Essential English Idioms for ESL Students - الصفحة 2 - منتديات الجلفة لكل الجزائريين و العرب

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Essential English Idioms for ESL Students

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10. (To) Face the music

In literal terms facing the music means to turn your body to the direction of the music and stand in front of it. But if your friend or your parents tell you to face the music, there’s a much harsher meaning.
It means to “face reality” or to deal with the reality of the situation and accept all the consequences good or bad (but mostly bad). Perhaps you’ve been avoiding something because you feel unsure or scared of the outcome. Maybe you lied to your teacher and she discovered the truth and now you have to face the music and accept the punishment.
“I can’t understand why I failed math.”
“You know you didn’t study hard, so you’re going to have to face the music and take the class again next semester if you really want to graduate when you do.”







 

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قديم 2017-07-11, 14:54   رقم المشاركة : 17
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11. (To be) On the ball

If you look at this English idiom literally, it means to be either standing or sitting on a ball—but who would do that?
If you’re on the ball it means that you’re very quick to understand certain things, very prepared for something or react quickly (and correctly) to a situation.
For example, if you’re planning your wedding that is still one year away from now and you’ve almost finished with all the planning already, you’re definitely on the ball because not many people are that prepared!
“Wow, you’ve already finished your assignments? They are not due until next week, you’re really on the ball. I wish I could be more organized.”







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12. (To) Ring a bell

If we look at the literal meaning of ring a bell, it’s just that: You could be ringing the school bell to tell students it’s time to go to class or ringing someone’s doorbell.
But the idiom means that somebody has mentioned something that sounds familiar to you, perhaps you’ve heard it before. In other words, when someone says something that you believe you’ve heard in the past, alarm bells start ringing and you try to remember how or why that name or place sounds familiar.
“You’ve met my friend Amy Adams, right?”
“Hmmm, I’m not sure, but that name rings a bell. Was she the one who went to Paris last year?”







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13. Rule of thumb

Can thumbs rule or can you literally rule a thumb? If you think about it logically, it means absolutely nothing and makes no sense. However, if you hear someone say as a rule of thumb, they mean that it’s a general unwritten rule for whatever they’re talking about.
These rules of thumb are not based on science or research, and are instead just a general principle. For example, there’s no written scientific rule that you must add oil to boiling water when *****ng pasta, but it’s a rule of thumb and is practiced by most people so the pasta won’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
“As a rule of thumb you should always pay for your date’s dinner.”
“Why? There’s no rule stating that!”
“Yes, but it’s what all gentlemen do.”







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14. (To be) Under the weather

Can you be under the weather literally? Probably yes, if you think about standing under the clouds, rain and sun, but it makes no sense. If you’re feeling under the weather, you’re not your usual self and could be feeling a little sick. The sick feeling is nothing serious; perhaps it’s just extreme tiredness from studying too much, or having a bad headache because you’re starting to get the flu.
“What’s wrong with Katy, mom?”
“She’s feeling a little under the weather so be quiet and let her rest.”







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قديم 2017-07-11, 14:56   رقم المشاركة : 21
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15. (To) Blow off steam

In reality a person cannot blow off steam (the hot rising air from boiling water)—only electrical equipment can, such as the electric jug (appliance for boiling water for coffee). So what does it mean when a person blows off steam?
If you’re feeling angry, stressed or are experiencing some strong feelings and you want to get rid of them so you feel better again, you will blow off steam by doing something such as exercise to get rid of the stress.
“Why is Nick so angry and where did he go?”
“He had a fight with his brother, so he went for a run to blow off his steam.”







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16. (To) Look like a million dollars/bucks

Wouldn’t it be great if we really could look like a million dollars?We’d be rich, but that’s not the case. If someone tells you that you look like a million bucks, you should take it as a huge compliment because it means you look absolutely fabulous and really attractive.
While sometimes we use this English idiom for guys, it’s more commonly used to compliment females. And while some of your female friends may look beautiful every day, you should save this English idiom for when they’ve really made an effort and it’s a special occasion, like prom or a wedding.
“Wow, Mary, you look like a million dollars/bucks this evening. I love your dress!”







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17. (To) Cut to the chase


When somebody tells you to cut to the chase it means that you’ve been talking too long and haven’t gotten to the point. When a person uses this idiom, they are telling you to hurry up and get the important part, without all the details. Be careful how you use this idiom, because if used while talking to someone like a college professor or your boss, it’s rude and disrespectful.
If you’re speaking to a group of people, like your employees, and say I’m going to cut to the chase, it means that there are a few things that need to be said but there’s very little time, so you’ll skip to the important parts so everyone understands.
“Hi guys, as we don’t have much time here, so I’m going to cut to the chase. We’ve been having some major problems in the office lately.”







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18. (To) Find your feet

Is it possible to lose your feet? No way, they’re attached to your body! So what does it mean when somebody says they’re trying to find their feet? If you find yourself in a new situation, for example living in a new country and having to get used to a new college, you could say I’m still finding my feet.It means that you’re still adjusting and getting used to the new environment.
“Lee, how’s your son doing in America?”
“He’s doing okay. He’s learned where the college is but is still finding his feet with everything else. I guess it’ll take time for him to get used to it all.”







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قديم 2017-07-11, 14:58   رقم المشاركة : 25
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19. (To) Get over something

If you think about it, it’s possible to literally get over something, for example get over a fence—but this is not how the phrase is generally used in the English ********.
Imagine having a really difficult time, like breaking up with your girlfriend or boyfriend—it’s hard. But eventually once time passes and you no longer think about your ex, it means that you’ve gotten over him/her, you no longer worry about it and it no longer affects you in a negative way. It’s also possible to get over an illness too, which would mean that you’ve fully recovered.
“How’s Paula? Has she gotten over the death of her dog yet?”
“I think so. She’s already talking about getting a new one.”







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20. (To) Keep your chin up

Did you just have a massive fight with your friend? Did you fail your English finals? Did your team lose the final match? Did you lose your job? If you answered “yes” to any of the questions, then you’re probably feeling sad and a little depressed, right?
In this situation, a supportive friend might tell you to keep your chin up. When they tell you this, they’re showing their support for you, and it’s a way of saying “stay strong,” you’ll get through this. Don’t let these things affect you too badly.







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“Hey, Keiren, have you had any luck finding work yet?”
“No, nothing, it’s really depressing, there’s nothing out there!”
“Don’t worry, you’ll find something soon, keep your chin up buddy and don’t stress.”
If you’re really serious about learning English well and finding your feetwith the ******** abroad, make sure you spend some time focusing on English idioms to make your transition and easier one. Good Luck and keep your chin up!







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قديم 2017-07-11, 15:14   رقم المشاركة : 28
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Kill two birds with one stone

Put simply, if you ‘kill two birds with one stone‘ it means you have solved two problems with a single action. The phrase is always used figuratively, rather than literally, so it does not refer to the actual killing of any birds. It has been in use as an idiom since at least the 17th century, and is believed to have derived from a similar English expression that was around at the same time, which was “to stop two gaps with one bush.”







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Best thing since sliced bread

If a person or object is described as the ‘best thing since sliced bread‘, it means they are extremely good. This is an example of an idiom that means almost exactly what it says. Sliced bread became a major consumer product in the early 20th century and was advertised as a huge step forward for baking. The idiom is often used to hype new products, but can also be used somewhat sarcastically e.g. “you think you’re the best thing since sliced bread.”







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Hit the nail on the head

If you are told you have ‘hit the nail on the head‘, it means you have said exactly the right thing. It is most commonly said when somebody astutely identifies the cause of a problem. However, someone might also say you have ‘hit the nail on the head’ if you answer a question correctly, or describe something accurately.







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