Idioms: a piece of cake

1st June 2020

New expressions for working life

Office Etiquette 101 | Kamdora
I’ll be with you in just a tic … bear with me

I start my speaking classes by explaining that I do not teach English, but Englishes; how the same sentences can be pronounced in Standard English, or in my London accent, in my east London accent, in my (attempt at an) American accent etc …

For those working towards an IELTS qualification, these distinctions are point-earners. Similarly, a knowledge of idiomatic English is so beneficial, not just for boosting scores, but for making students feel they are learning real English; this is how people REALLY speak.

Have a gander at this

(This is London slang meaning take a look at this):

11 of the UK's best farmers' markets ~ Rosemary and Pork Belly

You telling me they’re chattin’ away in Standard English ? Pull the other one.

(Are you trying to make me believe that the people are talking in Standard Queen’s English ? I don’t believe you).

English, as you can see and hear, is a multifaceted language, and I see so many problems in listening exercises, due to speed of speech, accents and unknown words or phrases. So let’s tackle idioms – expressions you will hear everyday, from street markets to politicians being interviewed on the news.

Let’s kick off (start) with some common idioms and expressions:

bear with me = please wait a short time

seems to me = I think, I believe but I can not be certain

do you follow ? = do you understand ?

hold the line = please wait on the phone a very short time

I’ll get back to you = I’ll reply to you as soon as possible (ASAP)

the day after tomorrow = in two day’s time

hit the ground running = to start work at a fast pace immediately

24 / 7 = all day, every day 

Now … practice: What idiom or expression ?

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“6 – 3 = 6 ……. ?”

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“I’m exhausted, I’ve been working …”

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“No, I’m busy tomorrow, how about … ?”

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“Let’s all work with energy and be successful. I want us to … !”

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I’ll see if the manager is in …

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“Well, I’m not sure of the answer, let me … “

Work in pairs – try to make sentences using these new idioms.

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PRACTICE TIME


Idioms – A random selection. Which do you know ? Which can you use in a sentence ?

same old, same old = same thing everyday, as always

stuck in a rut = no progress or change at all. Doing the same thing in life

raining cats and dogs = extremely heavy rain

chockablock = too busy to move – traffic

cooking the books = cheating with the accounts

cost an arm and a leg + very expensive

straight up  = serious, not joking

pulling my leg  = joking with me

learning the ropes = learning what the job involves

snowed under = very busy

let’s call it a day = we can finish work now

can you run that by me again ? = please repeat.

Team game

Teams ask each which idiom fits for:

Time to finish work // Bad weather // Stuck in traffic // Too much work

The accountant was writing false information // I am new at a job // iPhone 11 is not cheap // Sorry, can you explain again //

Everyday same thing // I must change jobs //

Are you joking with me ? // No, I am honest.

Aussie traveler is VERY honest about how he will spend two weeks ...

“You can believe me, mate !”

Vocabulary building exercises

Updated.

Thay Paul's Notes

A compilation of games and exercises to increase your word power

Image result for Dr Johnson

Match the words with the meanings

Give the students some new vocabulary, teach them pronunciation and see if they can match the word to the definition. After, give them a chance to use the new words.

describe                        planned, in order, not a mess

imagine having to do too many things

typical feeling you have too much work

pressure normal, usual

organised to tell what something looks or like

community to think about something

stressed                       the place or area where you live

Practice:

The student was under ______ to finish the project on time.

All the neighbours are friendly. It’s a nice ________ to live.

Can you __________ what the man looked like ?

After teaching 20 young…

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