22 terms

Common English idiom


Terms in this set (...)

as easy as pie
very easy

He said it is a difficult problem, but I don't agree. It seems as easy as pie to me!
I am sick and tired of
I hate

I'm sick and tired of doing nothing but work. Let's go out tonight and have fun.
bend over backwards
try very hard

He bent over backwards to please his new wife, but she never seemed satisfied.
bite off more than one can chew
take responsibility for more than one can manage

John is so far behind in his studies. Besides classes, he plays sports and works at a part-time job. It seems he has bitten off more than he can chew.
to have no money

I have to borrow some money from my Dad. Right now,I'm broke.
change one's mind
decide to do something different from what had been decided earlier

I was planning to work late tonight, but I changed my mind. I'll do extra work on the weekend instead.
Cut it out!
stop doing something bad

That noise is really annoying. Cut it out!
drop someone a line
send a letter or email to someone

It was good to meet you and I hope we can see each other again. Drop me a line when you have time.
figure something out
come to understand a problem

I don't understand how to do this problem. Take a look at it. Maybe you can figure it out.
fill in for someone
do their work while they are away

While I was away from the store, my brother filled in for me.
cut the mustard
to be as good as expected or required

I didn't cut the mustard as a hockey player.
a level playing field
a situation in which everyone has the same opportunities
the cards/odds are stacked against you
you are unlikely to succeed because the conditions are not good for you
be better off
to have more money

Families will be better off under the new law.
spread the word
To tell a lot of people about something
be a double-edged sword/weapon
to be something that has both advantages and disadvantages
breathe a sigh of relief
feel happy that something unpleasant stops
wean somebody off/from something
to make somebody gradually stop doing or using something

The doctor tried to wean her off sleeping pills.
wake up and smell the coffee
to pay attention and do something about a situation

Some parents just deny their kids are having problems, and they'd better wake up and smell the coffee.
You can't have your cake and eat it.
You can't have things both ways.

I drank a whole bottle of champagne at the party last night, but now I feel sick - I've got the worst hangover ever. But I suppose you can't have your cake and eat it!
to get hitched
an informal expression meaning to get married
to brush up
to revise or improve your knowledge of something