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Idioms, Slang, Phrasal Verbs, Colloquialisms, Cliches, and Proverbs, with Context Examples

by Sally Jennings

mp3 audio of the next 10 idioms

for a song
      He sold the property for so little, you could say that it went for a song.
for hours /days /months on end
      I suppose now we will have to endure his whining for days on end?
for the birds
      That doesn't make sense! That's for the birds!
fresh out of something
      I'm sorry sir, the kitchen is fresh out of pie [we don't have any more].
full of potential
      She is just wasting her life going out with him. She is so full of potential, why lose everything? Bad mistake!
fun to be with
      I really like her. She is a good conversationalist, and so fun to be with.
Get lost!
      They kept pestering him after he told them no, so he told them to get lost.
(glass half full /glass half empty)
      An optimist sees the glass half full. A pessimist sees it half empty.
go to the dogs
      With all the break and enters, and other crime, this neighborhood is really going to the dogs.
Good riddance!
      He finally got kicked out of office by his own party? Good riddance!

mp3 audio of the next 10 idioms

Got a minute?
      I have something to show you. Got a minute?
hard hit by
      The area was hard hit, first by wildfires, then by flooding.
hard to come by
      A vase like that, in mint condition, could prove hard to come by [very hard to find anywhere else].
hard to resist
      The marketing pitch proved hard to resist. So he bought the CD player.
hash it out among themselves
      If they have their differences, leave them to hash it out among themselves. They will work it out, eventually.
Haste makes waste.
      Don't run with that milk and spill it! Haste makes waste.
high time for a change
      The opposition party said it was high time for a change.
Hip, hip, hooray!
      The celebrating crowd shouted "Hip, hip, hooray!"
hit or miss
      It didn't seem well planned, it seemed hit or miss.
honourable mention
      First, second, and third prizes went to others, but her work received honourable mention [fourth best].

mp3 audio of the next 10 idioms

I hear what you're saying
      I'm kind of tired of this argument, but I hear what you are saying [I am listening to you and understanding you, but I am upset].
if push comes to shove
      We'll handle that if, and when, we have to; if push comes to shove.
in a round-about way
      He wasn't direct about anything, he always told a story in a round-about way.
in (actual) fact
      In fact, events were quite different.
in living memory
     There had never been such a large parade in the small town in living memory [even the oldest person there had never seen one].
in no uncertain terms
      I told her off, and made it clear to her what the consequences would be in no uncertain terms.
in terms of
      In terms of physical mobility, he is doing okay.In terms of weight loss, he is not.
in the foreseeable future
       The government has budgeted no further funding for this project in the foreseeable future.
in the near future
      It won't happen tomorrow, but in the near future we expect another grant.
it just goes to show you
      It just goes to show you, you can't trust a habitual liar.

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This Idiom Guide has 23 pages, in alphabetical order. This is page 6. Click below to go to a different page.

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