BEHAVIOURAL OBJECTIVE: At the end of the lesson, students should be able to:
An idiom is a phrase or group of words that, when taken together, has a meaning that is different from that of each individual word. To put it another way: idioms cannot be understood literally.
For example, ‘Once in a blue moon’ means ‘when something happens rarely’. So the example sentence: ‘I eat McDonalds once in a blue moon’ doesn’t make any sense when the words are taken literally (you only eat McDonalds when there is a blue moon?!). But when you understand the meaning of the idiom, the sentence makes perfect sense (you don’t often eat McDonalds).
Idioms are very important when learning English because they are used a lot in everyday communication and can help you sound more like a native. To speak and understand conversational English better, learning the correct use of idioms is essential. Idioms also help give character to the language; making it more colourful and interesting.
Examples of Idioms
1. A BLESSING IN DISGUISE
Something that appears bad at first but ends up having good results
Missing that plane turned out to be a blessing in disguise because I got to spend more time with my family.
2. A SANDWICH SHORT OF A PICNIC
A humorous way of saying someone is stupid or is a bit mad
He brought only shorts and t-shirts when he went to Sweden in the winter – I think he might be a sandwich short of a picnic!
3. A STONE’S THROW
Something is very close or near
Luckily the wedding is just a stone’s throw from our hotel so we can walk there.
4. ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS
What you do is more important than what you say; someone’s words may not be trustworthy
Person A: “John keeps saying he wants to take me out for dinner, but then he never does!”
Person B: “Actions speak louder than words.“
5. ADD FUEL TO THE FIRE
When someone does something to make a bad situation worse
When Sarah started laughing during the argument, it really added fuel to the fire!
6. ADD INSULT TO INJURY
To make a bad situation worse
As if breaking my arm isn’t bad enough, to add insult to injury I have to pay £1,000 in hospital fees as I didn’t have travel insurance!
7. ALL EARS
To be eagerly waiting to hear about something
Person A: “I have to tell you about what happened on our trip to Spain…”
Person B: “I’m all ears!”
8. AT A CROSSROADS
To be at a point in your life when you need to make an important decision
I was at a crossroads when I was offered a job in the US, but my boyfriend wanted to stay in London.
9. BARKING UP THE WRONG TREE
To be wrong or misguided about the reason for something
He thinks the company’s problems can be solved just by firing the sales team, but he’s barking up the wrong tree.
10. BEAT ABOUT THE BUSH
To talk about unimportant things because you’re avoiding a particular topic
Stop beating about the bush! Are you planning to quit university, or not?
11. BETTER LATE THAN NEVER
It’s better to do something late than not at all
Person A: “Sorry I missed your birthday! There’s a card in the post.”
Person B: “Don’t worry. Better late than never!”
12. BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE
To be in a difficult situation where both options are bad
Person A: “If I go to the wedding mum will be upset, but if I don’t go then I’ll be letting down the rest of the family!”
Person B: “Sounds like you’re caught between a rock and a hard place.”
13. BITE OFF MORE THAN ONE CAN CHEW
To do too much or take something on that is too difficult
Person A: “I’m going to start that weekend job at the museum on top of my full-time job because I really need the money.”
Person B: “Sounds like a lot of work! Don’t bite off more than you can chew.”
14. BITE THE BULLET
To decide to do something that is difficult or unpleasant, but necessary
You’re going to have to bite the bullet and tell your ex-(girlfriend) that you need the apartment back.
15. BLOW OFF STEAM
To do something that helps you get rid of stress, energy or anger
After my meeting with the boss, I went for a run to blow off steam.
1. A fair weather friend always tries to fish in troubled waters of his friends and benefactors.
A. To borrow money
B. To steal belongings of
C. To get benefit in bad situation.
D. To extend a helping hand.
2. His arrogant behavior with others has left him high and dry.
A. To be penniless
B. To be very sick.
C. To be very famous
3. All the residents of the colony painted the town red on the eve of festival.
A. To white wash buildings
B. To renovate buildings
C. To celebrate noisly in public places.
D.To create nuisances.
4. The chairman pulled a long face when the house did not accept the suggestions put forth by him.
A. To look disappointed
B. To get annoyed
C. To be agitated
D. To make a quarrel.
5. The fair and square policy of the chairman of the committee has made him very popular among the residents of the town.
A. Clever and Deceitful
D. Relevant and practical.
Explain the meaning of this Idiomatic expression.
‘A drop in an ocean’.