to tears.
  38. * He can’t hurt a fly.
  39. * He created a storm.
  40. * Democrats and Republicans are neck and neck on 57 seats.
  41. * Department is behaving deaf and dumb.
  42. * Desire without work is day-dreaming.
  43. * Differences came to the fore.
  44. * DIMTS washed its hands of the incident.
  45. * Aspirants have made both online and over the counter submissions to be on the safe side.
  46. * He gave me a flat refusal.
  47. * He has escaped a bid on his life.
  48. * He is an apple of my eye.
  49. * We will go to any lengths to ensure that the guilty are punished.
  50. * They have unfurled the flag of revolt.
  51. * It all happened in a fraction of second.
  52. * He spotted the body and raised an alarm.
  53. * It happens only once in a blue moon.
  54. * Don’t try to tighten the noose around social media.
  55. * Investigating agency slowly and steadily tightening the noose around him.
  56. * There is the other side of the coin as well. -
  57.    Sleep Tight
  58.    Have a good nights slee
  59.    I’ll get back to you later on
  60.    I got caught up in the thick of things
  61. He's been carrying the torch for Julie since their college days, before she married Ted
  62. * Cold water poured over President’s plans.

  1. that s the end of being friendly with you
  2. you are good company
  3. i love that quality about her
  4. I find it increasingly hard to
  5. but perhaps it might be better to
  6. but i just cann t forget sth bad

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