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.

 


If you want to help me create more content more regularly, please consider helping me with just a coffee. Ko-fi is a website that gives you the possibility to power me with lots of energy by offering me a coffee. It’s easy, simple, no engagement is required…Just a bit of help, love and support from you to me.

Here is the link to my ko-fi account: Ko-fi My little English Page

Advertisements

Idiom in Y – Yellow Press

Snapshot_504

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!

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

The Synonym Race

newproject_1_original-6

Hello teachers and students! This is a post that you can all benefit from.

I went to a training session with the Pearsons editors last year and they showed me this awesome ESL activity.

I have written an informal letter (similar to Cambridge PET Writing part 3) but throughout the text there is more than 1 option to choose from to complete the text. ALL the options are correct. It just shows how to diversify your vocabulary.

Here is the document:

The Synonym Race – B1 letter

How to play the activity

Each student should have their own copy. They read the text individually and choose one option each time. They should circle the ones they chose.

The students should be in pairs for the activity. Their goal is to guess and memorise their classmate´s words.

To do so student A starts reading and says the option they think student B chose. If B says it is correct, A continues reading. If it is incorrect, B starts reading and guessing from the beginning. Every time someone fails, the other student starts again form the beginning.

The students are NOT allowed to write down what their partner´s options are, they must remember them!

More Advanced

This activity can very easily be adapted to other levels. I have also created a connector race, but this one is for B2-C1 and it is in the shape of an essay on the environment.

I specifically chose that topic because my students who are preparing the Trinity ISE II examination need to study this topic. So this is three birds, one stone. They see an example of what an essay should look like, they practise varying their vocabulary and they learn more vocabulary related to a topic they have to study.

Here is the document:

The Synonym Race – B2/C1 Essay on the Environment

Alright, so if you are a student, just download the materials and practise the activity with a partner. It should help you memorise new vocabulary quickly.

If you are a teacher, download the materials and have your students practise. I strongly encourage you to create new documents like this one, but the best would be to focus them specifically on the vocabulary/register/type of writing your students need to practise.

 

I would love to hear your thoughts on this activity! Comment down below how you would adapt it to you own students´ needs.

Keep on learning (and teaching)!

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

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.

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.

 

 

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

Snapshot_448

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

Snapshot_447

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

Snapshot_434

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.

Idiom in M – Make Someone’s Day

Snapshot_413

It’s official! I am committing to posting a new idiom for this series every week. So make sure to follow the blog and you’ll receive a notification as soon as it is out every week.

What it means:

If something makes your day, it makes you very happy. I also feel that you need an element of surprise for someting to make your day. It is not just happiness, it is unexpected happiness.

When to use it:

You can use this idiom whether it is something or someone that makes you happy.

Receiving a message from a friend, finally finding that top you have been looking for, finding a 5 euro note in one of your pockets or even realising a new episode of your favourite TV show is out are all things that could make your day.

Other interesting idioms in M:

  • Make ends meet – If it is hard to make ends meet, it is difficult to live with the money you earn.
  • Make someone’s blood boil – Something that makes your blood boil makes you angry.
  • More than one way to skin a cat – This means that there is more than one way to achieve the same result.

Keep on learning!

Xoxo

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

Idiom in L – Learn the Ropes

Snapshot_411

New entry in the series, letter L.

What it means:

If you are learning the ropes of something, you are learning how to do it.

When to use it:

There are millions of ways and situations when you can use this idiom. When I started teaching, I had to learn the ropes of teaching, become familiar with what to do.

It is often associated to starting a new job and getting used to the new tasks it involves.

Here are 2 synonyms of learn the ropes:

  • get the hang of something
  • get the knack of something (the -k- is silent here, like in ‘know’)

Other Interesting Indioms in L:

Last laugh – to finally be more successful than someone who was unpleasant to you or finally succeed after experiencing setbacks.

Lay down the law – give instructions or orders in an authoritarian way (ex: when a mother tells you to clean up your room)

leading edge – sometimes cutting edge – refers to the most advanced position in a field (ex: leading edge technology)

 

Keep on learning!

Xoxo

 

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