22nd October 2020
A database of idioms that my physical classes covered previously as well as new idioms plus a reminder of some low-frequency words that are guaranteed to impress the examiner. Let’s kick off with some vocabulary building:
computer literacy (noun) computer literate (adjective)
flexible / flexibility / flexi-hours
to adapt / adaptability /
standard of living
essential workplace skills
prosaic [cf with ‘run of the mill’]
cf is Latin for ‘compare’ // e.g. is Latin meaning ‘for example’ // i.e. is Latin for ‘that is’.
Complete the sentences:
If you learn English you will increase your job ____________
Nowadays, most young people are _____________ _________________ . They are able to use programs such as Word, ___________ & ________
When selecting a university, you may have to be ______________ in case you don’t get into your first choice.
Getting a great, well-paying job is essential if you want a high ________________________ .
One student moved to Boston where the temperature can drop to below freezing. He’s really having ________ to the new culture.
My actor friend is busy 24/7, attending parties, setting up meeting, pitching ideas and Tweeting. That guy is constantly ______________ .
Split class into two teams. One team selects a word or phrase and the other team has to use it, correctly of course, in a sentence. Bonus points for throwing in any appropriate idioms.
I would love this guitar which is a left-handed Rickenbacker, a famous American company with a very distinctive look and sound, yet, to my dismay, it costs ______________________
Idioms from Semester 2
Another string to (your) bow – a new skill or learning experience
bear with me – please wait a very short time (usually spoken as opposed to written)
bit of a sore point – something that makes you sad or angry
down in the dumps – depressed, unhappy, feeling gloomy
hit the ground running – to start something immediately and with all your energy
like a madhouse – a place or area that is crazy, too noisy, too busy etc
run of the mill – ordinary, typical, normal, usual, boring
up in arms – to be very angry about something, to protest strongly
you take your life in your hands – doing something that is extremely dangerous
Idioms from Semester 1
Which you should all know by heart and be able to reel off at the drop of a hat.
it’s raining cats and dogs
it costs an arm and a leg
piece of cake
I’m burning the candle at both ends
once in a blue moon
pass with flying colours
Extra expressions for Top Cats:
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
Tongue in cheek // not being serious about something
Keep your hand in // to practise something so you don’t forget how it’s done
Bucket down / raining cats and dogs // raining very heavily
Have a go / give it a bash / give it a shot // to try something
Call it a day // to stop work and go home early
Go ahead // sure, do it
Under one roof // everything in one place
Through thick and thin // together in good times and bad times.
Remember these old chestnuts ?
without further ado // tricks up your sleeve // ace the test
pass with flying colours // do yourself proud //
you are in the driver seat (or you are in the driving seat) //
occur // inevitably // pertinent
Personal and personality adjectives:
patient / firm / authoritative / determined / brave / energetic / level-headed / down-to-earth / strong / fit / healthy / imposing / honest / loyal / civic-minded / caring / hard-working /
Finally, some adverbs you must have in your arsenal:
very / extremely / amazingly / unbelievably / quite / rather / undeniably / remarkably / totally / absolutely /
For those who really want to expand their horizons, an extensive collection of idioms, expressions and collocations can be found on this blog: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/08/25/adult-speaking-class-level-3-ielts-english-expressions/