Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Vocabulary: Common English idioms

B1, B2, C1

Do you know what these common English idioms mean? Which one do you think is represented in the illustration?

- see eye to eye  
- break the ice
- full of hot air
- hit the roof 
- easier said than done
- meet halfway
- play it by ear
- word of mouth
- a piece of cake               
- go with the flow
- that rings a bell
- down the drain

You are going to learn the meaning of the expressions from the VOA (Voice of America) idiom dictionary. You will then do a short exercise to test your understanding. Activity time; 15 to 45 minutes

Task: 1 Go to the idioms dictionary and use the alphabetical menu to find the different expressions. Click on each one and you will read and hear a definition, a description of how it's used, and an example dialogue.

2 Now complete each sentence below with one of the expressions.

a   I finished the exam 30 minutes early - it was _________
b   I don't mind where we go this evening. I'll just  _______
c   $200 for a pullover! That's just money _________
d   He thinks he knows everything, but he's _______
e   A: Do you remember we met here ten years ago?  B: Yes, _____
f   We get most of our business through ________.
g   No time to prepare this meeting. Let's just _________
h   Left and right never _______ on political issues.
i    When she hears I've crashed the car again, she'll _______ !
j    A joke at the beginning of a presentation can _____.
k   A: You just need to be patient.  B: ______
l    If they want to find an agreement, they'll have to ______

Go to the idioms dictionary here.
Check your answers here.