Idiom in U – Upper Hand

Hello dear students! We are getting close to the end of this series with only 5 more weeks left.

And today we have a look at the letter U with Upper Hand.

What it means:

If you have the upper hand, you have the advantage.

How to use it:

  • One of the most common situations when this idiom is used is during a sporting even. If a team or player is in a winning position, they have the upper hand.
  • If a business has an advantage over another business, they also have the upper hand.

Other interesting idioms:

U-turn – It is when somebody changes their opinion on an issue radically, especially when they have promised not to do so.

Ugly duckling – An ugly duckling is a someone shows little promise, but who develops later into a real talent or beauty.

Under fire – If someone is being attacked and cricitised heavily, they are under fire.

Up for grabs – If something is up for grabs, it is available and whoever is first or is successful will get it.

 

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3 Valentine’s Day Activities

Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner so I prepared 3 activities for the occasion!

One of them requires no preparation (just little papers) and the other two just to print and cut (and maybe a die).

Now, if you want more activities, feel free to check last years post Valentine’s Day – ESL Lesson

I. Guess who / Find your partner

You need a list of famous couples, just make sure your students know them. Here is mine:

  • Michelle Obama + Barack Obama
  • Kim Kardashian West + Kanye West
  • Shakira + Gerard Pique
  • Penelope Cruz + Javier Bardem
  • Beyonce + Jay Z
  • Victoria Beckham + David Beckham

Now give each of your students a different name from the list. Their objective is to find their famous partner.

Randomly pair students up. Give them one minute each to ask their partner as many questions about their famous self as they want (the original game requires yes/no questions but feel free to use WH ones).

Change the pairs until all the students have talked to each other. Then tell your students to stand next to who they think their famous partner is.

Activity Extention

If you want the activity to be longer and add more speaking, tell them to give their reasons why they think one person is their partner. It might also make some students change their mind and create more debate.

Level Tweak

To make it more advanced you can add more rules. For instance, tell the students that if someone calls them out on who their famous self is, they are eliminated. The students will have to be more careful with the information they provide and how they form their answers.

II. Relationship Dominoes

This activity is a different version of my Phrasal Dominos 2.0 and it focuses on collocations. Download this document (FREE of course), print it and cut it.

Love Hate dominoes

I recommend that you print more than one set if you have bigger groups of students. Roughly a set for 2 to 4 students is usually comfortable.

Tell the students to put the dominoes face down on the table and to randomly take the same amount of dominoes. Then one student places one face up in the middle of the table. The next student places a domino on either side of that one as long as it recreates a correct collocation.

If a student cannot form any collocation they have to pass. The first one out of dominoes wins!

III. Love-Vocabulary Boardgame

Just print and cut the cards in the PDF document down below.

Relationship Boardgame

As you can see in the document, there are 4 categories of cards that each represent a different task to do (each one is explained in the document).

I recommend that you put the students in pairs (or groups) for the activity. Each team has to successfully complete each task in order to win. If you have a small group of students you could tell them to do 2 or 3 of each card.

Activity Extension

If you want to make it even more fun/challenging, create more cards! Just add some in each category, or have the students add some themselves (great way to check what they know). You could even create a new category or two and include dice. Basically…there´s a million things you can do with this activity.

 

Keep on learning!

And don’t forget to follow My Little English Page on Facebook , Instagram and YouTube for regular updates.

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Idiom in W – Water Under the Bridge

I am a bit late for this entry…My apologies! I have been extremely busy. For instance I started doing live videos on YouTube last Friday! It was quite fun and interactive. Here is the link in case you want to check it out!

 

Anyways…Are you ready for our weekly idiom?

What it means:

If something is water under the bridge it belongs to the past, is unimportant or not a problem anymore.

When to use it:

  • It is often used when someone has wronged you such a long time ago that it does not matter anymore.
  • Something could also be water under the bridge because you have forgiven the person.

Other interesting idioms:

Wake up and smell the coffee – When someone doesn’t realise what is really happening or is not paying attention to what is going on, you can tell them to wake up and smell the coffee.

Walk on eggshells – If you have to walk on eggshells with someone, you have to be very careful as they get angry or offended easily.

Well-oiled machine – Something that functions very well is a well-oiled machine. It does not necessarily refer to machines. A team of workers who work well together can be refered to as a well-oiled machine.

Whale of a time – If you have a whale of a time, you really have a good time.

 

 

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Idiom in V – Virgin Territory

Last week we covered idioms in U with Idiom in U – Upper Hand so this week it’s the letter V. Leave a comment below with your favourite idiom in this post!

What it means:

If something is virgin territory, it hasn’t been explored before. Ex: Before landing on the Moon, it was virgin territory.

How to use it:

  • It is more commonly used to talk about locations that are untouched by men.
  • On a different level, a new type of market could be considered virgin territory. For example, using A.I. for medical purposes is virgin territory.

Other interesting idioms:

Vicious circle – A vicious circle is a sequence of events that make each other worse- Poverty is a viscious circle. If someone is poor, they do not have enough money to feed themselves which means they get sick and need more money to get treated causing them to become even poorer and so on.

Volte-face –  (from French) If you do a volte-face on something, you make a sudden and complete change in your stance or position over an issue.

Vale of tears – This vale of tears is the world and the suffering that life brings. It is a general expression for harship and sorrow.

 

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Idiom in T – Think Outside the Box

What it means:

If you think outside the box, you think in an imaginative and creative way.

How to use it:

People tend to use this idiom as a way to encourage others to be creative. It does not only refer to arts and crafts but anything that might be done in a non conventional way.

  • People who live in extremely small apartments have to think outside the box to make a comfortable living space.
  • You could be trying to solve a riddle and someone tells you to think outside the box. This means do not do what seems obvious, think further.

Other interesting idioms:

Take a nosedive – When things take a nosedive, they decline very quickly and head towards disaster.

Take by storm – To take by storm means to captivate- eg. A new play that took New York City by storm.

The ball’s in your court – If somebody says this to you, they mean that it’s up to you to decide or take the next step.

The grass is always greener – This idiom means that what other people have or do looks preferable to our life. The complete phrase is ‘The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence’.

 

And don’t forget to follow My Little English Page on Facebook , Instagram and YouTube for regular updates.

Idiom in S – Safety in Numbers

Welcome to 2018 first blog post! Christmas and New Year’s Eve are long gone and have left me with quite a few extra kilos on my hips…How bad is it for you?

Let’s tackle our weekly idiom!

What it means:

If a lot of people do something risky at the same time, the risk is reduced because there is safety in numbers.

When to use it:

Let’s have a look at some examples of when this idiom could be used.

  • It is commonly used with animals. Gazelles stay in packs as a defense mechanism against predators. Lions are less likely to attack an animal in a group, than one which is isolated. The groups can also come to the rescue of the lone animal. Safety in numbers…
  • Your parents probably used this idiom very often when you were a teenager. It still applies no matter what your age is though. When you go out, you should never have to walk alone outside in the street. Having someone, or even better a group, with you is the best protection as people are more likely to be intimidated and leave you alone.

Other interesting idioms:

Scaredy-cat – It is a person who gets scared easily by very little.

Safe and sound – If you are safe and sound, then nothing has harmed you.

Salt in a wound – If you rub salt in a wound, you make someone feel bad about something that is already a painful experience. (similar to add insult to injury)

Same old, same old – It means that something is the same, it does not change.

 

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Idiom in R – Red Carpet

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And here is the last post of the year.  Next one in 2018!

What it means:

If you give someone the red-carpet treatment, you give them a special welcome to show that they are important. You can roll out the red carpet too.

How to use it:

  • You might be invited somewhere and they treat you well.
  • Companies otfen give the red-carpet treatment to important clients

Other interesting idioms:

Rack your brain – If you rack your brain, you think very hard when trying to remember something or think hard to solve a problem, findf and answer and so on (‘Rack your brains’ is an alternative.)

Raise eyebrows – If something raises eyebrows, it shocks or surprises people.

Read between the lines – If you read between the lines, you find the real message in what you’re reading or hearing, a meaning that is not available from a literal interpretation of the words.

Recharge your batteries – If you recharge your batteries, you do something to regain your energy after working hard for a long time.

Red tape – This is a negative term for the official paperwork and bureaucracy that we have to deal with.

Keep on learning!

Xoxo

 

And don’t forget to follow My Little English Page on Facebook , Instagram and YouTube for regular updates.

Idiom in Q – Quiet as a Mouse

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We are so close to Christmas! Are you excited?

Tomorrow night, if you are as quiet as a mouse you might be able to hear the bells on Santa’s sledge.

What it means:

If somebody is as quiet as a mouse they make as little noise as possible.

When to use it:

  • In any situation when someone is trying to be unnoticeable. The person often acts a lot more quietly as well, avoiding rapid movement and sometimes remaining still.
  • It could be someone trying to hide to surprise a friend, a child trying to be forgoten after bringing home bad grades or even a shy person being very quiet.

Other interesting idioms:

Question of time – If something’s a question of time, it’s definitely going to happen but you just don’t know when.

Quick fix – A quick fix is an easy (usually temporary)  solution.

Quiet before the Storm – It is when you know that something is about to go horribly wrong, but hasn’t just yet.

 

Keep on learning!

Xoxo

 

And don’t forget to follow My Little English Page on Facebook , Instagram and YouTube for regular updates.

Idiom in P – Page-Turner

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Another week, another idiom. We tackle number 16 of our weekly post. Last time it was letter O so we covered ‘Off the Grid’ so make sure to check it out if you haven’t already.

What it means:

A very exciting book.

How to use it:

  • It is used to describe a book that is so interesting that you cannot stop reading page after page.

Example: The name of the wind is my favourite book. It is such a page-turner.

Other interesting idioms:

Packed like Sardines – If a place if very crowded you can say that you are packed like sardines (ex: We went to the club like night but left very quickly. We were packed like sardines so it was very unpleasant).

Pay on the nail – It means to pay quickly and it cash (ex: I don’t mind lending Jack money. He always pays it back on the nail).

Penny pincher – A penny pincher is either a mean person or someone who really doesn’t like to spend money (ex: She always goes for cheap products…even when the quality is bad. She is a reall penny pincher).

Pep talk – It is a conversation usually given to motivate or boos someone’s confidence (ex: When I was a teenager, my dance teacher used to give us a pep talk before every show. It always motivated us to do our best).

 

Keep on learning!

Xoxo

 

And don’t forget to follow My Little English Page on Facebook , Instagram and YouTube for regular updates.

Idiom in O – Off the Grid

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The 15th idiom of the series! Have you ever heard of this one? Well, sometimes it is good to get off the grid for a while.

What it means:

To make it simple it means “not connected”.

How to use it:

It can be used in many different ways. Here are just a few:

  • Not connected to social media or internet.

I tried contacting Pepe via Whatsapp but I just remembered that he is on a retreat so he will be off the grid for a while.

  • Not connected to services (water, electricity…):

Once our solar panels generate enough power, we’ll be able to go off the grid.

  • Not under governmental control:

The inventor of the Bitcoin currency is still unknown to this date. He is completely off the grid.

Other interesting idioms:

On a roll – If someone is on a roll they are experiencing good luck and success (ex: So, you found a ten pound note on the floor this morning and your boss gave you a day off? You’d better play the lottery today because you are on a roll).

On board – To be on board means that you are willing to do something (ex: I asked Mark if he wanted to come with us to Madrid this weekend and he said that he was on board).

Open book – If a person is an open book they are easy to understand and to know (ex: I know you like that boy, it is obvious. You are like an open book).

Open secret – Something that is supposed to be a secret but that everyone knows (ex: Marilyn Monroe and John Kennedy had a relationship. It was an open secret).

 

Keep on learning!

Xoxo

 

And don’t forget to follow My Little English Page on Facebook , Instagram and YouTube for regular updates.