Speak Read Write

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

by Sally Jennings

to put one's money where one's mouth is
      Your promises are all empty. Why don't you put your money where you mouth is?
to put /place the blame on
      Without placing any blame, we can state that someone made a very big mistake here.
to put something behind oneself
      She tried hard to put the loss of her friends behind her and concentrate on the future at the new school.
to rain on someone's parade
      I hate to rain on your parade, but it won't be as simple as you think. The solution is much more complicated.
to reach an agreement
      The union and management reached an agreement over the terms of the new contract.
to reject an idea
      She quickly saw he was very tired, and rejected her earlier idea that they would go out this evening.
to rely solely on /upon
      The pilots will be relying solely on their instruments when the plane takes off in this much fog.
to remain calm
      "Please remain calm," said the teacher. I am sure the laptop cord is here somewhere.  It can't be too far away. We will find it.
to render ineffective
      He took a second medication in addition to the first, and it rendered the first ineffective, cancelling it out.
to return a favour /the favour
       I really appreciate your link to our web site. How can I return the favour?

to reveal (the) specifics
      He has some plan or other to work things out, but he won't reveal the specifics to his wife.
to reverse a negative trend
       Housing sales have picked up again, reversing the negative trend from last year. Realtors say the increase in sales is welcome.
to review the matter
      The committee has promised to take another look at the finances in order to keep the school open. After they review the matter, they will contact us.
to run a risk
      If you eat undercooked hamburger, you run the risk of getting e-coli.
to run for cover
        The fox ran for cover when the dogs approached.
to run with an idea / to take an idea and run with it
      That company is very successful. They act quickly when they enter new markets. They really take an idea and run with it.
to save face
      He needs to keep his dignity, so you better not mention his mistake. Just let him save face, for once.
to save the best for last
      Wow! Chocolate torte after that super dinner? You sure saved the best for last.
to save the day
        That take-out food really saved the day for our volunteer movers. They were so hungry after all that work.
to say the least /at the very least
      It wasn't right that you didn't know your financial manager made an expensive mistake. He should have contacted you about the error, to say the least.

to scramble to come up with
      After the flash flooding, the disaster relief agency had to scramble to come up with fresh water and food for the victims.
to screw up /to be screwed up
      The car repair place screwed up and cancelled the wrong appointment.  It's all screwed up now.
to scrimp and save
      If she scrimps and saves, she can make a downpayment on the condo.
to see no end in sight
      The toddler's parents saw no end of the temper tantrums in sight, but fortunately, they were wrong.
to sell off
      He is going to sell off all his possessions and move to Canada.
to sell someone down the river
      It is too late for them to back out now, they have too much invested. That lawyer really sold them down the river with his advice.
to sell someone short
      Don't sell him short, he may be able to produce what he has promised.
to serve as a reminder
      The cenotaph in the park serves as a reminder of the veterans.
to set the stage for
      Her success at gymnastics set the stage for her success later in synchronized swimming.
to settle a score
      His former roommate stole $300 from him. We hope they will find a peaceful way to settle the score.


This Idiom Guide has 23 pages, in alphabetical order. This is page 19. Click below to go to a different page.

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