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 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!

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

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.

 

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.

Idiom in M – Make Someone’s Day

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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

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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.

Idiom in K – Keep at Bay

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And we continue this series of idioms with the letter -K-

What it means:

If you keep something, or someone, at bay it means that you are preventing them from coming too close, whether it is physically or metaphorically. (Also hold something at bay)

When to use it:

Let’s have a look at the physical aspect of it. If you keep someone at bay, you do what you can to keep them far from you. A typical example could be an overprotective dad keeping any of his daughter’s suitors at bay and scaring them (Who has a dad like that? Mine used to say that he would cut all my future boyfriends’ ears  and make them pointy like elves…Do not ask me why…You know, funny dads!)

But then I also mentioned a metaphorical aspect. By this, I am actually referring to abstract things such as sadness or hunger. I could for instance say that a nice cup of tea keeps the cold at bay in winter.

Other interesting idioms in K:

 Keep a straight face – To stay serious and not to laugh despite wanting to.

Kick a habit – Stop doing something (that you are used to doing)

Knight in shining armour – A person who saves you when you are in great trouble

 

Keep on learning!

Xoxo

 

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