Test Your Knowledge on IDIOMS

Idiom Quiz

Hello English world! As you know, idioms and expressions in English are a big deal…

Now, before we get onto the exercise I’d like to clarify something first. What is the difference between an expression (often referred to as phrase) and an idiom? Most people confuse the two (I am guilty of that myself), which is not that big of a deal, but since we are on the topic, let’s make this clear once and for all!

Here is what the dictionary says:

  • Idiom – a group of words in a fixed order that have a particular meaning that is different from the meanings of each word on its own
  • Expression/phrase – a short group of words that are often used together and have a particular meaning

To put it simple, the phrase is a lot more simple to understand without the actual meaning. The idiom tends to be more metaphorical (ex: raining cats and dogs…that does not happen LITERALLY) while the expression of phrase is less colourful and figurative (ex: even if you don’t know the expression, you can always guess  what “to give a dirty look” means, or at least close).

So I have put together a little quiz with some common or very useful idioms and expressions, all levels mixed). Let’s see how many you get right!

QUIZ

  1. A penny _____ your thoughts.
  2. Drastic times call for drastic __________.
  3. The grass is always greener on the other side of the ________.
  4. Would you be so ______ as to forward the email once more, please.
  5. She looked so happy when I told her the news. She was smiling from _____ to ear.
  6. Why the long _______?
  7. I don’t feel ready for next week’s exam…I should really _______ the books today.
  8. At first, I thought Henry looked weird, but I guess you should never judge a book by its ______ because he turned out to be the nicest person I know.
  9. Not getting the promotion was actually a _______ in disguise as I was contacted by another company and they offered me a much more interesting position.
  10. A good carpenter will not cut _____ and buy cheap wood just to save a bit of money.
  11. I know Martha looks guilty but we should give her the _______ of the doubt.
  12. I am never sick. Maybe once in a blue _______ but that’s about it.
  13. Man, this exam was way too easy. It was a piece of ______.
  14. My brother and I don’t really see eye to _____. We disagree about just everything.
  15. How could you afford a Ferrari? They cost an _____ and a leg!

ANSWERS

  1. for
  2. measures
  3. fence
  4. kind
  5. ear
  6. face
  7. hit
  8. cover
  9. blessing
  10. corners
  11. benefit
  12. moon
  13. cake
  14. eye
  15. arm

 

So….How many did you answer correctly? It wasn’t that easy right?! I hope you enjoyed this post, I haven’t really posted quizzes like this before. Would you like more?

That’s it for today guys…Keep on learning! Xoxo

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

 


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Idiom in Y – Yellow Press

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Hello dear students and welcome back to My Little English Page. It’s been a while but I am back to finish the series…One more to go! This week I posted a series of slides with yellow expressions on Instagram and Facebook. So let’s follow on the colour yellow with the letter Y of the alphabet series.

Make sure to check the previous post in the alphabet series Idiom in X | X Marks the Spot

What it means:

The yellow press is a term for the popular and sensationalist newspapers. This type of newspaper uses big catchy titles and misleading information (often not accurate).

When to use it:

  • Yellow journalism/press is an American term so it’s probably best to use it in the US.

Example: I can’t believe you read that kind of newspaper. It’s all over exaggerated and full of lies. I really can’t stand the yellow press.

  • In the UK, the term red tops is much more commonly used (British Tabloids usually have a red title…that’s where the name comes from).

Example: What are you doing reading that red top? Don’t you know it’s full of crap?

Other interesting idioms:

Yesterday’s news – Someone or something that is yesterday’s news is something people already know about, no longer interesting.

You can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family – Some things you can choose, but others you cannot, so you make the best of what you have. It is often used to talk about people who don’t have a good relationship with their family.

You can’t unring a bell – This means that once something has been done, that’s how it is and you can’t change it. So, you have to live with the consequences.

You get what you pay for – When you get something really cheap you cannot complain about the low quality.

Your call – If something is your call, you make a decision.

 


 

Keep on learning!

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Idiom in X | X Marks the Spot

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So…As it seems, there aren’t many idioms that start with the letter X. I have only found 3 for this week´s idiom.

Don’t forget to check out last week´s Idiom in W – Water Under the Bridge

What it means:

It refers to the exact spot. Imagine a map on which someone has indicated a location with a cross, well X marks the spot!

When to use it:

  • When you point at something, whatever it is marks the spot.
  • If you see any type of landmark or use something you see as a way to indicate direction you can say also use that expression. Ex: Can you see that church on the hill over there? Well, X marks the spot!

Other interesting idioms:

X-factor – If someone has the X-factor they have an outstanding ability, or an ability that is so impressive that you ignore they bad qualities. The talent show (also called X-factor) was named that way in relation to the candidates´unique abilities.

X-rated – If something is x-rated, it is not suitable for children. Usually associated with sexual content.

 


 

Like I said guys, there aren’t many idioms in X that exist. Next week, we will cover more idioms…promise!

Keep on learning!

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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 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 N – Nick of Time

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Because Taylor Swift used this expression in one of her songs, you have to learn it.

What it means:

If something is done in the nick of time it is done last minute. It could also mean that it was done just in time.

When to use it:

Let’s have a look at some examples.

  • A TV game show contestant could answer in the nick of time. The person used all the time available and answered at the last minute.
  • You need to go buy bread but are worried the bakery might already be closed. When you arrive just before they close and manage to buy your bread. You got there in the nick of time.
  • You had an essay due at midnight for university and sent it at 11h59…You handed in your essay in the nick of time.

Other interesting idioms:

Needle in a haystack – when you are looking for something difficult to find because of the surrounding it is like looking for a needle in a haystack (ex: looking for a particular person in a big crowd).

Nerves of steel – a person with nerves of steel does not get frightened easily.

Never a rose without a prick – it means that something good comes with something bad (ex: you find the perfect job which is very interesting and is well paid but you have a longer commute everyday).

No pain, no gain – Success comes with sacrifices (ex: if you want to lose weight, you have to exercise a lot. No pain, no gain!).

 

Keep on learning!

Xoxo

 

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