25 de maio de 2024

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Idiomatic Expressions 2 (for C1/C2 students)

Idioms play a crucial role in language learning. Our students may feel comfortable with the meaning of  “enjoy something greatly”, but what about the idiomatic “get a kick out of” which they are very likely to hear in colloquial everyday dialogues? In this post we are going to focus on the following 10 idioms: SEE EYE TO EYE – JUMP SHIP – PLAY IT SAFE – AT ODDS – BURY THE HATCHET – STAY CLEAR OF – BURN BRIDGES – AT A CROSSROADS – FLIP BURGERS – MUSIC TO SOMEONE´S EARS


1. See eye to eye: be in agreement

Ex.: “I´m glad we all see eye to eye on this issue. I think we can now move on to the next item of the agenda.”, said Terence at the meeting.

2. Jump ship: leave a job, post, group, team, etc. suddenly or unexpectedly

Ex.: “I like my job and the people here, but I would definitely jump ship if a better opportunity came up.”, said Rick to a coworker.

3. Play it safe: avoid any risk

Ex.: “Let´s play it safe and back up that file immediately!”, said Jason to a friend.

4. At odds: in disagreement

Ex.: Hank and his roommate are often at odds over what to watch on TV at night.

5. Bury the hatchet: forget about arguments and become friends again; make peace

Ex.: Why don´t you two bury the hatchet and forget what happened?”, asked Ron.

6. Stay clear of someone or something: keep one´s distance from someone or something

Ex.: “I´d stay clear of that guy if I were in your shoes. He´s bad news and he´s already screwed over a friend of mine.”, Robin told Joe.

7. Burn bridges: end a relationship with someone or an organization in an unpleasant way, eliminating the possibility of return or retreat

Ex.: “Just make sure you´re polite when you talk to Mr. Harris today. You don´t want to burn a bridge to someone who could help you later.”, Mick advised Fred.

8. At a crossroads: at a point in one´s life when an important decision must be made

Ex.: Jefferson felt like he was at a crossroads when he finished high school and had to decide which major he would choose to do at college.

9. Flip burgers: do work that does not pay well, especially in the fast-food industry

Ex.: “This is just a temporary job, you know, I don´t want to be flipping burgers for the rest of my life!.”, Gilbert told Howard.

10. Music to someone´s ears: something that someone is very pleased to hear

Ex.: “When my boss told me I could take a week off, it was music to my ears!”, said Gregory to a friend.


1. If someone is at odds with somebody else, they …

a) see eye to eye.
b) don´t agree about something.
c) would rather not talk to each other.
d) hate each other´s guts.

2. “We´d better play it safe.”, Nick told Tracy.

a) Nick thinks they should be careful and avoid any risk.
b) Nick thinks they should keep their money in a safe.
c) Nick thinks they should not play loud music as they could disturb the neighbors.
d) Nick thinks they should invest their money wisely.

3. If something is music to your ears, you …

a) can understand it completely.
b) think it´s funny.
c) are very happy to hear it.
d) feel like singing.

4. “I think you should bury the hatchet for the sake of the project.”, Travis told Jim.

a) Travis thinks Jim should work overtime for the sake of the project.
b) Travis thinks Jim should stop arguing or fighting for the sake of the project.
c) Travis thinks Jim should be more considerate and helpful for the sake of the project.
d) Travis thinks Jim should not waste time for the sake of the project.

5. If someone is at a crossroads, they …

a) have to be careful before crossing the street.
b) had better use the crosswalk.
c) are going through a tough time.
d) have to make an important decision.



1._________________________ keep one´s distance from someone or something.

2._________________________ be in agreement.

3._________________________ leave a job, post, etc. suddenly or unexpectedly.

4._________________________ end a relationship in an unpleasant way, eliminating

the possibility of return or retreat.

5._________________________ do work that does not pay well, esp. in a fast-food restaurant.

Source: FALE TUDO EM INGLÊS AVANÇADO – Author: José Roberto A. Igreja / Disal Editora

José Roberto A. Igreja is the author and co-author of several ELT books, including:

LET´S TALK ABOUT IT! – The Ultimate ELT Conversation Book, now available on the Amazon stores of the following countries:


If you live in Brazil the paperback is available at a discount price on UICLAP!
(240 pages – 31 QR-CODES for the audio tracks “even the paperback comes with built-in technology”)


Let's Talk About It!: The Ultimate ELT Conversation Book (English Edition) por [Jose Roberto A. Igreja]

600 Phrasal Verbs (with Jonathan T. Hogan)

Talking Business

How do you say … in English?

Fluent Business English (with Robert C. Young)

What to say when …?

False Friends

English for Job Interviews (with Robert C. Young)

American Idioms! (with Joe Bailey Noble III)