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Skype English School—Learning English Beyond the Classroom
Focus on Idioms September 2009
Skype English School
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Learning Objectives To understand how idioms work To be able to use idioms To recognize idioms in use
What is an idiom? An idiom is a phrase whose meaning cannot be determined by the literal definition of the phrase itself, but refers instead to a figurative meaning that is known only through common use. There are different types of idioms in use: Form Verb + object Prepositional phrase Compound Simile Binomial Trinomial Whole clause
Example kill two birds with one stone in the blink of an eye a bone of contention as dry as a bone rough and ready cool, calm and collected to cut a long story short
Meaning produce two results by doing one action in an extremely short time something which people argue over very dry indeed crude and lacking sophistication relaxed, in control, not nervous to tell the main parts but not everything
Why are idioms so important? You will come across a great deal of idioms in spoken English and in written English. You will also find them on television and at the movies. It is important to know these idioms and how they are used. Learn English anywhere, anytime!
They are one of the most interesting and fun parts of the English language. There are idioms to cover almost every situation in life. We are going to start by focusing on everyday conversational idioms. Please click here to visit the blog for more idioms:
Find your teacher.
Conversational Idioms Possible conversation
Idiom in use
You can borrow may can tonight.
Thanks a million.
Thank you very much indeed.
Did you get the job that you wanted?
No such luck!
You are disappointed that you were not able to do something.
were no a e o o some
Can I do skiing with you and your friends this weekend?
The more the merrier!
You’re happy for others to join your group or activity.
She’s a great teacher!
You can say that again!
You totally agree with someone.
Come on the roller coaster with me.
No way !
You do not want to do something.
I don’t know how you can drive in London?
There’s nothing to it!
You think something is easy.
You could become a model.
Don’t make me laugh!
You think something is unlikely.
It’s nearly the end of the holiday already.
How time flies!
You are surprised at how quickly time passes.
We bumped into John’s teacher in Venice.
It’s a small world!
You are surprise at a coincidence.
Idioms in use—It’s all about life !
Putting it into practice– which idiom would make sense? 1. My new neighbor was at the same school as you! 2. Is it OK if I bring Jeff to the party? 3. Goodness! It’s nearly midnight! 4. I can’t come out with you, I have to wash my hair. 5. It’s wonderful being here on the river whilst everyone else it at work. 6. Your new girlfriend has dumped you already!
The Skype English Approach We use a variety of resources and scenarios which may include some of the following:
Student-centered Student-cen tered activities
Casual and social element
Formal and professional element
Practical communication skills
Useful Language and standard phrases for the various communication skills.
Be the Teacher—Corre Teacher—Correcting cting Idioms 1. 2. 3. 4.
It’s a lovely present. Thanks a thousand! thousand! You won’t find it difficult to skate. There’s really nothing to that. Let’s have a big wedding. wedding. The more more the merry. I can’t can’t believe believe school’s school’s over, how time time fly!
Tip It is a good idea to learn a typical conversational response idiom in a pair with a statement that might prompt it . For example Do you like heavy metal music? I music? I can take it or leave it .
Idioms at the movies—The Lion King Taken from the movie
What it means
Simba: I'm going to be King of Pride Rock. Scar: Oh, goodee. Simba: My dad just showed me the whole kingdom. And I'm gonna rule it all. Heheh. Scar: Yes, well forgive me for not leaping for joy. Bad back, you know. Simba: Hey Uncle Scar, when I'm King, what'll that make you? Scar: A monkey's uncle. Simba: You're so weird. Scar: You have no idea
Simba: I'm going to be King of Pride Rock. Scar: Oh, wonderful. Simba: My dad just showed me the whole kingdom. And I'm going to rule it all. Heheh. Scar: Yes, well forgive me for not being excited. I have a bad back, you know. Simba: Hey Uncle Scar, when I'm King, what'll that make you? Scar: The uncle of someone low and worthless*. Simba: You're so strange. Scar: You have no idea how strange I am. *"I'll be a monkey's uncle" is an old fashioned expression of shock or surprise. It comes from the time when people didn't accept Darwin's theory of Natural Selection and were offended at the idea that they could share DNA with monkeys.
Taken from the movie
What it means
Zazu: Checking in with the morning report. Mufasa: Fire away. Zazu: Well the buzz from the bees is that the leopards are in a bit of a spot. And the baboons are going ape over this. Of course, the giraffes are acting like they're above it all... The tick birds are pecking on the elephants. I told the elephants to forget it, but they
Zazu: Checking in with the morning report. Mufasa: Tell me what's happening. Zazu: Well the gossip from the bees is that the leopards are having difficulties. And the baboons are going crazy over this. Of course, the giraffes are acting like they're too important to be bothered with it... The tick birds are picking on (tormenting) the elephants. I told the elephants to forget it, but they can't. The cheetahs don't have much money, but I always say, cheaters never
e e ep an s o orge , u ey can't. The cheetahs are hard up, but I always say, cheetahs never prosper...
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mone mo ney, y, u a wa ways ys sa say, y, c ea er ers s ne neve ver r prosper...* *Of course, all of these are double meanings. Bees make a buzzing sound, leopards h ave spots, elephants have long memories, etc
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