Essential Idioms Lessons 13-16

This comes from a pdf file that I found online. I own the 5th Edition of a book called Essential Idioms in English--Phrasal Verbs and Collocations. The book I own has 39 lessons and in addition to the idioms and their definitions and examples using the targeted idioms, there are exercises. Each Lesson features two sets of exercises. The lessons are grouped into Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced. The book was written by Robert . This book was introduced to me by Belinda.


to break down: to stop functioning Compare this idiom with to burn out in Lesson 12. To burn out means that electrical equipment becomes hot from overuse and stops functioning. To break down means that something stops functioning mechanically, whether from overuse or not.

o I just bought my new car yesterday and already it has broken down.

o The elevator broke down, so we walked all the way up to the top floor.

to turn out: to become or result; to appear, to attend (also: to come out) The noun form turnout derives from the second definition of the idiom.

o Most parents wonder how their children will turn out as adults.

o Hundreds of people came out for the demonstration against new taxes.

o What was the turnout for the public hearing on the education reforms?

once in a blue moon: rarely, infrequently

o Snow falls on the city of San Diego, California, once in a blue moon.

o Once in a blue moon my wife and I eat at a very expensive restaurant.

to give up: to stop trying, to stop a bad habit (S); to surrender (S) o I'm sure that you can accomplish this task. Don't give up yet! o If you give up smoking now, you can certainly live a longer life.

o The soldiers gave themselves up in the face of a stronger enemy forces.

to cross out: to cancel by marking with a horizontal lines (S)

o The teacher crossed out several incorrect words in Tanya's composition.

o I crossed the last line out of my letter because it had the wrong tone to it.

to take for granted: not to appreciate fully (S); to assume to be true without giving much thought (S) A noun or pronoun often follows the verb take.

o John took his wife for granted until once when he was very sick and needed her constant attention for a week.

o He spoke English so well that I took it for granted he was an American.

o He took for granted that I wasn't American because I spoke English so poorly!

to take into account: to consider a fact while evaluating a situation (S) Again, a noun or pronoun often follows the verb take.

o The judge took the prisoner's young age into account before sentencing him to three months in jail.

o Educators should take into account the cultural backgrounds of students when planning a school curriculum.

to make clear: to clarify, to explain (S)

o Please make clear that he should never act so impolitely again.

o The supervisor made it clear to the workers that they had to increase their productivity.

clear-cut: clearly stated, definite, apparent

o The president's message was clear-cut: the company had to reduce personnel immediately.

o Professor Larsen is well known for his interesting and clear-cut presentations.

to have on: to be wearing (S)

o How do you like the hat which Grace has on today?

o When Sally came into the room, I had nothing on except my shorts.

to come to: to regain consciousness; to equal, to amount to

o At first they thought that the man was dead, but soon he came to.

o The bill for groceries at the supermarket came to fifty dollars.

to call for: to require; to request, to urge

o This cake recipe calls for some baking soda, but we don't have any. o The member of Congress called for new laws to regulate the banking industry.


to eat in/to eat out: to eat at home/to eat in a restaurant

o I feel too tired to go out for dinner. Let's eat in again tonight.

o When you eat out, what restaurant do you generally go to?

cut and dried: predictable, known beforehand; boring

o The results of the national election were rather cut and dried; the Republicans won easily.

o A job on a factory assembly line is certainly cut and dried.

to look after: to watch, to supervise, to protect (also: to take care of, to keep an eye on)

o Grandma will look after the baby while we go to the lecture.

o Who is going to take care of your house plants while you are away?

o I'd appreciate it if you'd keep an eye on my car while I'm in the store.

to feel like: to have the desire to, to want to consider This idiom is usually followed by a gerund (the –ing form of a verb used as a noun).

o I don't feel like studying tonight. Let's go to a basketball game.

o I feel like taking a long walk. Would you like to go with me? once and for all: finally, absolutely

o My daughter told her boyfriend once and for all that she wouldn't date him anymore. o Once and for all, John has quit smoking cigarettes.

to hear from: to receive news or information from To hear from is used for receiving a letter, telephone call, etc., from a person or organization.

o I don't hear from my brother very often since he moved to Chicago.

o Have you heard from the company about that new job?

to hear of: to know about, to be familiar with; to consider The second definition is always used in the negative.

o When I asked for directions to Mill Street, the police officer said that she had never heard of it.

o Byron strongly disagreed with my request by saying, "I won't hear of it!"

to make fun of: to laugh at, to joke about

o They are making fun of Carla's new hair style. Don't you think that it's really strange?

o Don't make fun of Jose's English. He's doing the best he can.

to come true: to become reality, to prove to be correct

o The weatherman's forecast for today's weather certainly came true.

o Everything that the economists predicted about the increased cost of living has come true. as a matter of fact: really, actually (also: in fact)

o Hans thinks he knows English well but, as a matter of fact, he speaks very poorly. o I didn't say that. In fact, I said quite the opposite.

to have one's way: to arrange matters the way one wants (especially when someone else doesn't want to same way) (also: to get one's way)

o My brother always wants to have his way, but this time our parents said that we could do what I wanted.

o If Sheila doesn't get her way, she becomes very angry. to look forward to: to expect or anticipate with pleasure This idiom can be followed by a regular noun or a gerund.

o We're greatly looking forward to our vacation in Mexico.

o Margaret never looks forward to going to work.


inside out: with the inside facing the outside o Someone should tell little Bobby that his shirt is inside out.

o The high winds ruined the umbrella by blowing it inside out. upside down: with the upper side turned toward the lower side

o The accident caused on car to turn upside down, its wheels spinning in the air. o One of the students was only pretending to read her textbook; the teacher could see that the book was actually upside down.

to fill in: to write answers in (S); to inform, to tell (S) For the second definition, the idiom can be followed by the preposition on and the information that someone is told.

o You should be careful to fill in the blanks on the registration form correctly. o Barry was absent from the meeting, so I'd better fill him in.

o Has anyone filled the boss in on the latest public relation disaster?

to fill out: to complete a form (S) This idiom is very similar to the first definition above. To fill in refers to completing various parts of a form, while to fill out refers to completing a form as one whole item.

o Every prospective employee must fill out an application by giving name, address, previous jobs, etc. o The teenager had some trouble filling the forms out by himself, so his mother helped him.

to take advantage of: to use well, to profit from; to use another person's weaknesses to gain what one wants

o I took advantage of my neighbor's superior skill at tennis to improve my own ability at the game.

o Teddy is such a small, weak child that his friends take advantage of him all the time. They take advantage of him by demanding money and making him do things for them.

no matter: regardless of This idiom is a shortened form of it doesn't matter. It is followed by a question word such as how, where, when, who, etc.

o No matter how much money he spends on his clothes, he never looks well dressed.

o No matter where that escaped prisoner tries to hide, the police will find him sooner or later.

to take up: to begin to do or study, to undertake (S); to occupy space, time, or energy (S)

o After today's exam, the class will be ready to take up the last chapter in the book.

o The piano takes up too much space in our living room. However, it would take too much time up to move it right now; so we'd better wait until later.

to take up with: to consult someone about an important matter (S) The important matter follows the verb take, while the person consulted follows with.

o Can I take the problem up with you right now? It's quite urgent.

o I can't help you with this matter. You'll have to take it up with the manager.

to take after: to resemble a parent or close relative (for physical appearance only, also: to look like)

o Which of your parents do you take after the most?

o Sam looks like his father, but he takes after his mother in personality.

in the long run: eventually, after a long period of time This idiom is similar in meaning to sooner or later (Lesson 1). The difference is that in the long run refers to a more extended period of time.

o In the long run, the synthetic weave in this carpet will wear better than the woolen one. You won't have to replace it so soon.

o If you work hard at your marriage, you'll find out that, in the long run, your spouse can be your best friend in life.

in touch: having contact

o James will be in touch with us soon to relay the details of the plan.

o I certainly enjoyed seeing you again after all these years. Let's be sure to keep in touch.

out of touch: not having contact; not having knowledge of

o Marge and I had been out of touch for years, but then suddenly she called me up the other day.

o Larry has been so busy that he seems out of touch with world events.


on one's toes: alert, cautious This idiom is usually used with the verbs stay and keep.

o It's important for all the players on a soccer team to stay on their toes.

o We'd better keep on our toes while we're walking along the dark portions of this street.

to get along: to make progress; to manage to live in a certain state of health

o Juan is getting along very well in his English studies.

o How is Mr. Richards getting along after his long illness?

hard of hearing: partially deaf, not able to hear well o You'll have to speak a little louder. Mrs. Evans is hard of hearing.

o Please don't shout. I'm not hard of hearing.

o Listening to loud music too much can make you hard of hearing.

to see eye to eye: to agree, to concur o I'm glad that we see eye to eye on the matter of the conference location.

o A husband and wife don't always see eye to eye with each other, but a good marriage can survive small disagreements.

to have in mind: to be considering, to be thinking (S)

o I don't want to see a movie now. I have in mind going to the park.

o It's up to you what we eat tonight. Do you have anything in mind?

to keep in mind: to remember, not to forget (S) (also: to bear in mind)

o I didn't know that Paula doesn't like vegetables. We should bear that in mind next time we invite her for dinner.

o Please keep in mind that you promised to call Stan around noon.

for once: this one time, for only one time

o For once I was able to win a game of golf against Steve, who is a much better player than I am.

o Dad, for once would you please let me drive the new car?

to go off: to explode; to sound as an alarm; to leave suddenly without explanation o The accident happened when a box of firecrackers went off accidentally.

o For what time did you set the alarm clock to go off tomorrow morning?

o Vince went off without saying good-bye to anybody; I hope he wasn't angry. to grow out of: to outgrow, to become too old for; to be a result of

o He still bites his nails now and then, but soon he'll grow out of the habit.

o The need for the salary committee grew out of worker dissatisfaction with the pay scale.

to make the best of: to do the best that one can in a poor situation

o If we can't find a larger apartment soon, we'll just have to make the best of it right here.

o Even though the Martinez family is having financial problems, they make the best of everything by enjoying the simple pleasures of life.

to cut off: to shorten by cutting the ends (S); to disconnect or stop suddenly (S)

o The rope was two feet longer than we needed, so we cut off the extra length.

o The operator cut our long-distance phone conversation off after two minutes.

to cut out: to remove by cutting (S); to stop doing something (S) (for the second definition, also: to knock it off) For the second definition, the idiom is usually separated by the pronoun it.

o The child likes to cut out pictures form the newspaper and to paste them in a notebook.

o He kept bothering her, so finally she told him to cut it out. However, he wouldn't knock it off until her larger brother appeared.

0 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Benjamin Franklin quotes on education and learning 1. “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”― Benjamin Franklin 2. “Either write something worth reading or do som