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M A Y 2008

May 28, 2008

IDIOM: ‚be (right) up someone's alley‘

EXPLANATION: If something is right up your alley, it suits you perfectly. if something is right up someone's alley, it is exactly the type of thing that they know about or like to do.

eg. ‚The job should be right up Steve's alley - working with computers, software and stuff.‘

May 26, 2008

IDIOM: ‚down to the wire‘

EXPLANATION: If something goes down to the wire, like a competition, then it goes to the very last moment before it is clear who has won. until the very last moment that it is possible to do something.

eg. ‚If both teams are playing at their best, the game will go down to the wire (= it will be won at the last moment).‘

May 22, 2008

IDIOM: ‚speak/talk the same language‘

EXPLANATION: if two or more people speak the same language, they have similar beliefs and opinions, tastes or ideas and express themselves in similar ways.

eg. "We work well together because we speak the same language."

May 21, 2008

IDIOM: ‚Little by little‘

EXPLANATION: in small amounts, a little progress each time you try, bit by bit.

eg. ‚Little by little, we saved our money to buy this house.‘

May 20, 2008

^ IDIOM: ‘Practice makes perfect.‘

EXPLANATION: something that you say which means if you do something many times you will learn to do it very well. It means that the more you practice, the better you will become. If you want to become great, then you should practice as much as possible. To practice is to do something regularly. Perfect is the best you can be. Practice makes perfect means that the way to become the best is to practice often. Practice makes perfect is said to encourage people to keep practicing so they will become better at what they are doing.

eg. ‚You can't expect to become a brilliant dancer overnight, but practice makes perfect.‘

May 19, 2008

IDIOM: ‚Born with a silver spoon in your mouth‘

EXPLANATION: If you are born with a silver spoon in your mouth, you are born into a rich family. It means to have opportunities that you did not earn but that you have from the influence of your family.

eg. ’Bill was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth – he came from a poor family and earned his success through hard work.’

May 16, 2008

IDIOM: ‚A shot in the arm‘

EXPLANATION: if something gives you a shot in the arm, it gives you encouragement or energy.

eg. ‚The opening of a new research centre will give a much-needed shot in the arm for science in Britain.‘

May 15, 2008

IDIOM: ’Lightning does not strike twice.’

EXPLANATION: something that you say which means that a bad thing will not happen to the same person twice. The same type of misfortune does not occur twice to the same person.

eg. ’I know the crash has scared you, but lightning doesn't strike twice.’

May 14, 2008

IDIOM: ‚Fire a shot across someone's/the bows‘

EXPLANATION: A shot across the bow is a warning to tell someone to stop doing something or face very serious consequences. If you fire a shot across someone's bows, you do something in order to warn them that you will take strong action if they do not change their behaviour.

eg. ‚Airline staff have fired a warning shot across the company's bows by threatening strike action if higher pay increases are not offered.‘

May 13, 2008

IDIOM: ‚The proof of the pudding (is in the eating)‘

EXPLANATION: This means that something can only be judged when it is tested or by its results. (It is often shortened to ‚Proof of the pudding‘). It is something that you say which means that you cannot judge the value of something until you have tried it.

eg. ‚I've read the proposal and it looks promising, but the proof of the pudding is in the eating.‘