IDIOMS
MLVR- October 24, 2008
What is an idiom?
MLVR- October 24, 2008
An idiom is a combination of words that
has a meaning that is different from the
meanings of the individual words
themselves
MLVR- October 24, 2008

It can have a literal meaning in one situation
and a different idiomatic meaning in another
situation. It is a phrase which does not always
follow the normal rules of meaning and
grammar.
MLVR- October 24, 2008
Example of an IDIOM

To sit on the fence can literally mean that one is
sitting on a fence.
I sat on the fence and watched the game.

However, the idiomatic meaning of to sit on the
fence is that one is not making a clear choice
regarding some issue.
The politician sat on the fence and would not give
his opinion about the tax issue.
MLVR- October 24, 2008

Many idioms are similar to expressions in
other languages and can be easy for a learner to
understand. Other idioms come from older
phrases which have changed over time.

To hold one's horses means to stop and wait
patiently for someone or something. It comes
from a time when people rode horses and
would have to hold their horses while waiting
for someone or something.
"Hold your horses," I said when my friend
started to leave the store.
MLVR- October 24, 2008

Other idioms come from such things as sports that are
common in the United Kingdom or the United States
and may require some special cultural knowledge to
easily understand them.

To cover all of one's bases means to thoroughly
prepare for or deal with a situation.
It comes from the American game of baseball where
you must cover or protect the bases.


I tried to cover all of my bases when I went to the job
interview.
MLVR- October 24, 2008
IDIOM QUIZ
Please take out a sheet of paper and your pen.
Let us check your knowledge on IDIOMS.
MLVR- October 24, 2008
Idiom Quizzes - Money

My sister's husband is (in good financial condition)
after many financial problems last year.
(a) cooking the books (b) betting his bottom dollar
(c) back on his feet (d) bringing home the bacon
MLVR- October 24, 2008
IDIOM QUIZ
1.
I spent my (last small amount of savings) on
a ticket for a basketball game.
(a) bottom dollar
(b) cold hard cash
(c) money to burn
(d) kickback
MLVR- October 24, 2008
IDIOM QUIZ
2.
My father worked hard all of his life (earning
the family living).
(a)
passing the buck
paying through the nose
stone broke
bringing home the bacon
(b)
(c)
(d)
MLVR- October 24, 2008
IDIOM QUIZ
I decided to (sell all of my belongings) and
go and work overseas.
(a) strike it rich
(b) cash in my chips
(c) put in my two cents
(d) tighten my belt
3.
MLVR- October 24, 2008
IDIOM QUIZ
4. The teacher (got no response) from the
students when she asked the question to the
class.
(a) took attendance
(b) filled in the blanks
(c) drew a blank
(d) cracked a book
MLVR- October 24, 2008
IDIOM QUIZ
5. My sister was a (person who loved books)
during most of her childhood.
(a) school of thought (b) bookworm (c)
teacher's pet (d) copycat
MLVR- October 24, 2008
IDIOM QUIZ
6. I worked hard all weekend to (write out a
paper quickly) for my history class.
(a) crank out a paper (b) meet the
requirements (c) pass with flying colors (d)
brainstorm
MLVR- October 24, 2008
IDIOM QUIZ
7. I was supposed to go to school but I decided
(not to go).
(a)
(b)
(c)
(d)
to learn by rote
(b) to live in an ivory tower
(c) to have my nose in a book
(d) to play hooky
MLVR- October 24, 2008
IDIOM QUIZ
8. The junior salesperson was (in charge) during
the meeting.
(a) driving a hard bargain
(b) getting the message
(c) dragging her heels
(d) calling the shots
MLVR- October 24, 2008
IDIOM QUIZ
9. There is a lot of (anger) between my friend
and myself.
(a) new blood
(b) bad blood
(c) flesh and blood
(d) blood, sweat, and tears
MLVR- October 24, 2008
IDIOM QUIZ
My supervisor (suddenly became angry at
me) when I was late for the meeting.
(a) jumped down my throat
(b) jumped out of her skin
(c) took my breath away
(d) risked her neck
10.
MLVR- October 24, 2008
IDIOM QUIZ
11. The girl was (very pleased) that she was
chosen to represent her class at the
competition.
(a) blacked out
(b) tickled pink
(c) green with envy
(d) out of the blue
MLVR- October 24, 2008
IDIOM QUIZ
12. Even though Mrs. Jensen is no "spring
chicken," she still enjoys swimming and
running every day.
A. Mrs. Jensen is not young, but she
enjoys exercising.
B. Mrs. Jensen doesn't eat chicken.
C. Mrs. Jensen is training for a marathon
race.
MLVR- October 24, 2008
Idioms
13. The news that he had been accepted by the
University was "music to Mike's ears."
A. Mike is going to study music at the
university.
B. Mike received some very good news.
C. Mike enjoys listening to music.
MLVR- October 24, 2008
Idioms
14. The way that Cindy was fired from her job
"left a bad taste in her mouth."
A. Cindy ate some strange food.
B. Cindy was fired because she said
something rude.
C. Cindy had some bad feelings about
being fired.
MLVR- October 24, 2008
Idioms
15. When Robert met his girlfriend after a
long separation, he told her that she was a
"sight for sore eyes."
a. Robert told his girlfriend that he was
happy to see her.
B. Robert told his girlfriend that his eyes ]
were sore.
C. Robert told his girlfriend that she had
pretty eyes.
MLVR- October 24, 2008
Idioms
16. When Richard said something about his
brother's surprise birthday party, he "let
the cat out of the bag."
A. Richard gave his brother a cat for his
birthday.
B. Richard revealed a secret.
C. Richard's brother is celebrating his
birthday.
MLVR- October 24, 2008
http://www.idiomconnection.com
For idiom quizzes
MLVR- October 24, 2008
IDIOMS IN THE WORKPLACE

the green light

My supervisor has read
my proposal. Now I
have the green light to
start the project.
(Like a green traffic
light, which gives
permission to start.)
MLVR- October 24, 2008
IDIOMS IN THE WORKPLACE

in black and white



The boss said we’ll
have a raise next year,
but I don’t know
whether to believe her
or not.
If only it were in black
and white!
(Writing is black and
white, if you have
something in writing
it's like a contract.)
MLVR- October 24, 2008
IDIOMS IN THE WORKPLACE

in the red

The company’s in the
red. It’s got a lot of
debt and is having
difficulty covering its
expenses.
(Red ink was
traditionally used to
show negative numbers
in accounts.)
MLVR- October 24, 2008
IDIOMS IN THE WORKPLACE

out of the blue

The news of that fastfood shop closing came
out of the blue. No one
was expecting it. We
all thought it was doing
well.
(Like something falling
from the blue sky.)
MLVR- October 24, 2008
IDIOMS IN THE WORKPLACE

to cost an arm and a leg

I’m not coming with
you to XXX
department Store.
Everything there costs
an arm and a leg. With
my kind of salary, I
can’t afford to buy
anything there.
(Costs an arm and a leg
means it's very expensive.)
MLVR- October 24, 2008
IDIOMS IN THE WORKPLACE

a long face

You didn’t invite Cathy
to your wedding? No
wonder she walked out
with such a long face.
(A long face means an
unhappy expression.)
MLVR- October 24, 2008
IDIOMS IN THE WORKPLACE

to keep the ball rolling

Let’s keep the ball rolling.
We’re off to a good start
with a successful bid, but
we’ve still got a lot of work
to do.

(A football idiom - to get
[start] the ball rolling
means to start the match.
To keep the ball rolling
means to continue
working.)

MLVR- October 24, 2008
IDIOMS IN THE WORKPLACE

on the ball

Arlene’s an excellent
supervisor. She really
knows how to organize
things and get things done.
She’s really on the ball.

(Another football idiom.
On the ball means to be in
control of the situation.)
MLVR- October 24, 2008
IDIOMS IN THE WORKPLACE

a pain in the neck


an annoying or
bothersome person or
event
The customer is a pain
in the neck and is
always complaining
about something.
MLVR- October 24, 2008
General Idioms


wet behind the ears: inexperienced and
naive.
"Don't include Chris as part of the bargaining
team.He has just started
working here and is still too wet behind the
ears."
MLVR- October 24, 2008
General Idioms
until you're blue in the face: forever.
"You can talk until you're blue in the face, but I
won't change my mind."
Note: This expression is used in the same way as
"until hell freezes over."

MLVR- October 24, 2008
Idioms
under the weather: ill; sick; unwell.
"Ted was feeling under the weather yesterday, so he
decided not to go to work.“

MLVR- October 24, 2008
Idioms
nuke: heat in a microwave.
"If your coffee's cold, just nuke it for about a
minute.“

MLVR- October 24, 2008
General Idioms
nosh: snack.
"There's plenty in the refrigerator if you want
something to nosh on."

MLVR- October 24, 2008
Idioms


wishy-washy: uncommitted; without an
opinion of one's own.
"Don't be so wishy-washy. Tell us how you
really feel."
MLVR- October 24, 2008
at the eleventh hour: at the last minute;
almost too late.
"Yes, I got the work done in time. I finished it at
the eleventh hour, but I wasn't late.

MLVR- October 24, 2008
Idioms
antsy: restless; impatient and tired of waiting.
"I hope Katy calls soon. Just sitting around and
waiting is making me antsy.“

MLVR- October 24, 2008
Idioms
do a bang-up job: do a very good job; do
very well at something.
"Have you seen Frank's home page? He did a
bang-up job with it.“

MLVR- October 24, 2008
General Idioms
drop someone a line: write to someone.
"I haven't written to my parents for a long time.
I'd better drop them a line
today or tomorrow."

MLVR- October 24, 2008
ANSWERS
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
A
D
B
C
B
A
D
D
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
9. B
10. D
11. B
12. A
13. B
14. C
15. A
16. B
MLVR- October 24, 2008
Redundant Phrases
MLVR- October 24, 2008
Redundant Phrases
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The (color) yellow.
Please (repeat) that again.
(actual) experience
(advance) planning
(advance) reservations
(advance) warning
all meet (together)
(armed) gunman
MLVR- October 24, 2008
Redundant Phrases
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


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at (12) midnight
at (12) noon
autobiography (of my life)
(awkward) predicament
(baby) boy was born
(basic) fundamentals
MLVR- October 24, 2008
Redundant Phrases
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cheap (price)
(close) proximity
cold (temperature)
commute (back and forth)
consensus (of opinion)
MLVR- October 24, 2008
Redundant Phrases
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
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(difficult) dilemma
each (and every)
(empty) space
(end) result
estimated (roughly) at
filled (to capacity)
(free) gift
(frozen) ice
MLVR- October 24, 2008
Redundant Phrases
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(general) public
green (in color)
join (together)
(natural) instinct
never (at any time)
(pair of) twins
(past) experience
MLVR- October 24, 2008
Redundant Phrases
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(poisonous) venom
reason is (because)
(regular) routine
(small) speck
(suddenly) exploded
surrounded (on all sides)
MLVR- October 24, 2008
Pleonasms
These redundant expressions are called
pleonasms.
MLVR- October 24, 2008
GROUP ACTIVITY



Group Activity – Into Nine ( 9) Groups.
Converse with each other using redundant
phrases in the conversation.
Pick a representative to present in front. Use
at least 10 redundant phrases
MLVR- October 24, 2008
TITLES
MLVR- October 24, 2008
Quiz

Correct or Not Correct?

My name is Ms Arroyo and I am meeting Mr
Fernandez later at 4 PM.
MLVR- October 24, 2008
Titles with Proper Names
Titles that come immediately before or after
proper names generally take periods.
Examples:
-If you see her, please tell Ms. Ramirez that I
called.
-Have you heard from Dr. Montero today?
-Today I have an appointment with Theresa
Parrocho, Ph.D.

MLVR- October 24, 2008

Correct or Not ?
I have a meeting with Mr. on Monday a.m.
MLVR- October 24, 2008
Do not abbreviate such titles when they
do not accompany a proper name:

Not: Did you go to see the Dr. yesterday?
Can I help you, Mr.?

But: Did you go to see the doctor
yesterday?
Can I help you, mister?
MLVR- October 24, 2008
However, the abbreviations for
academic degrees can be used alone
when not used as a part of a title:


My brother will receive his Ph.D. in May
Will you complete your M.A. this year?
MLVR- October 24, 2008
Do not repeat titles or abbreviations at
the end of a name if one or the other
appeared at the beginning of the name:



Not: I will be taking the course from
Professor Cubia, Ph.D.
But: The operation will be completed by Dr.
Irvin Yap.
Or: The operation will be completed by Irvin
Yap. M.D.
MLVR- October 24, 2008
Expressions of time are likewise
frequently accompanied by the
abbreviations a.m. and p.m.

Examples: The plane will arrive at
approximately 7 p.m.
Such abbreviations should not be used
without specific date or time designations.
MLVR- October 24, 2008
Expressions of Time


Not: We have a meeting this p.m. to discuss
your promotion.
Not: Let us meet tomorrow a.m.
But: We have a meeting this afternoon.
Let us meet tomorrow morning.
MLVR- October 24, 2008
MLVR- October 24, 2008
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