American Idioms and Some Phrases Just for Fun by Edward Swick

By Edward Swick

ESL scholars taking intermediate-level classes will locate this booklet a valuable complement to their lecture room textbook. simply as very important, theyll see it as a competent consultant to the intricacies of idiomatic American English. Why, in the end, may still a newcomer to the English language be anticipated to make experience out of such words as get at the ball...make a beeline...have a bone to choose? those and dozens extra words are defined, «translated» into extra formal English, and repeated in a variety of contexts.

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Example text

I was sure that Smith would win the election, but I suppose I'll have to eat my own words. 40 To Keep an Eye On This unusual expression means that someone will watch carefully or guard something. Keep an eye on my car. I have to go to the bank. I can't leave right now. I want to keep an eye on the pot on the stove. A PHRASE JUST FOR FUN TO KICK THE BUCKET This expression is usually used when someone speaks about someone else's death in a casual or even comic manner. Its synonym is to die. When you kick the bucket, you're going straight to hell.

That's the Straw That Broke the Camel's Back/That's the Last Straw These two phrases are quite similar. They are used to say that something was the final problem and that someone no longer has any patience to endure it. You want another hundred dollars? Well, that's the straw that broke the camel's back! She lost her purse again. That's the last straw! I simply won't buy her another. To Talk Someone's Head Off This phrase should be used when you wish to say that someone is talking too much to another person.

Html (1 of 2) [12/30/2007 12:47:03 PM] Document You certainly know the meaning of the word man; however, it is often used to show surprise, excitement, or enthusiasm. It can be used when speaking to a man, a woman, or a group, but remember that it is a very casual expression and rarely heard in formal speech. Man! I didn't even see that bus coming! Oh, man! Just think! Two more hours and vacation starts! Man, what a day! It's perfect for a picnic. html (2 of 2) [12/30/2007 12:47:03 PM] Document Page 12 51 To Get at (Something) This use of to get says that someone is implying something or is trying to bring up a certain subject.

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