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English Expressions

Expressions: with HORSE

get off your high horse = stop being so arrogant/sure of yourself

“My manager thinks she’s so important. Someone needs to tell her to get off her high horse.

“Tom had better get off his high horse. He’ll lose all his friends if he’s not careful.”

horse around (v) = play in a rough way

“My son broke his arm while he was horsing around with his friends.”

Expressions: tell me…

The difference between these expressions confuses some students.

tell me (it) = what is the fact?

I need Jane’s phone number.  Can you tell me it?

I know Tammy told you the secret she is keeping. I cant’ t get her to tell me it!

tell me (all) about it = share all the details

I missed the meeting.  Tell me about it.

Expressions…for causing trouble

stir the pot = initiate tension/drama between 2 or more arguing people/groups

“Paul was stirring the pot when he told our mother that he saw our father at the police station.”

get involved = became part of a problem and make it worse

“I told you not to get involved! Now Ellen knows it was me who told you she’s in debt.”

wreak  havoc = cause a lot of trouble

Verbs with KICK

kick the habit (v) = stop smoking

I have tried to kick the habit for years, but I can’t.

kick the bucket (v) = die

My grandfather kicked the bucket when he was 97.

kick a goal (v) = achieve something

My team kicked a goal when we won IBM as a client.

kick around (v) = discuss an idea

English Expressions with CAT

When the cat’s away; the mouse will play.

We generally shorten it and say: “When the cat’s away…

This means when the person in charge (your boss, mother, etc) is not around you, you do things you should not do.

“Our manager is in vacation, so Ryan has been leaving early every day. When the cat’s away…

the cat’s pajamas = something great/special

Some expressions with food

a piece of cake = really easy

‘That exam was a piece of cake. I think I did well.’

‘Understanding English grammar is a piece of cake.’ (joking! I know it is difficult.)

the best thing since sliced bread = something great/you really like it

‘The new tablet computers are the best thing since sliced bread.’

‘Jim saw the movie Lincoln Lawyer and said it was the best thing since sliced bread.’

English expression lesson – How are you? / How do you do?

Many people confuse How are you? with How do you do?.

One is a question and the other is a polite way of saying ‘nice to meet you’.

How are you? is a question you ask someone you know. You are asking how they are doing.

‘James, I haven’t seen you for such a long time. How are you?
‘Hi Lisa. I’m well thanks. I’ve started a new job and I’m engaged.’