Articles (the;an;a) can often cause a lot of frustration. See how spot-on you are by matching them to these everyday idioms. How well do you know these idioms. Do you have the same ones in your language?
Only use a, an, the
Submitted by Jozua van der Lugt. Teacher at EC Cape Town English language school
Here are fours festive expressions related to Christmas. Ho, ho, ho!
If people are like turkeys (the large bird eaten at Christmas) voting for Christmas, they choose to accept a situation which will have very bad results for them.
"Oil companies asking their customers to use less oil is like turkeys voting for Christmas."
Let's a look at some natural English idioms. Can you guess what they mean from the context? Match the idioms to their definitions. Do you have similar idioms in your language? Tell us about them.
He was beside himself when he heard he had been promoted.
If you have any ideas, I'm all ears.
We've only just started, don't throw the towel in yet.
Take a look at these idioms. They all use clothing vocabulary.
Here are some idioms that you will only here in the UK:
Usually used after a set of simple instructions and has the same meaning as the phrase "and there you have it". It shows that something will be successful:
'To access the site, simply enter your password here and Bob's your uncle..'
When something's very cheap, it is as cheap as chips:
'These shoes are only ten pounds a pair - cheap as chips!'
To send someone to Coventry is a British idiom meaning to ostracise someone, usually by not talking to them. When we send someone to Coventry we avoid them intentionally or prevent them from taking part in the activities of a group. This is usually done as a form of punishment for having done something to upset the group.
When something is very difficult to find it is like looking for a needle in a haystack. Especially because the area you have to search is too large and because of everything around it. We also say trying to find a needle in a haystack.
Time to face up (to bravely confront something) and take on these idioms face to face (together in the same place). Do it now so that you don't lose face (to do something which makes other people stop respecting you).
Something that you find insulting or that disappoints you is a slap in the face: