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Thread: Idioms in daily conversations

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    Default Idioms in daily conversations


    As far as you may know idioms, slang, jargon or native - style languages still remain a big challenge for those who want to conquer authentic English. To meet that demand, I would love to introduce to you a small part in the famous book: TOEFL TEST STRATEGIES 3rd edition of BARRON'S. This piece of writing stuff, hopefully, will help you partially on your harsh way to reach the real peak of English in both daily conversational as well working and studying environment

    Tung Hoang

    And here are the content:

    Idioms and conversational expressions are very frequently tested in the Listening Comprehension section of the TOEFL. Idioms and conversational expressions present two types of difficulties: there are many of them, and their meanings cannot be guessed from the meanings of the words that they consist of.

    The words in idioms cannot be replaced with other words that have similar meanings. you can think of idioms as "frozen" phrase, the parts of which cannot be moved or changed. For example, to be under weather means not to feel well. You cannot replace the words in this expression without changing its meaning. the meanings of idioms have to be learned or memorized, just as you have to memorize the meaning of words

    Conversational expressions are a little different from idioms. These expressions are not '' frozen", and they represent the way people usually speak. For example, all of the following expressions can be used as greetings

    How are you today?
    How is everything with you?
    How are you?
    How is everything going?
    How have you been

    Although there are differences among these expressions, their meanings and purposes are the same. In idioms, only one form and only one combination of words has a particular meaning.

    Two - or three - word verbs are similar to idioms; for example, look up to = admire, look after (somebody) = to take care of (somebody), look (someone) up = visit, and look for = search.

    Because there are no rules that you can use to guess the meanings of idioms and two- and three- word verbs, these parts of the English language have to be learned individually.

    The following common idioms and two- or three- word verbs are provided for you.

    1. About time: indicates that something should have been happened earlier. After working for this company for 5 years, he felt that it was about time he received a promotion
    2. About to: ready to, at the point of. Now that she is about to enter college, she has moved out of her parent’s place.
    3. Ahead of time: early, in advance. Preparing for business presentations ahead of time is essential for the success of any venture.
    4. All along: from the beginning, always, all the time.Television networks have claimed all along that they do not attempt to influence their viewers.
    5. All at once: suddenly, surprisingly, and unexpectedly.All at once, with the collapse of the stock market, many people found themselves financially ruined.
    6. All day long: the entire day. Educators frequently frown on the idea of studying the same material all day long.
    7. All in all: everything taken into account, everything considered. All in all, environmental concerns have gained considerable attention in the media.
    8. All the time: (1) continually, regularly. Ideally, adults should receive a consistent amount of sleep all the time. (2) during a certain period of time. This semester, students have been dropping and adding classes all the time.
    9. As for: referring to, concerning, regarding. As for updating the physics curriculum, the current budget allows us few resources to spare.
    10. As usual: As occurs most of the time, typically. As usual, the technical writers have missed the deadline for completion of the project.
    11. At first: at the beginning. At first, adjusting to new schools may appear almost impossible to foreign students.
    12. At last: finally, after a long time. The Admissions Office had been requesting Frank’s transcript for six months and, at last, it arrived.
    13. At least: no less than, minimum. Although the entire managerial staff does not need to attend the conference, at least the production supervisor should be there.
    14. At most: maximum, not more than. A letter sent by first – class mail should take at most three days to travel from the east to the west coast.
    15. Be broke: have no money. Jane cannot afford to buy a new car; she is broke after her vacation.

    To be continued
    Last edited by Street Singer; 02-11-12 at 21:42.

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    1. Be out of: have none left. I am sorry sir, we are out of typewriter ribbons
    2. Be short of: not have enough. The factory outlet where Mark shops is short of sports footwear.
    3. Be/get used to: be/get accustomed to, accept (something) habitually. Although maritime climates are famous for their abundance of rain, new comers get used to it rather quickly.
    4. Bring up: (1) mention, raise an issue or question, introduce for discussion. Besty thought that bring up the constant shortage of office supplies would not be appropriate at the teachers' seminar. (2) raise a child , care for during childhood. Mr. and Mrs. Nickels brought up Tim as if he were their own son.
    5. By far: greatly, clearly, by a large of margin. The automobile inventory of midsize sedans exceeds by far the customer demand for this type of car.
    6. By the way: mention in passing, incidentally. Mrs. Johnson, could you call my dentist and cancel my appointment for this afternoon. By the way, there is no need to reschedule.
    7. Call off: decide not to do something, cancel. The sightseeing tour was called - off because a thunderstorm was forecast for the area.
    8. Call on: (1) visit. Maybe we should call on Mr.Smith to see his rose garden. (2) ask or choose to participate or to contribute. The university vice - president was called - on to design a long - term plan for the extension of laboratory facilities on campus.
    9. Catch a cold: to become ill with a cold. People who find themselves near to someone with a cold may be likely to catch a cold.
    10. Change (one's mind): alter/change earlier decision/opinion. Michael thinks that changing his mind even minor issues signifies failure.
    11. Check in/into: register at a hotel. We can go out for dinner as soon as we check in.
    12. Check into: investigate. Because your invoice is long overdue, I suggest that you check into this matter with your bank.
    13. Check out: (1) take a book out of the library. I am sorry, sir, this book is checked out. (2) investigate. If the advertised offer is as good as it appears, it is certainly worth checking out. (3) leave a hotel. What time do we have to check out?
    14. Cheer up: make (someone) feel happier. Jack tried to cheer Ann up but she was really upset about failing her math midterm.
    15. Clean up: make clean and organized. We can't leave until we clean up this mess we made.

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