ESL Students learn basic idiomatic expression used in the United States.
Terms in this set (29)
It's raining cats and dogs!
It is raining very hard.
I put my foot in my mouth when I assured my wife that I never thought about my old girlfriends, but a few minutes later called her by the wrong name.
To say the wrong thing.
He cannot make up his mind whether or not to buy stocks right now. He is straddling the fence.
To handle something very casually; to do something without a real purpose; to play around
Time is running out to get the latest issue of The English Teacher's Assistant covering the teaching theme "Families."
It's almost too late.
"You hit the nail on the head when you said learning to speak English well would help me in my job--it has."
To describe something accurately or exactly.
"She is as quiet as a mouse."
Extremely quiet--doesn't talk much.
I wish that he would be more serious. He wants to just monkey around.
He is not accomplishing anything.
Money doesn't grow on trees.
You have to work for something (like money) to get it. You can't just go out and accidentally find it.
The grass is always greener (on the other side of the fence).
What you don't have always looks better than what you have.
"He's on pins and needles."
He's waiting anxiously or nervously.
Jumping through hoops
Going through a lot of unnecessary trouble to please someone.
He's just a babe in the woods.
He doesn't see the truth.
"She has a broken heart."
She is very sad.
He had to turn in his paper which was due before 5:00 P.M. on Friday. He was running against the clock.
To have a tight deadline
Don't cry over spilt milk.
Don't worry about things you have done that you can't change.
He is as sharp as a tack.
He is extremely smart.
"He's a fat cat."
He's an important person.
"He's moving at a snail's pace."
To move very slowly.
"They are exchanging money under the table."
A penny saved is a penny earned.
Even small amounts of money are worth saving.
"Don't put all your eggs in one basket."
Diversify; try many types of things--not just one.
"He's in the dog house."
An innocent, inexperienced person in a difficult situation.
"Their business is a money pit."
It is losing a lot of money with little hope for profit.
Time flies when you're having fun.
To feel that very little time has passed when actually a lot of time has gone by.
Susan was wondering what she was going to present at the meeting, and then a light bulb went off and she knew what she would present.
To get an idea
"I know you don't like it when your mother calls you lazy, but if the shoe fits, wear it."
If the description is correct, accept it.
"I'll believe politicians when fish fly."
Something that will never happen.
"I went to the U.S.A. to study English. I met a new friend there who was from my hometown. What a small world!
A coincidence in a distant place--usually in meeting someone who knows a friend or relative of yours or who is from the same place you are.
"Sometimes trying to find something on the worldwide web is like trying to find a needle in the haystack."
Difficult to find or uncover
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