Clothes Idioms of the week

Idioms of the week: clothes

In this blog series, we’re breaking down common English expressions that are used in everyday conversation, so you’ll be able to expand your language skills and have fun with new English phrases. This week, we’re keeping to the theme of clothes.

1. old-fashioned (noun phrase): of or relating to the past
Ex: Vintage clothes are making a come-back: I saw a young girl wearing a white, old-fashioned dress in the street this morning.

2. dressed to the nines (verb phrase): to be dressed elegantly, to be dressed very well
Ex: It was a beautiful wedding, everybody was dressed to the nines.

3. put oneself in somebody else’s shoes (verb phrase): imagine what it would be like to be in someone else’s situation
Ex: Stop complaining and try to put yourself in my shoes for once!

4. hit someone below the belt (verb phrase): to do something in an unfair or cowardly way
Ex: Mike is usually a nice guy, but his last comment on John’s questionable work ethics really hit below the belt.

5. do (something) like it is going out of fashion (verb phrase): enthusiastically, to an extensive degree
Ex: Tom is eating his burger like it’s going out of fashion—he is going to get sick!

6. fit like a glove (verb phrase): fit perfectly
Ex: This dress fits you like a glove, you should buy it!

7. fall apart at the seams (verb phrase): in a very bad condition, likely to fail
Ex: I quit my old company because it was falling apart at the seams.

8. hot under the collar (noun phrase): very angry
Ex: He got very hot under the collar when the waiter spilled a drink on him.

9. roll up one’s sleeves (verb phrase): prepare for hard work
Ex: Everyone had to roll up their sleeves to meet the client’s demanding request.

10. cut from the same cloth (verb phrase): of the same nature, similar
Ex: She and her mother are cut from the same cloth, their personalities are so similar.

Try using these idioms the next time you practice your English skills. You’ll find yourself using them more naturally in conversation in no time!

G20 summit

Coffee Break: 10 Expressions About… the 2016 G20 Hangzhou Summit

Next week, leaders from the 20 most powerful countries in the world will gather in Hangzhou, China, to take part in the eleventh G20 summit. If you’re interested in politics, international affairs or just want to expand your vocabulary list, here are 10 words and expressions related to this international forum that may be useful to know:

1. policy (noun): course or principle of action adopted or proposed by a government, party, business or individual
Ex: For this year’s G20 Summit, there is great anticipation for policies that can support economic growth.

2. agenda (noun): a list of items to be discussed at a formal meeting
Ex: Themes such as innovation, sustainable development and anti-corruption policies are all on the official agenda of the G20 summit.

3. globalization (noun): the development of closer economic, cultural and political relations among all the countries of the world as a result of travel and communication becoming easy
Ex: Because of globalization, there’s an increased need for international cooperation among countries.

4. guidelines (plural noun): rules or instructions that show or tell how something should be done
Ex: At the end of the summit, new international economic guidelines should be put into place and followed by every participating country.

5. endorsement (noun): the act of making a public statement of your support for something or someone
Ex: Before being officially released, some international standards need to receive an endorsement from the G20 leaders.

6. to issue a statement (phrase): to publicly say something, especially formally and officially
Ex: The Chinese government issued a statement declaring that all Hangzhou markets will stay open during the two-day G20 summit.

7. framework (noun): the ideas, information and principles that form the structure of an organization or plan
Ex: The relationship between Russia and China is based on a framework of mutual cooperation that has proven to be effective for both countries.

8. green finance (noun): refers to finding a balance between environmental protection, investment and financing
Ex: Since the mayor decided to invest part of the budget in the protection of biodiversity and landscapes in the city, the counsel really started to embrace the concept of green finance.

9. sustainable development (noun): economic development that is conducted without depletion of natural resources
Ex: Solar energy, wind energy and crop rotation are all examples of sustainable development.

10. consensus (noun): general agreement
Ex: The G20 is large enough to capture a wide range of interests from all systemic economies, and small enough to forge a consensus on critical issues for the world economy.

The expressions and examples we chose to write about in this article are a bit harder than usual! Take your time and maybe even read the article two or three times to make sure you understand each word. Then, try using them in a sentence on your own. Good luck!


Idioms of the Week: Health

In this blog series, we’re breaking down common English expressions that are used in everyday conversation, so you’ll be able to expand your language skills and have fun with new English phrases. This week, we’re keeping to the theme of health.

1. bitter pill to swallow (noun phrase): an unpleasant fact one must accept

Ex. Losing the highly competitive presidential election was a bitter pill to swallow for the once-revered candidate.

2. as fit as a fiddle (adjective phrase): to be healthy and physically fit

Ex. Despite being nearly eighty years old, Tom is as fit as a fiddle.

3. back on one’s feet (noun phrase): to regain one’s physical health again

Ex. With the help of antibiotics to treat her flu symptoms, Melanie is back on her feet.

4. bundle of nerves (adjective phrase): used to describe a very nervous or anxious person

Ex. Because she was scared of flying, Denise was a bundle of nerves during the whole plane flight.

5. burn (oneself) out (verb phrase): to become emotionally and physically tired from doing something for a long term

Ex. After working continuous ten hour shifts as a waitress, she was totally burned out.

6. clean bill of health (noun phrase): a statement or assessment that someone is healthy

Ex. My doctor gave me a clean bill of health when I visited him for my annual physical exam.

7. green around the gills (adjective phrase): used to describe someone who looks sick and nauseated

Ex. After a tumultuous rollercoaster ride, Cindy was green around the gills.

8. bun in the oven (noun phrase): used to describe someone who is pregnant

Ex. When Sharon returned from her honeymoon, she had a bun in the oven.

9. break out in a cold sweat (verb phrase): to perspire from nervousness or anxiety

Ex. Dan broke out in a cold sweat upon learning of the surprise pop quiz in math class.

10. breathe one’s last (noun phrase): to die

Ex. Despite fighting a chronic illness for years, the ninety-year-old man breathed his last.

Try using these idioms the next time you practice your English skills. You’ll find yourself using them more naturally in conversation in no time!

Coffee Break: Back To School

Coffee Break: 10 Expressions About… Back To School

Back-to-school season is already here! If you’re an English learner, it’s also time for you to refocus on your studies after this well-deserved break. And what’s better than a short vocabulary list to kick off the year? Check out these 10 education-related English words and expressions that we selected for you:

1. pedagogy (noun): the function or work of a teacher; teaching method
Ex: Even though each teacher follows his own style of pedagogy, some teaching methods have been proven to be more efficient than others.

2. to brainstorm (verb): to try to develop an idea or think of new ideas
Ex: The first assignment that was given to the students was to brainstorm ideas for the school play.

3. to hit the books (phrase): to begin to study hard
Ex: Mary wants to increase her grades this year, and she is ready to hit the books.

4. to catch up (phrasal verb): do work or other tasks that one should have done earlier
Ex: The teacher noticed that one of her students was a bit behind in math, but she was confident that he would be able to catch up with the rest of the class quickly.

5. school of thought (phrase): a particular way of thinking, typically one disputed by the speaker
Ex: Even if they have different schools of thought, both students are making efforts to understand the other’s point of view.

6. to procrastinate (verb): delay or postpone something, usually related to work
Ex: I procrastinated so much during the past few days that I’m not sure I’ll be able to meet the deadline for this project.

7. mnemonic (noun): a device such as a pattern of letters, ideas, or associations that assists in remembering something
Ex: FANBOY—which refers to the first letter in the words “for,” “and,” “nor,” “but,” “or” and “yet—is a popular mnemonic to remember coordinating conjunctions in English.

8. pedantic (adjective): a person who is excessively concerned with minor details and rules or with displaying academic learning
Ex: The professor is so pedantic that he keeps interrupting his students to correct their pronunciation rather than letting them speak.

9. plagiarism (noun): the practice of taking someone else’s work or ideas and passing them off as one’s own
Ex: Because Ricardo copy-and-pasted paragraphs from Wikipedia in his essay, he was suspended from college for plagiarism.

10. to cram (verb): study intensively over a short period of time just before an examination
Ex: She spent all night cramming at the library for her exam the next day.

We hope this article gave you the motivation to hit the books. Now, it’s time to stop procrastinating and to catch up on your English lessons!


Idioms of the Week: Emotions

In this blog series, we’re breaking down common English expressions that are used in everyday conversation, so you’ll be able to expand your language skills and have fun with new English phrases. This week, we’re keeping to the theme of emotions.

1. to go bananas (verb phrase): to rave or cheer wildly; to become extremely crazy, angry or excited

Ex. Judy thought Melanie had gone bananas after she spent $500 on shoes.

2. on cloud nine (noun phrase): a state of perfect happiness or euphoria

Ex. John was on cloud nine when he received the news of his impending promotion.

3. down in the dumps (adjective phrase): in a gloomy or depressed mood

Ex. Natalie’s been down in the dumps ever since she lost the final tennis match.

4. happy camper (noun phrase): used to describe a comfortable, contented person

Ex. Kate’s calm personality is what makes her a happy camper—even when life gets hard, she remains content with her blessings.

5. head over heels in love (adjective phrase): hopelessly in love

Ex. Despite only having met her that morning, David was head over heels in love for the new girl in school.

6. chip on one’s shoulder (verb phrase): the act of holding a grudge

Ex. Jack had a chip on his shoulder after suffering a humiliating defeat to Josh in his election campaign for town mayor.

7. fish out of water (noun phrase): feeling uncomfortable in unfamiliar surroundings

Ex. The nervous exchange student from Tanzania felt like a fish out of water in the fast-paced environment of New York City.

8. swallow one’s pride (verb phrase): to humble oneself, accepting something embarrassing or admitting one’s wrong

Ex. When Valerie failed her exam, she had to swallow her pride to ask for extra credit from the professor.

9. to get/have butterflies in one’s stomach (noun phrase): to feel very nervous

Ex. Whenever Tim has to speak in public, he gets butterflies in his stomach.

10. no hard feelings (noun phrase): feeling no resentment or bitterness about something

Ex. Ann harbored no hard feelings toward Jim after he apologized for his wrongdoing.

Try using these idioms the next time you practice your English skills. You’ll find yourself using them more naturally in conversation in no time!