Teaching Resources: English Idioms - part 2

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ENGLISH MAG - Anno 3 N.3 - JEPG- Idiom - neverjudge.jpg

Never judge a book by its cover

You should not judge someone or something based only on their appearance. What is inside is more important.
Example: We were not happy at first when Nolan joined our basketball team. He was so short! How could he possibly play well? But to our surprise, he was actually better than everyone else! We now know to never judge a book by its cover.

Off the beaten track/path

A place that is off the beaten track is not well known and is far away from the places that people usually visit.
Example: We found a lovely little restaurant off the beaten track, which wasn't touristic at all!


Out of the blue

Unexpected, very surprising.
Example: His visit came completely out of the blue, we weren't expecting him.

Put on a Brave Face

To pretend that you are happy and that the problem doesn't bother you, when you are really very upset
Example: Greg was sad after his best friend moved away, but he put on a brave face for his classmates.


Second-class citizen

Second-class citizen: a citizen, especially a member of a minority group, who is denied the social, political, and economic benefits of citizenship.
Example: I can't sit around all day - someone's got to bring home the bacon.


Sit on the fence

If you sit on the fence, you avoid taking sides in a discussion or argument.
Example: It's an important issue. You can't continue to sit on the fence!

The lion’s share

The lion's share (of something) is the largest part of something.
Example: Emily offered the lion's share of the cake to her best friend.

There’s method to one's madness

Used to say that even though someone seems to be behaving strangely, there is a sensible reason for what they are doing
Example: Let me explain why I am doing it this way; there is method to my madness.

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Time will tell

Used to say that at some time in the future it will become clear whether or not something is true, right, etc..
Example: Only time will tell if the treatment has been successful.

To break (out) into a cold sweat

To become very frightened or nervous aboutsomething.


To bring home the bacon

To bring home the bacon: to earn money for a family to live on.
Example: I can't sit around all day - someone's got to bring home the bacon.

To get cold feet

To suddenly get too scared to do something that was planned.
Example: He cancelled the wedding because he got cold feet.


To have one's nose in a book

To be reading a book. Often used of people who always seem to be reading.

Example: He's had his nose in a book for the entire camping trip. I wish he would take a break and enjoy the scenery.

To pass with flying colours

When someone obtains a fantastic result in a test we say that they pass with flying colours.
Example: Peter obtained only 'distinction' this year passing with flying colours to the last grade of the high school.

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To Throw in the Towel

To quit, to give up, to admit defeat or failure. This idiom comes from boxing, where the trainer throws a towel into the ring to signal that a fighter can no longer continue and to indicate surrender.
Example: Joanna is going to throw in the towel and withdraw from the tennis tournament because she doesn't think that she is good enough to win.

To wear the trousers

To wear the trousers: to have control, especially in a marriage.

Examplehe may give the impression that she wears the trousers but it's her husband who makes the final decisions.

Waste not, want not

Spoken used to say that if you use what you have carefully, you will still have some of it if you need it later.

ExampleI plan our meals very carefully each week so that we use almost everything we get in the groceries—waste not, want not.