26th August 2020
Yesterday I blogged a database of idioms, collocations and negotiation language. That is just the tip of the iceberg. If you have looked at English-language study books, you will, no doubt, have seen several dictionaries solely devoted to idioms; we use them so often, and there are so many.
For my IELTS students, I have repeatedly taught half a dozen (six) in order for the students to incorporate them into their natural speech … without idiomatic language, you will not break past the 5 score (taken along with grammar, vocabulary and intonation, naturally).
Therefore, for Top Cat students, or anyone looking to learn some more, this blog is for you.
Expressions or idioms
Ring any bells ? // do you remember //
More or less // not exactly but approximately
Get the gist // do you understand the main point ?
Right up your street // this is something you will really like
Rabbit, Rabbiting on // UK slang, especially in London … talking too much
Piece of cake // no problem, very easy, sure
Tongue in cheek // not being serious about something
Now … how you use them:
Student A: Hello, we met last year at Julie’s party.
Student B: Sorry, that doesn’t ring any bells (I don’t remember).
Student A: Are you ready to go ?
Student B: Go where ?
Student C: Cake, food, drink, singing, dancing … ring any bells ?
Student D: Oh, Tony’s birthday party. Sorry, I forgot.
Student A: Are you ready for the test ?
Student B: Yes, more or less.
Student C: I’ll wait for you.
Student D: I won’t be long, I’m more or less finished.
Student A: Do you have to read all the document ?
Student B: No, just to get the gist.
Student A: You should listen to this CD, it’s right up your street.
Student B: Oh, French piano music, I love it. That’s right up my street.
Student A: What did your girlfriend want ?
Student B: She was rabbiting on about something to do with her clothes, I wasn’t really listening.
Teacher A: Hey ! Miss Mary … stop talking. You’re a little rabbit !
Student A: Can you drive me home ?
Student B: Sure, piece of cake.
Student A: Have you seen John’s new shirt ? It’s so elegant.
Student B: Are you serious ? It’s terrible.
Student A: I know ! I was being tongue in cheek.
Now … your turn.
Add the correct idiom [answers at end of blog]
1) Shall we see the new action film ? It sounds ______________
2) Are you still talking ? You are such a __________
3) She said I was the best student but I think she was being ___
4) You said you would bring something … cheese, tomato, garlic bread ____________ ?
5) The IELTS speaking test was a ________ after reading Thay Paul’s blogs (I hope).
6) Student A: Did you understand the project ? Did you ________ of the idea ?
Student B: Well, ______________ but not every single detail.
- Right up your street 2. rabbit 3. tongue in cheek 4. ring any bells 5. piece of cake 6. get the gist / more or less.