This is the final post of our 4-part series on idioms.
You may not use them when you are speaking, but you need to understand what they mean if you hear them in conversations!
bring someone up to speed = give someone recent news / share new facts
“I will begin the presentation by bringing you up to speed on the project and what has changed.”
A phrasal verb is created with a verb + 1, 2, or 3 particles.
Unfortunately, there are no simple rules for phrasal verbs – you just have to think of each one as a unique verb, and memorize it!
give up = stop doing something
I want to lose weight, so I’m giving up chocolate.
give in = no longer try to stop yourself from doing something that you want to do
Suggest is a verb that many English learners have trouble with.
Suggest is NOT followed by an object + to infinitive. This is a very common mistake.
‘Martin suggested me to visit the museum.’ WRONG
Suggest is usually followed by that or verb -ing.
That can be left out if there is a clause following it.
‘Martin suggested that museum.’
This is part 3 in our series of popular English idioms and expressions.
Just to remind you, an idiom is a phrase where the words together take on a different meaning than the individual words alone. Here are some more examples:
question of time = a situation that will happen, but you do not know when.
go down swinging
If you decide to go down swinging, it means that you decide to keep on fighting for what you think; even if you will probably not win.
“I don’t want to lose the contract. I’ll go down swinging before I give the business away.”
heart of gold
Someone who is a very kind and caring person.
used to + verb = something that was true or happened in the past on a regularly basis. It does no happen today.
‘John used to smoke, but he quit last year.’
‘My husband used to drive to work, but the price of parking went up. So, now he takes the bus.’
‘There used to be a McDonalds in the park, but it closed a couple of months ago.’
separate (v) = to move apart / isolate
“The cake recipe says to separate the egg yolks and egg whites.”
separate (adj) = removed from the rest of something
“The money we need for gasoline is separate from the travel fund.”
seperate is one of the most common spelling mistakes in English! NEVER use this
It is difficult to uses idiomatic expressions (idioms) correctly. So…we’ll help!
What is an idiom? It is a phrase where the individual words mean one thing, but together they mean something different. Here are a few popular idiomatic expressions, and what they mean.
add insult to injury = a bad situation is made worse.
“James added insult to injury when, after he embarrassed me in front of the team, he then left me standing in the street!
A lot of / lots of mean the same, and are the informal versions of much and many.
They can be used:
1. with uncountable nouns to represent the idea of much
2. with countable nouns to represent the idea of many
“I’m going to eat a lot of Easter eggs this weekend!” (many)
“We have lots of time to help Jane move house.” (much)
get by = survive
My husband is not working, so we have to get by on a small budget.
get over (something/someone) = feel better after some time
It takes a long time to get over your first love.
get ahead = improve / be more successful
James is working hard to get ahead in his career.
get away with (something) = not to get in trouble
- English Idioms and Expressions: Part 4
- Phrasal verbs with GIVE
- Grammar Lesson – the verb ‘suggest’
- English Idioms and Expressions: Part 3
- English Idioms and Expressions: Part 2
- Grammar Lesson: used to
- Vocabulary Lesson: separate
- English Idioms and Expressions: Part 1
- Grammar Lesson: a lot of / lots of
- Phrasal verbs with GET
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