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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

it's a deal /it's a done deal
      If you want that car for that price, then it's a done deal, by me.
it's all in a day's work
      I know I went out of my way to do that for you, but it is just all in a day's work.
it's not for someone to say
      It's not for her to say whether you get the job. She's not the Manager.
it's not rocket science
      The parents should have been able to figure out the toy assembly diagram; it's not rocket science.
it's such a tragedy
      Now three of his immediate family are gone. It's such a tragedy. They all died too young.
just in the nick of time
      She stopped the toddler from crossing the street alone just in the nick of time by quickly grabbing him by the collar.
let's get with it /let's get on with it
      Enough coffee break, guys. Now let's get on with the job.
long, long ago
      There were dinosaurs long, long ago [a long, long, time ago].
made public
       Voters want the party's final expenses made public [announced so everyone will know].
make it quick /better make it quick
      Yes, you can run and get your sweater, but better make it quick. We have to leave right now.

mp3 audio of the next 10 idioms

markets dry up
       He started a small manufacturing business, but events took a twist, and his markets dried up [there were no buyers for his product].
missing in action /MIA
       Some soldiers who didn't return from the war were listed as missing in action.
money talks
       He was accused of bribery. His hallmark statement was that money talks [he used his money to bribe people].
more than enough time
      Don't rush around so. We have more than enough time to get ready.
much to my surprise [or his/her/their]
      Much to our surprise, our children gave us a cruise to Greece for our anniversary.
navel-gazing
      They are so self-absorbed. That group practices and preaches a lot of navel-gazing.
neck and neck
      The two horses were even at the finish line, having gone 40 yards neck and neck.
net-savvy
      She may be a senior citizen, but she knows a lot about the computer. She is very net-savvy.
never a dull moment
      Four things went wrong in the office that day. There was never a dull moment.
next to nothing
      Shop at a thrift store and clothes will cost you next to nothing.

mp3 audio of the next 10 idioms

nice and soft /nice and warm
      My toddler says her blankie is nice and soft.
nip and tuck
       The students may barely make it through this semester sharing that house with all its expensive extras. It will be nip and tuck.
no less
      He wants forty dollars for that ratty looking old leather jacket, no less!
no rest for the weary
      Something else needs to be done after our long day of work? No rest for the weary, I guess.
no trespassing
      Stay off our property. No Trespassing
not a chance /small chance
      He's just dreaming if he thinks they will pay his way to go to the expensive management course. Small chance! [No way!]
not an issue at this time
      Whether the government will place the children with another family permanently is not an issue at this time [they are reserving judgment and not saying yet].
not as (adjective) as everyone seems to think
      Such a heartthrob! Well, let me tell you, Mr. Muscles is not as strong as everyone seems to think.
not at all
      Don't bother to thank me for the favour. Don't mention it, not at all.
not at the moment
      "Do you have any cooked chickens?" she asked.
       "Not at the moment," he answered, "but we will have some in half an hour."

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This Idiom Guide has 23 pages, in alphabetical order. This is page 7. Click below to go to a different page.

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