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Phrases

Brush off/aside/up/with

Average: 3.5 (83 votes)

You may know about brushing your hair with a brush or that you brush the dirt off a seat before you sit down, but do you know these other brush words?

Brush with

A brief encounter with something notable or unpleasant is a brush with. It's used for situations in which you experience or nearly experience something.

Being interviewed by a local TV station was my only brush with fame.

If for example you nearly die, you have a brush with death.

Idiom: In a state

Average: 3.7 (39 votes)

In a state, particularly in British English, is used informally for a couple of situations.

When someone becomes nervous or upset, they are in a state:

Nervous: She gets herself into a real state worrying about her exams.

Upset: James has been in a terrible state since his girlfriend broke up with him.

State is also used casually to describe something that is messy, untidy or chaotic.

Friendship Expressions

Average: 3.8 (28 votes)

We make friends when we become friendly with new people.

She made friends easily at her new school.

We became friends after meeting at a party.

Hit it off

When you hit it off with someone you have a good friendly relationship. It is used to describe meeting someone for the first time.

We hit it off straight away.

I went on a date with Frank's brother last night but we didn't hit it off. I don't think we will go out again.

3 Beach Idioms

Average: 3.8 (33 votes)

Do you recognise these three beach idioms?

Beach bum

A young man who is always on the beach is a beach bum. A beach bunny is often used for females.

He's turned into a real beach bum since he moved to California.

Life's a beach

When you are very happy because your life is going well, life's a beach. It has the opposite meaning of the more well-known idiom, life's a bitch.

He got engaged and got promoted - life's a beach for him at the moment.

5 Heat Idioms

Average: 4 (23 votes)

It's heating up (the weather is getting warmer) here in Malta.

Do you know that heat up is also used to describe a situation that is becoming intense, or angry: "The conversation started to heat up so I decided to leave."

Here are five other heat related expressions.

Take the heat

If you can take the heat you can take criticism and handle stressful situations.

"Don't worry, if the project fails and the boss gets angry, I'll take the heat for us."

4 Face Idioms

Average: 3.6 (20 votes)

Straight Face

When your face shows no emotion, especially when you are trying not to laugh, you keep a straight face.

Don't laugh, try and keep a straight face or she will know you are joking.

His new hairstyle is so funny I found it hard to keep a straight face.

Lose Face

When you lose face you feel you have lost the respect of others because of something you have done. When feel embarrassed when you lose face.

How to say goodbye

Average: 4.4 (22 votes)

In English we have a few different ways of saying goodbye.

Goodbye and bye bye are two phrases that English learners use but they are actually not common for native speakers to use. Goodbye is a little cold and bye bye is a kids' phrase!

Let's take a look some better ways!

Informal ways to say goodbye

Here are some informal slang phrases you can use with friends.

Catch you later

Later

So long

Gotta go

See you later/soon/next time

Ways to say 'How are you?'

Average: 3.3 (29 votes)

How are you?
I'm fine, thank you.

'I'm fine, thank you', is an answer we use so often to this question that we don't really have to think about what we are going to say. The reply comes almost automatically whenever we hear it beinng asked to us.

But how about if we ask the same question in a different way?

All these questions mean 'how are you?', but your task is decide which is the best response. There are many ways you can answer but only one is correct from the three possible replies.

6 Cat Idioms

Average: 4.1 (33 votes)

Fat cat

A negative description of a rich and powerful person.

Those fat cats in government don't care about the poor.

Cat got your tongue?

Has the cat got your tongue? is an expression we say to people when we want them to speak but they aren't.

Tell me why you are late again. What's the matter, has the cat got your tongue?

6 Dog Idioms

Average: 4 (39 votes)

How many of you know the English expression raining cats and dogs, as in, 'I'm not going outside, it's raining cats and dogs'?

It means, and no one seems to know why, raining very heavily. The other strange thing I've noticed about this expression is the amount of English learners know it. Why is this expression so well know to students, I have no idea? Perhaps it's a fun, simple and easy phrase to remember?

Let's introduce you to some other expressions featuring the animal that makes up half that idiom - the dog.