24 de junho de 2024

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Idiomatic Expressions 4 (for C1 level students)

Idioms play a crucial role in language learning. Our students may feel comfortable with the meaning of  “pay for something”, but what about the idiomatic “pick up the tab” which they are very likely to hear in colloquial everyday dialogues?

In this post we are going to focus on the following 10 idiomatic expressions: GO WITH THE FLOW – WET ONE´S WHISTLE – THE BALL IS IN SOMEONE´S COURT – GO PLACES – ON THE LOOSE – NEW KID ON THE BLOCK – CRY ONE´S EYES OUT – HATE SOMEONE´S GUTS – STEP ON IT – KEEP SOMEONE ON A TIGHT LEASH

I – MEANING/EXPLANATION OF THE IDIOMS + EXAMPLE SENTENCES

1. Go with the flow: go along with what others want to do or agree with their opinion

Ex.: “I don´t really enjoy going to amusement parks that much, but everyone seemed to like the idea, so I just went with the flow.”, said Jonathan to a friend.

2. Wet one´s whistle: have a drink, esp. an alcoholic drink

Ex.: “Let´s stop at this pub for a while, please. I really need to wet my whistle.”, Roger told Christopher.

3. The ball is in someone´s court: it´s up to someone to make the next move; it´s someone´s turn to act or do something

Ex.: “They´ve made Jim a proposal so the ball is in his court now.”, said Gilbert to Terry during the meeting.

4. Go places: become very successful

Ex.: “Evelyn was such a talented actress. I always knew she would go places.”, said Heather to a friend.

5. On the loose: free; at large, esp.a dangerous person or animal

Ex.: “That serial killer has been on the loose since he escaped from prison last month.”, Howard told Ross.

6. New kid on the block: someone new to a group or a particular place

Ex.: “So, I hear you´re friends with the new kid on the block. Can you introduce him to me?”, Jake asked Ronald.

7. Cry one´s eyes out: cry a lot

Ex.: “Poor Freddy. He cried his eyes out when he lost his puppy.”, Martha told a friend.

8. Hate someone´s guts: hate someone; dislike someone intensely

Ex.: “Please, don´t invite Jason  to the party. Rachel is going to be there and, you know, she hates his guts!”, Barry told Joe.

9. Step on it: drive faster; hurry up

Ex.: “Can you, please, step on it? I have a plane to catch.”, Norman asked the taxi driver.

10. Keep someone on a tight leash: allow someone very little freedom

 Ex.: “Dave rarely hangs out with his buddies since he got married. His wife keeps him on a tight leash, you know.”, Jeff told Luke.

II – EXERCISE 1:  MULTIPLE CHOICE ACTIVITY 

1. “Laura has always kept her kids on a tight leash.”, Laura…

a. has always let her kids do whatever they want.
b. has always been a very affectionate mother.
c. has always allowed her kids very little freedom.
d. has always thought kids should be taught right from wrong from an early age.

2. If someone goes with the flow, they…

a. take a long shower.
b. do something carelessly.
c. take their time and wash their hands carefully.
d. do what other people are doing or agree with their opinion.

3. “Don´t you feel like wetting your whistle? I do!”, Brian told George.

a. Brian feels like listening to music.
b. Brian feels like having a drink.
c. Brian feels like chilling out for a while.
d. Brian feels like taking a walk.

4. “We´ll never get there in time to see them unless you step on it.”, Roy told Nick.

a. Roy wants Nick to drive more carefully.
b. Roy wants Nick to drive recklessly.
c. Roy wants Nick to drive faster.
d. Roy wants Nick to slow down.

5. If the ball is in your court, it´s…

a. your turn to act or do something.
b. up to you to decide whether you should stay or go.
c. your turn to face the consequences.
d. up to you to accept the circumstances.

III – EXERCISE 2: MATCH THE IDIOMATIC EXPRESSIONS WITH THEIR DEFINITION 

NEW KID ON THE BLOCK        GO PLACES       HATE SOMEONE´S GUTS

ON THE LOOSE           CRY ONE´S EYES OUT

1._________________________ free; at large.

2._________________________ cry very hard.

3._________________________ hate someone.

4._________________________ someone new to a group or place.

5._________________________ become very successful.

IV – KEY TO EXERCISES

Exercise 1

  1.  c         2. d           3. b          4. c        5. a

Exercise 2

1. on the loose       2. cry one´s eyes out       3. hate someone´s guts       4. new kid on the block       5. go places

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:

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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)

Essential American Idioms! (with Joe Bailey Noble III)