Speak English Around Town » Index of Idioms

a
  • across town
    across town
    on the other side of town
    Example: The restaurant you suggested is across town. Can you recommend someplace closer?
  • act up
    act up
    to start hurting
    Example: Rick had to stop running because his knees were acting up.
  • all set
    all set
    not needing anything else
    Example: When the waitress asked if we needed anything else, we told her we were all set.
  • all set to
    all set to
    ready to (do something)
    Example: The salesman at the Gap asked, "All set to check out?"
  • allergic reaction
    allergic reaction
    sensitivity to things that come into contact with the body ( causing problems such as rashes, trouble breathing, coughing, etc.)
    Example: Irene had an allergic reaction to some peanuts. Her throat swelled up and she could barely breathe.
  • any number of things
    any number of things
    one of many possibilities
    Example: "What's causing my ankles to swell?" - "It could be any number of things."
  • as a rule
    as a rule
    in general; usually
    Example: As a rule, Betty doesn't answer her telephone after 10 p.m.
  • at all
    at all
    to any extent; in any way
    Example: "Did Kelly help organize the party?" - "No, she was no help at all."
    NOTE: You will also hear "not at all," meaning "not in any way." "Example: "Is it a problem for you to come to the office on Saturday?" - "No, not at all."
  • at no extra charge
    at no extra charge
    free with a purchase; for no added fee
    Example: Bob and Susan will only stay at hotels that let them bring along their dog at no extra charge.
  • at the eleventh hour
    at the eleventh hour
    at the last minute
    Example: Ken and Dana were supposed to get married on Saturday, but he got nervous at the eleventh hour and canceled the wedding.
b
  • back on one's feet
    back on one's feet
    healthy again; returned to good health
    Example: I was sick for two weeks, but now I'm back on my feet.
  • back out
    back out
    to break an engagement, appointment, promise, or agreement
    Example: I know I promised to drive you to the airport on Friday, but now I'm going to have to back out.
    NOTE: "back out" is often followed by "of': Kathy agreed to host an exchange student, but now she's trying to back out of it.
  • back roads
    back roads
    secondary roads; little-used roads
    Example: Don't take the highway during rush hour. Take the back roads instead.
  • backseat driver
    backseat driver
    a passenger who offers unwanted driving advice
    Example: "You're driving too close to the car in front ofus." - "Don't be a backseat driver!"
  • bang up
    bang up
    (to) damage
    Example: Right after Tyler got his driver's license, he borrowed his mother's car and banged it up.
  • basket case
    basket case
    an emotional and/or physical mess
    Example: After her house burned down, Donna was a basket case.
  • be my guest
    be my guest
    please go ahead; try it yourself
    Example: "May I try fixing the copier?" -"Be my guest!"
  • beggars can't be choosers
    beggars can't be choosers
    you can't always get exactly what you want; when you need something badly, you're willing to take whatever you can get
    Example: I know you don't like Al's Pizza, but it's the only place that's still open this late. Beggars can't be choosers.
  • bells and whistles
    bells and whistles
    product features which are attractive, but not essential for the product to function
    Example: I just want a reliable car. I'm not looking for a lot of bells and whistles.
  • beside oneself
    beside oneself
    very upset
    Example: When Tracy's boss told her she wasn't doing a good job, she was beside herself.
  • best of both worlds
    best of both worlds
    the advantages of two things
    Example: Waitressing in the evenings gives Sue the best of both worlds: she can attend classes during the day and still earn money.
  • better safe than sorry
    better safe than sorry
    it's good to be extra careful (to avoid trouble or disaster)
    Example: Check the airline's website to make sure the flight hasn't been canceled. Better safe than sorry.
  • big deal
    big deal
    a problem; an issue
    Example: When Paul's pipes leaked and his kitchen flooded, it was a big deal.
  • bite one's tongue
    bite one's tongue
    to not say what one is really thinking; to resist saying something one wants to say
    Example: Mary doesn't like her husband's snacking habits, but she tries to bite her tongue.
  • booked solid
    booked solid
    unavailable; having all appointments taken
    Example: We wanted to stay in the Palace Hotel during our stay in Prague, but it was booked solid.
  • box up
    box up
    to put leftover food from a restaurant in a container
    Example: It looks like you've got a half a hamburger left. Would you like to box that up?
    NOTE: In the USA, the trend is for restaurants to give customers a white container ("box") and have them put their own leftovers in it.
  • break
    break
    to make small change
    Example: Can you break a $50 bill? I don't have anything smaller.
  • break out (in)
    break out (in)
    to appear; to occur (often suddenly)
    Example: Shortly after taking the medication, Karen broke out in hives.
    NOTE: This is often used to describe acne that can suddenly appear on the face, especially among teenagers. Example: Emily was horrified when her face broke out just before the dance.
  • break something to someone
    break something to someone
    to tell someone bad news
    Example: I'm sorry to break it to you, but we're not going to get to the airport in time for your flight.
  • break up
    break up
    to lose a phone signal; to start losing a phone connection
    Example: I can barely hear you. We're breaking up.
  • bummer
    bummer
    a disappointment
    Example: I lost my receipt, and the store won't take the dress back without it. What a bummer!
  • bumper-to-bumper traffic
    bumper-to-bumper traffic
    heavy traffic; so much traffic that one is barely moving
    Example: The drive into the city took us twice as long as usual due to bumper-to-bumper traffic.
  • burnt to a crisp
    burnt to a crisp
    completely burnt; very overcooked
    Example: Joe put the hamburgers on the grill and then forgot about them for an hour - no wonder they're burnt to a crisp!
c
  • can i interest you in dessert?
    can i interest you in dessert?
    Would you like to order dessert?
    Example: When the waitress asked, "Can I interest you in dessert?" I replied, "Yes, we'll take a look at the dessert menu."
  • can i start you off with ____?
    can i start you off with ____?
    Would you like to start your meal with ____?
    Example: Welcome to Amici 's. Can I start you off with some drinks?
  • cash-strapped
    cash-strapped
    having very little money; not having enough money
    Example: Joel has agreed to lend his cash-strapped son $5,000 to cover his rent for the next few months.
  • cheapskate
    cheapskate
    someone who doesn't like to spend money; a cheap person
    Example: Dana is such a cheapskate. She brings her own tea bags to restaurants and asks for a cup of hot water.
  • cheat on someone
    cheat on someone
    to have romantic relations on the side, with somebody other than one's partner
    Example: After Nancy read the text messages on her husband's cell phone, she realized he was cheating on her.
  • check in
    check in
    to register (such as at a hotel or conference)
    Example: Let's check in to our hotel first, and then go out and explore the city.
  • checkup
    checkup
    a medical examination (usually given on a regular schedule)
    Example: Jennifer needs to call her doctor and schedule her annual checkup.
  • chill out
    chill out
    to relax (especially after hard work or a bad experience)
    Example: After taking three tests, I'm ready to just chill out.
    Note: You can also just say "chill" without the "out."
  • clear up
    clear up
    to get better; to go away (when talking about problems with the skin, such as a rash or acne)
    Example: Fortunately, Tyler's face cleared up before the school dance.
  • close call
    close call
    a near miss; something that was almost an accident
    Example: A truck entered our lane without signaling, and we had a close call.
  • close the deal
    close the deal
    to reach an agreement during a negotiation
    Example: If you can take $5,000 off the price of the house, we can close the deal now.
  • come down with
    come down with
    to become ill with; to catch a sickness
    Example: Your throat hurts and you feel warm? I hope you're not coming down with something!
  • come in
    come in
    to be available in; to be sold in a certain color, style, size, or material
    Example: Does this jacket come in leather?
  • coming right up
    coming right up
    I'll bring that immediately
    Example: One cup of coffee coming right up!
  • could use
    could use
    need; have use for
    Example: Your ties are all stained. You could use some new ones.
  • count on
    count on
    to rely on; to depend on
    Example: Our flight leaves at 6 a.m. tomorrow, and I'm counting on you to wake me up!
  • covered by
    covered by
    paid for by; reimbursable as part of an insurance plan
    Example: Lisa's stay at the hospital cost $16,000. Fortunately, all of that will be covered by insurance.
  • cross paths
    cross paths
    to meet, especially by chance
    Example: While I was vacationing in Florida, I crossed paths with an old friend from high school.
  • cut it close
    cut it close
    (to) not leave enough time to get somewhere or to do something
    Example: The play starts at 8:00, and you're planning to leave the house at 7:30? That's cutting it close.
d
  • decide on
    decide on
    to choose
    Example: "Did you decide on a main course yet?" asked the waitress.
  • did something come up?
    did something come up?
    Did something unexpected happen?
    Example: "I'm sorry I won't be able to make it to your party on Friday." - "Did something come up?"
  • dinner party
    dinner party
    a social event at someone's house in which dinner is served
    Example: I'm having a dinner party on Saturday, and I'm calling to see if you're free.
  • do one's best
    do one's best
    to try hard
    Example: I'll do my best to finish the report by Friday.
  • doggy bag
    doggy bag
    a bag or container to take home food that a customer could not finish at a restaurant
    Example: This salad was huge. I'm going to need a doggy bag.
  • don't hesitate to
    don't hesitate to
    please go ahead and do something; don't be shy about doing something
    Example: If you need advice on buying a car, don't hesitate to ask.
  • don't hold your breath
    don't hold your breath
    don't count on it; it's unlikely
    Example: Becky said she'd invite us over for dinner this week, but don't hold your breath. She's unreliable.
  • don't sweat it
    don't sweat it
    don't worry about it
    Example: "I'm really sorry, but I can't pick you up from the airport on Saturday." - "Don't sweat it."
  • down on one's luck
    down on one's luck
    in a period of bad luck (especially regarding finances)
    Example: After being down on his luck for months, Ken finally got a new job and has started dating a lovely woman.
  • doze off
    doze off
    to fall asleep
    Example: Matt stayed up so late doing his homework, he ended up dozing off in class.
  • drag on
    drag on
    to last too long; to last longer than one wants
    Example: I've had a cold for three weeks. It just keeps dragging on!
  • drive one nuts
    drive one nuts
    to annoy someone very much
    Example: It drives me nuts when people talk during movies.
  • due for
    due for
    ready to have; time for something to happen
    Example: "I haven't been to the eye doctor in years." -"You must be due for an exam."
e
  • earn points
    earn points
    to earn credit towards a future purchase (when talking about promotions offered by companies)
    Example: Allison joined Delta's frequent flier program and started earning points.
  • even exchange
    even exchange
    a trade of equal value; when you return something and take something else that costs the same price
    Example: If you return those pants and get this sweater instead, it will be an even exchange. They're both $39.99.
  • explore all avenues
    explore all avenues
    to consider many possibilities
    Example: Kyle just graduated from college and is now exploring all avenues, including jobs at banks and with the government.
f
  • fender bender
    fender bender
    a small crash between two vehicles
    Example: Last night I had a fender bender in the parking garage, so today I'm taking my car to the repair shop.
    NOTE: fenders are the panels above the front wheels of a car
  • figment of one's imagination
    figment of one's imagination
    something that seems real but is not; something made up or imagined
    Example: Was it just a figment of my imagination, or did our boss say he would be closing the office early tomorrow?
  • fill out paperwork
    fill out paperwork
    to complete one or more forms
    Example: Before seeing the doctor, you'll need to fill out this paperwork.
  • fill someone in (on something)
    fill someone in (on something)
    to update someone; to tell somebody what's been going on
    Example: Can you fill me in on what's happening with our new business partner in China?
  • find out
    find out
    to discover facts about someone or something
    Example: I just found out that Tanya is pregnant.
  • fine print
    fine print
    the part of a contract with special rules and limitations. These are often "hidden" in small print, which is why you'll often hear: "Be sure to read the fine print."
    Example: Julie didn't read the fine print of the fitness club contract carefully, and now she's stuck with a lifetime membership.
  • first rate
    first rate
    of the highest quality
    Example: If you're looking for a restaurant, I recommend the Mediterranean Grill. The food there is first rate.
    NOTE: You will also hear the term "second rate" to describe something that is of inferior quality or not very good.
  • flag down (the waiter/waitress)
    flag down (the waiter/waitress)
    to get the attention of the waiter/waitress
    Example: You want another glass of wine? Let's flag down the waitress.
  • flake
    flake
    an unreliable person; someone you can't count on
    Example: Cindy asked me to call her at 8 o'clock last night and when I called, her husband said she was out with a friend. What a flake!
    NOTE: The adjective form is "flaky."
  • flat broke
    flat broke
    without any money; poor
    Example: Dan would like to move out of his parent's house, but he can't afford to. He's flat broke.
  • for crying out loud
    for crying out loud
    an expression one says when annoyed or angry
    Example: For crying out loud! Somebody parked right behind us in the parking lot, and now we can't get our car out!
  • for good
    for good
    forever; permanently
    Example: After graduating from college, Ryan moved back in with his parents. They hope he'll move out for good soon.
  • for here or to go?
    for here or to go?
    Do you want to eat in the restaurant or take the food with you?
    Example: "For here or to go?" - "For here, please."
  • for starters
    for starters
    to name just one problem or example; for example
    Example: What's wrong with Ted? For starters, his back is killing him.
  • fully booked
    fully booked
    having no availability; with all seats taken
    Example: I wanted to take an 8 a.m. flight from New York to London, but the flight was fully booked.
g
  • garden variety
    garden variety
    ordinary; common; not unusual
    Example: The necklace that Jim bought his girlfriend is not a garden variety piece of jewelry. It cost $100,000.
  • get around to it
    get around to it
    to have a chance to do something; to have time to do something
    Example: I know I need to have my cholesterol checked, but I just haven't gotten around to it.
  • get back on one's feet
    get back on one's feet
    to recover; to have sufficient money
    Example: You lost your job and are having trouble paying your rent? I hope you get back on your feet soon!
  • get by
    get by
    to survive; to live from
    Example: Jay's wife Susan lost her job, but the family is able to get by on just his salary.
  • get held up
    get held up
    to be delayed
    Example: Sorry I'm late. I got held up in a meeting.
  • get into
    get into
    to get involved with (often used in a negative sense, as when one has gotten involved with something that is now unpleasant or not wanted)
    Example: My evening MBA program is more demanding than I thought it would be. What have I gotten into?
  • get laid off
    get laid off
    to lose one's job; to get fired or let go from work
    Example: After Scott got laid off from Ford, it took him six months to find a new job.
  • get pulled over
    get pulled over
    to get stopped by the police
    Example: Natasha got pulled over for going through a stop sign.
  • get stuck with
    get stuck with
    to have something unwanted or undesireable that one cannot get rid of
    Example: I'm in charge of cleaning the bathroom once a week at our dormitory. I don't know how I got stuck with this task!
  • get the ball rolling
    get the ball rolling
    to get started
    Example: Emily and Tracy came up with a great idea for a new business, but they're not sure how to get the ball rolling.
  • get to the bottom of something
    get to the bottom of something
    to find the source of a problem or issue
    Example: My newspaper disappears from my office every day. I've got to get to the bottom of it.
  • get together
    get together
    to meet with someone (usually socially)
    Example: I'd love to get together on Saturday if you have time.
  • give someone a head's up
    give someone a head's up
    to let someone know in advance
    Example: Let me give you a head's up. Ben is going to be calling you later this week for some career advice.
  • give someone a piece of one's mind
    give someone a piece of one's mind
    to tell someone what one really thinks
    Example: Our waiter has been really slow all evening. I'm going to give him a piece of my mind!
  • give someone a ring
    give someone a ring
    to call someone on the telephone
    Example: I'll give you a ring in the morning so we can make plans for tomorrow night.
  • give someone trouble
    give someone trouble
    to hurt someone; to bother
    Example: Ever since the car accident, Nancy's neck has been giving her trouble.
  • give something a once over
    give something a once over
    to look at something, often quickly
    Example: If you have a few minutes, could you please give my essay a once over?
  • go downhill
    go downhill
    to become worse over time; to deteriorate
    Example: The service at the Seaside Bar & Grill has really gone downhill. We waited 45 minutes for our food to arrive!
  • go dutch
    go dutch
    to split the bill
    Example: Amanda didn't want her boyfriend to pay the entire restaurant bill, so she suggested they go Dutch.
  • go light on
    go light on
    to put on just a small amount
    Example: Please go light on the mayonnaise.
  • go through a rough patch
    go through a rough patch
    to have a lot of problems during a time period; to experience a period of bad luck
    Example: Joe lost his job last week and this week his girlfriend broke up with him. He's going through a rough patch.
  • go to waste
    go to waste
    to be thrown out; to be wasted
    Example: After the Thanksgiving dinner, we sent our guests home with some leftover turkey so it wouldn't go to waste.
  • going around
    going around
    spreading; going from one person to another
    Example: Your stomach hurts? You must have caught the bug that's going around.
  • good buy
    good buy
    a good price; a bargain
    Example: You bought that Tommy Hilfiger shirt for just $15? That's a good buy!
  • good to go
    good to go
    ready to go; taken care of; prepared
    Example: We've got our tents, our flashlights, and our food. We're good to go!
  • got it
    got it
    I understand; do you understand
    Example 1: "Take a right at the light and go three blocks. The restaurant will be on your right." - "Got it."
    Example 2: "You can borrow my car, but bring it back by 9. Got it?" "Got it."
  • grab a bite
    grab a bite
    to get something quick to eat
    Example: Let's meet at 7 o'clock and grab a bite before the concert.
  • grab some drinks
    grab some drinks
    to get something to drink; to go out for a drink
    Example: Do you want to grab some drinks after work?
  • grace period
    grace period
    a period after a deadline in which additional fees are not charged
    Example: My credit card payment is due by the 15th of the month. But there's a 2-day grace period.
  • grunt work
    grunt work
    work requiring little skill; menial work
    Example: "Did Angela enjoy her summer internship at the bank?" - "No, she was stuck doing grunt work like making copies and getting coffee for the managers."
h
  • haggle
    haggle
    to argue over a price
    Example: Greg haggled with the eBay seller and ended up saving $15 off the price of the guitar.
  • hang a left / a right
    hang a left / a right
    to turn left / right
    Example: Hang a right at the next stoplight and you'll see the Whole Foods on your right.
  • hang on
    hang on
    wait; give me some time
    Example: The phone is for me? Hang on. I'll be there in a minute.
  • have a lot in common
    have a lot in common
    to share similar interests or have similar backgrounds
    Example: Julie and I have a lot in common, so we always have lots to talk about when we see each other.
  • have an opening
    have an opening
    to have an available space in a schedule
    Example: Olivia is sick. I'm going to see if her doctor has an opening for this afternoon.
  • have in mind
    have in mind
    to be thinking about as a possibility
    Example: "You're offering me $2,500 for the car? That's so little!" - "What did you have in mind?"
  • have someone over
    have someone over
    to invite someone to one's house
    Example: Sandra promised to have us over for dinner later this month.
  • have the magic touch
    have the magic touch
    to have talent at doing something; to be able to do something difficult
    Example: You can't open that bottle? Give it to Ivan. He usually has the magic touch.
  • help oneself
    help oneself
    to take; to serve oneself
    Example: Help yourself to another piece of cake.
  • hidden fees
    hidden fees
    extra charges that are not made clear from the beginning
    Example: When you sign up for a new credit card, make sure there are no hidden fees.
  • highway robbery
    highway robbery
    very overpriced; a fee that is too high
    Example: I really wanted a cup of coffee at the airport, but the coffee shop was charging $4 a cup. That's highway robbery!
  • hit it off
    hit it off
    to get along well with someone
    Example: Carl hit it off with a woman he met on Match.com, and now they're getting married.
  • hit the nail on the head
    hit the nail on the head
    to be right; to guess correctly
    Example: The doctor hit the nail on the head when she said I needed to start exercising.
  • hit the road
    hit the road
    to leave; to get going
    Example: We promised our babysitter we'd be home by midnight, so we'd better hit the road now.
  • hit the spot
    hit the spot
    to be just what one wants
    Example: I was really hot. This iced tea really hits the spot!
  • hold off
    hold off
    to wait to do something; to delay
    Example: We'd like to buy a new car, but we 're going to hold off until the new models are released.
  • hold the
    hold the
    do not put in the ______; to not include something that would normally be part of a drink or dish
    Example: I'll take a cheeseburger, hold the onions.
  • hold up
    hold up
    delay; long wait
    Example: We ordered 20 minutes ago. What's causing the hold up?
    NOTE: See Lesson 23 for the verb "to hold up."
  • honor a ticket
    honor a ticket
    to accept a ticket
    Example: Since Delta Airlines canceled my flight to Orlando, they promised that another airline would honor my ticket.
  • hop in!
    hop in!
    Get in the car!
    Example: You need a ride to school? Hop in!
  • hop on
    hop on
    to get on a road
    Example: If you're going downtown, hop on the highway. It's the fastest way.
  • how's life been treating you?
    how's life been treating you?
    How are you?; How've you been?
    Example: "How's life been treating you?" - "Can't complain."
i
  • i can't help myself
    i can't help myself
    I can't stop myself; I can't resist
    Example: "Stop telling me how to drive!" -"Sorry, I can't help myself."
  • i can't quite place you
    i can't quite place you
    I've seen (or met) you before, but I can't remember where or when
    Example: Hi, I'm Charles Kim. I know we've met before, but I can't quite place you.
  • i didn't catch your name
    i didn't catch your name
    I didn't hear your name when you were introduced
    Exampel: "I know we were introduced earlier, but I didn't catch your name." - "I'm Svetlana Petrenko."
    Note: This is a polite way of asking somebody to repeat his or her name.
  • i do apologize (for that)
    i do apologize (for that)
    I'm very sorry (said to a customer)
    Example: Your order arrived a week late? I do apologize for that.
    Note: The "do" in this expression is optional. It makes the apology stronger or more polite.
  • i feel awful
    i feel awful
    I'm sorry about the situation (often said to express that you know you've done something wrong)
    Example: You got sick from the tuna salad I made? I feel awful!
  • i hear what you 're saying
    i hear what you 're saying
    I understand you; I sympathize with you
    Example: "I worked 60 hours this week. I'm exhausted!" - "I hear what you're saying."
  • i insist
    i insist
    I will pay (say this when you do not want to argue anymore over who will pay the bill - it's usually the last word)
    Example: "Dinner is my treat." - "No, you paid last time. I'm paying tonight. I insist."
  • i'll be right with you
    i'll be right with you
    I'm coming in a minute
    Example: "I'll be right with you," said the waitress when she saw me waving to her.
  • i'm afraid not
    i'm afraid not
    sorry, but I can't do that
    Example: "Can you give me a ride to the airport on Saturday morning?" -"No, I'm afraid not. I have other plans."
  • i'm starving
    i'm starving
    I'm very hungry
    Example: When we asked Jim why he ordered two steaks, he said, "I'm starving."
  • in a bind
    in a bind
    in a difficult situation; in need of help
    Example: Our school is in a bind. We need $10,000 to buy new textbooks, but there's no money in our budget for it.
  • in luck
    in luck
    lucky; fortunate
    Example: You want to see the football game on Saturday? You're in luck! I've got an extra ticket.
  • in mint condition
    in mint condition
    in excellent condition; like new
    Example: David has a large collection of old comic books in mint condition.
  • in sales
    in sales
    to work in a sales position
    Example: Bill used to be in sales for Comtek, but he recently took a new job in marketing.
    NOTE: You can also be in marketing, in finance, in real estate, in banking, or "in" other fields of work.
  • in stock
    in stock
    available for sale
    Example: If you 're interested in that toaster, you should buy it now. We've only got a few left in stock.
  • in the market for
    in the market for
    shopping for; interested in buying
    Example: We're in the market for a flat-screen television.
  • in the meantime
    in the meantime
    until something else happens; while something else is happening
    Example: The aspirin will make your headache go away in about half an hour. In the meantime, take a hot shower.
  • in the mood for
    in the mood for
    to want; to have an appetite for
    Example: Let's go to a seafood restaurant. I'm in the mood for fish.
  • in the same boat
    in the same boat
    in the same bad situation; sharing the same negative experience
    Example: When the airport shut down due to a blizzard, I was stuck in the airport. Many other people were in the same boat.
  • inclusive of
    inclusive of
    including; already included in the amount
    Example: The cost of the car repairs is going to be $350, inclusive of parts and labor.
  • issue a credit
    issue a credit
    to give money back to
    Example: Rachel returned the sweater to the Gap, and they issued her a credit.
    NOTE: When a clerk issues a "store credit," the dollar amount is put on a store card that can later be used to buy something at that store.
  • it (or that) boggles my mind
    it (or that) boggles my mind
    I'm very surprised by that
    Example: Some people spend $100 a day to send their dogs to a spa. That boggles my mind!
  • it slipped my mind
    it slipped my mind
    I forgot
    Example: I'm sorry I forgot to mail the package. It slipped my mind.
  • it was a real treat
    it was a real treat
    we had a very nice time
    Example: Thanks for having us over for dinner. It was a real treat.
  • it's a long story
    it's a long story
    there's lots to say; a lot has happened; it's complicated
    Example: "Why didn't you accept the job offer with the advertising agency?" - "It's a long story."
  • it's a small world!
    it's a small world!
    this expression is used when people are surprised to find out they know each other from some past experience
    Example: I ran into my college friend from Chicago in a coffee shop in Vienna. It's a small world!
  • it's always one excuse after another with you
    it's always one excuse after another with you
    you never take the blame for things, instead you give an excuse
    Example: Last night you couldn't clean up after dinner because you had homework. Tonight, you can't clean up because you have soccer practice. It's always one excuse after another with you.
  • it's my treat
    it's my treat
    I'll pay the bill
    Example: "Let me pay for dinner tonight." - "No, I invited you to dinner, so it's my treat."
  • it's on me
    it's on me
    I'll pay
    Example: Put your wallet away. It's on me.
  • i've been better
    i've been better
    things are not going well for me
    Example: "How are you doing?" - "I've been better."
j
  • join the party!
    join the party!
    mix with the other guests
    Example: "Join the party!" said Gina as we walked in the door.
  • junk mail
    junk mail
    unwanted mail, usually selling or advertising something
    Example: My mailbox was full today, but it was almost all junk mail.
  • just browsing
    just browsing
    shopping, without necessarily buying anything; only looking
    Example: "May I help you find something?" - "No, thanks. I'm just browsing."
  • just in case
    just in case
    if something happens; because there is a small chance that (something could happen)
    Example: I don't think it'll rain today, but you should take your umbrella just in case.
  • just my luck
    just my luck
    what bad luck
    Example: I arrived two minutes late to the airport and missed my flight. Just my luck!
k
  • keep someone posted
    keep someone posted
    to update someone; to give someone the latest information
    Example: Keep me posted on your flight status.
  • keep someone waiting
    keep someone waiting
    to be late for an appointment, causing the person you are meeting with to wait
    Example: I'm a few minutes late. Sorry to keep you waiting.
  • keep the change
    keep the change
    to keep the difference between the charge and the money a customer is giving
    Example: The bill at the restaurant came to $17. We gave the waitress a twenty and told her to keep the change.
  • killing someone
    killing someone
    giving someone a lot of pain; hurting badly
    Example: Mary's stomach was killing her, so she left work early.
  • knock oneself out
    knock oneself out
    to make a big effort; to do more than necessary
    Example: Teresa made handmade gifts for all 20 people at her office. She really knocked herself out.
  • know something like the back of one's hand
    know something like the back of one's hand
    to know very well (said most often about streets or places)
    Example: We don't need to bring a map with us. I know Boston like the back of my hand.
  • known for
    known for
    famous for; having a reputation for
    Example: Chicago is known for its delicious pizza.
l
  • leave a lot to be desired
    leave a lot to be desired
    to be bad or lacking in some way
    Example: Josh chews with his mouth open and rests his elbows on the table. His table manners leave a lot to be desired.
  • leftovers
    leftovers
    food that is not eaten at a meal; extra food that is eaten later
    Example: After our big Thanksgiving dinner, we had leftovers for three days. We were all sick of eating turkey by then!
  • lemon
    lemon
    a car that doesn't work well
    Example: Molly's car is in the repair shop every month. What a lemon!
  • let alone
    let alone
    much less; not to mention
    Example: I can't remember the name of the movie, let alone the plot.
  • let's cross that bridge when we come to it
    let's cross that bridge when we come to it
    let's not worry about that until we need to
    Example: "What if we can't find a buyer for our house?" - "Let's cross that bridge when we come to it."
  • let's go with
    let's go with
    I'll take; let's proceed with
    Example: You recommend the Chardonnay? Okay, let's go with that.
  • little something
    little something
    a small gift
    Example: I got you a little something for your birthday.
  • long time no see
    long time no see
    we haven't seen each other in a long time
    Example: Hi, Tracy. Long time no see. What have you been up to for the past couple of years?
  • look familiar
    look familiar
    to look like someone one already knows or has seen before
    Example: That actress looks familiar. Wasn't she in the movie Midnight in Paris?
  • lose one's appetite
    lose one's appetite
    to not want to eat any more due to a bad experience
    Example: After finding a hair in her soup, Andrea lost her appetite.
m
  • magic bullet
    magic bullet
    a drug or therapy that cures or prevents an illness, without harmful side effects; a simple solution to a problem (usually one that is too simplistic and doesn't work)
    Example: Bedbugs are very hard to get rid of. Unfortunately, there's no magic bullet.
    NOTE: this is often used in the negative: "no magic bullet"
  • make a mountain out of a molehill
    make a mountain out of a molehill
    to make a big deal out of something small; to get upset about a small issue
    Example: I already apologized for forgetting to deposit the check. Don't make a mountain out of a molehill.
  • make a pig of oneself
    make a pig of oneself
    to overeat; to eat too much
    Example: May I have another piece of pie? I don't mean to make a pig of myself, but it's delicious!
  • make a pit stop
    make a pit stop
    to make a quick stop, usually to use the bathroom or to get something to eat
    Example: "Would you mind making a pit stop? After drinking so much coffee, I need to use the bathroom."
  • make a racket
    make a racket
    to make a lot of noise
    Example: We couldn't sleep because the people in the hotel room next door were making a racket all night.
  • make an appointment
    make an appointment
    to schedule a meeting with someone, such as a doctor, lawyer, or other specialist
    Example: Our dog Bailey is not eating. I need to make an appointment with the veterinarian.
  • make good time
    make good time
    to travel efficiently; to get somewhere in less time than expected
    Example: It's noon and we're already in Pennsylvania? We're making good time!
  • make it
    make it
    to come; to be present
    Example: I'm not sure if I'll be able to make it to the staff meeting on Wednesday morning.
  • make it two
    make it two
    I'll have one too; I'll have the same thing (as the other person just ordered)
    Example: "I'll take a cappuccino." - "Make it two."
  • make it up to someone
    make it up to someone
    to do something nice for someone (after you've done something that was not so nice, such as canceling on someone)
    Example: I'm sorry I forgot your birthday. Let me make it up to you and take you out for a drink tonight.
  • make some introductions
    make some introductions
    to introduce people
    Example: After a few more people arrive, I'm going to make some introductions.
  • marked down
    marked down
    lowered in price; on sale
    Example: This shirt was marked down from $49.95 to $24.95.
  • meal deal
    meal deal
    a promotion in which several food items are sold together at a good price
    Example: If you' re hungry, I recommend the meal deal. You get a sandwich, soup, and drink for just $8.99.
  • medium rare
    medium rare
    cooked just past the raw stage
    Example: This steak is overcooked. I ordered it medium rare, but it's brown in the middle.
  • minimum wage
    minimum wage
    the minimum amount an employer can pay an employee, according to U.S. law
    Example: Right now Emily is making minimum wage at the fast food restaurant, but she's hoping to get a raise soon.
  • miss out (on)
    miss out (on)
    to lose an opportunity; to not experience
    Example: Sara submitted her application too late and missed out on the opportunity to spend the semester in Paris.
  • money is tight
    money is tight
    to not have a lot of money
    Example: Money is tight for Paul and Wendy right now, with two kids in college.
  • my hands are tied
    my hands are tied
    there's nothing I can do
    Example: I'd like to give you more time to finish the test, but my hands are tied.
n
  • nickel and dime someone
    nickel and dime someone
    two definitions: 1) to argue with someone over a small amount of money. 2) to annoy someone by charging for every small thing.
    Example 1: Mepstein Industries has a reputation for being cheap. People say they nickel and dime their suppliers.
    Example 2: Fred complained that the hotel nickel and dimed him by charging for local phone calls, Internet, and a pass for the gym.
  • nip (this, that or it) in the bud
    nip (this, that or it) in the bud
    to stop something before it gets any worse
    Example: Your son has started to spend every night surfing the Web instead of doing his homework? You need to nip that in the bud.
  • no great shakes
    no great shakes
    not so good; fair; unimpressive
    Example: The person we just interviewed for the job was no great shakes. I think we can find somebody better.
  • no strings attached
    no strings attached
    with no limits or special demands attached (to an offer)
    Example: Kim got a full scholarship to Stanford, no strings attached.
  • no such luck
    no such luck
    we haven't had good fortune in that area; we haven't been so lucky
    Example: "Did your boss let you out early for the holiday weekend?" - "No such luck."
  • no way
    no way
    no chance
    Example: The report is due on Friday? There's no way we're going to finish it on time.
  • no worries
    no worries
    don't worry about it; that's fine
    Example: "There's a 45-minute wait to get a table." - "No worries. We'll just order our food to go."
  • no-frills
    no-frills
    a simple and basic service or product
    Example: If you want to fly cheaply, try a no-frills airline like Ryanair.
    NOTE: "frills" are extra features or benefits
  • not be able to make heads or tails of
    not be able to make heads or tails of
    to be unable to interpret
    Example: This apartment rental contract is so confusing. I can't make heads or tails of it.
  • not be crazy about
    not be crazy about
    to not like very much; to not be enthusiastic about
    Example: I'm not crazy about your plan to spend all day at the mall.
o
  • off the top of my head
    off the top of my head
    from memory; without checking notes
    Example: "Do you know Beth's email address?" -"Not off the top of my head. I'll need to look it up."
  • on sale
    on sale
    at a reduced price
    Example: I like this leather jacket, but $299 is expensive. I'll wait until it goes on sale.
  • on second thought
    on second thought
    I changed my mind
    Example: I'm not going to order dessert. On second thought, the chocolate lava cake sounds delicious. I'm going to order that.
  • on something
    on something
    taking medication or prescription drugs
    Example: Nancy is on Claritin for her allergies.
    NOTE: This can also mean that one is taking illegal drugs. Example: That guy on the street corner is in bad shape. I wonder what he's on.
  • on the high side
    on the high side
    rather high
    Example: Emma stayed home from school yesterday because her temperature was on the high side.
  • on the house
    on the house
    free; paid for by the restaurant
    Example: The waitress offered us after-dinner drinks on the house.
  • on the road to recovery
    on the road to recovery
    starting to get better
    Example: Stephanie was sick with the flu for a week, but now she's on the road to recovery.
  • on the rocks
    on the rocks
    with ice (when speaking of alcoholic drinks)
    Example: Do you want your drink on the rocks?
  • one-time fee
    one-time fee
    a charge that you only pay one time
    Example: To join FitOne Gym, I had to pay a one-time fee of $199, then a monthly membership fee of $49.
  • onto someone
    onto someone
    to be aware of someone's behavior; to be suspicious of someone about something
    Example: I know Bill spends half his day on job search websites. I'm onto him.
  • or so
    or so
    approximately (referring to a time period or quantity of something)
    Example: There were 200 or so people at the conference.
  • out of this world
    out of this world
    delicious
    Example: If you go to Cafe Felix, be sure to order the apple pie for dessert. It's out of this world!
  • outdo oneself
    outdo oneself
    to do more than expected; to do a great job
    Example: Danny outdid himself with his high school science project. He built a powerful robot.
  • out-of-pocket expense
    out-of-pocket expense
    an expense that insurance does not pay for
    Example: The dentist offers a treatment to make your teeth whiter, but it's an out-of-pocket expense.
  • over-the-counter
    over-the-counter
    available on the pharmacy shelf instead of by prescription
    Example: Your headaches are getting worse? Maybe you should start taking a prescription drug instead of over-the-counter medications.
    NOTE: sometimes you will see the abbreviation: OTC
p
  • packed to the rafters
    packed to the rafters
    really crowded
    Example: Beth's Bistro is always packed to the rafters on Saturday nights. If we want to go there, we'd better make reservations.
  • pass on
    pass on
    to say no to; to reject
    Example: I'm going to pass on dessert. I'm stuffed.
  • pet peeve
    pet peeve
    an annoyance; a particular thing that bothers someone more than the average person
    Example: Paul hates it when people talk on their cell phones while driving. That's his pet peeve.
  • pick up the tab
    pick up the tab
    to pay the bill
    Example: Everybody left the bar before the bill came, so I was stuck picking up the tab for our entire group!
  • pile-up
    pile-up
    a traffic accident, usually involving many vehicles
    Example: Don't take Route 95. I just heard on the radio that there was a 25-car pile-up by Exit 14.
  • pressed for time
    pressed for time
    in a hurry; not having much time
    Example: We asked the waiter to bring the check with dinner, explaining that we were pressed for time.
  • pricey
    pricey
    expensive
    Example: Lucia's Trattoria is a great restaurant, but it's pricey. Dinner for two costs about $150.
  • pride oneself on
    pride oneself on
    to be known for; to be especially proud of something
    Example: San Francisco prides itself on its fine restaurants.
  • pull up a reservation
    pull up a reservation
    to find a reservation on the computer; to call up the file with the reservation
    Example: "Hello, I'd like to change my flight for next Friday." - "Please give me your last name and I'll pull up our reservation."
  • put out
    put out
    annoyed; inconvenienced
    Example: Joel seemed really put out when I asked him if he could drive me to the airport.
  • put someone on a (or the) waiting list
    put someone on a (or the) waiting list
    to add somebody to a list of people waiting for a service
    Example: You want to upgrade to business class? I'll put you on the waiting list.
q
  • quite a few
    quite a few
    many; a fairly large number
    Example: Quite a few passengers were stuck at Kennedy Airport overnight after their flights were canceled due to bad weather.
r
  • reach an agreement
    reach an agreement
    to make an agreement
    Example: We negotiated for several days before finally reaching an agreement.
  • read over
    read over
    to review; to take a look at, often with the goal of making edits or making sure everything is okay
    Example: I'd appreciate it if you'd read over my resume.
  • reek of
    reek of
    to smell badly of something (often smoke or alcohol)
    Example: This pillow reeks of smoke. Please bring me a fresh one.
  • rewards program
    rewards program
    a promotional program designed to get customers to use a company's product or service more often
    Example: Paula earned a free one-week stay at a Marriott through the hotel's rewards program.
  • ring a bell
    ring a bell
    to sound familiar; to sound like something someone has heard before
    Example: "You graduated from Yale in 2007? Did you know Jeremy Larson?" - "No, that name doesn't ring a bell."
  • rotten luck
    rotten luck
    bad luck
    Example: I can't believe I've got a flat tire. I've had nothing but rotten luck all day today.
  • round of drinks
    round of drinks
    drinks for a whole group
    Example: Ed offered to buy all of his friends at the bar a round of drinks.
  • rubber necking
    rubber necking
    when cars slow down to look at an accident
    Example: A truck was lying on its side on the highway, and traffic was backed up for miles due to rubber necking.
  • run a special
    run a special
    to offer lower prices on something, for a certain period of time
    Example: The clothing store is running a special this week. Buy one shirt and get the second at half price.
  • run behind
    run behind
    to be behind schedule
    Example: The hair stylist told me she was running behind because her previous client showed up 20 minutes late.
  • run its course
    run its course
    to allow time for an illness to pass through one's body
    Example: There's no cure for the cold. Just let it run its course.
  • run late
    run late
    to be late; to start something later than scheduled
    Example: I'm calling my boss to tell her I'm running late and won't be in the office until 9:30.
  • run over
    run over
    to last longer than scheduled (referring to meetings, interviews, etc.)
    Example: The meeting ran over by 15 minutes.
  • run small / to run big
    run small / to run big
    to fit small I to fit large (a cut or style of clothing that is smaller or bigger than expected)
    Example: These shoes run small, so if you're usually a size 7, try an 8.
  • run you
    run you
    to cost you
    Example: It's going to run you $600 for a one-year membership to Club Five Fitness.
s
  • save (some) room for dessert
    save (some) room for dessert
    to not eat too much of the main course so as to be able to eat dessert
    Example: The waitress gave us dessert menus and said, "I hope you saved room for dessert!"
  • second helping
    second helping
    a second portion; seconds
    Example: There's still some lasagna left. Who'd like a second helping?
  • set up
    set up
    to establish; to arrange; to put something new in place
    Example: I set up direct deposit so that my paychecks are automatically deposited into my bank account.
  • short term
    short term
    not permanent; for a certain period of time only
    Example: Ryan's company offered him a short-term assignment in Beijing. He'll be there for six months.
  • short-staffed
    short-staffed
    without enough staff; having less staff than usual
    Example: Sorry you had to wait so long. We're short-staffed today.
  • side order
    side order
    a smaller dish served with the main course
    Example: I'd like a side order of onion rings with my hamburger.
  • sign on the dotted line
    sign on the dotted line
    to agree to or sign up for something ( often by signing a contract or agreement)
    Example: I'm interested in joining the gym but before I sign on the dotted line, can you please explain the cancellation policy?
  • sit in traffic
    sit in traffic
    to be caught in traffic and unable to drive much, if at all
    Example: Don't leave Manhattan for Long Island at 4 p.m. on Friday. You'll be sitting in traffic for hours!
  • skip the appetizer(s)
    skip the appetizer(s)
    to not order appetizers
    Example: We're not that hungry, so we're going to skip the appetizers.
  • sleep on it
    sleep on it
    to take a day to think about a decision
    Example: I can't give you an answer now regarding the job offer. I need to sleep on it.
  • sold out
    sold out
    completely sold
    Example: Gary went to the Apple store to buy the new iPad, but it was sold out.
  • sorry to hear that
    sorry to hear that
    that's too bad; I feel bad for you
    Example: "I got fired yesterday." - "Sorry to hear that."
  • so-so
    so-so
    average; not very good
    Example: Paul and Nora weren't thrilled with their tour of Portugal. It was just so-so.
  • special offer
    special offer
    a promotional offer; a discount on a particular product or service, usually for a limited time
    Example: The restaurant is running a special offer. Buy one meal at full price and get the second one free.
  • speechless
    speechless
    unable to speak due to surprise; shocked
    Example: After being fined $300 for a speeding ticket, Wendy was speechless.
  • split the difference
    split the difference
    to share a difference in cost 50-50
    Example: You asked for a salary of $60,000, and we said the position paid $52,000. Let's split the difference and say $56,000.
  • split up
    split up
    to break up; to end a marriage or other intimate relationship
    Example: After years of fighting, Irene and her husband finally split up.
  • splitting headache
    splitting headache
    a very bad headache
    Example: Julia left work early, saying she had a splitting headache.
  • squeeze someone in
    squeeze someone in
    to make an appointment available
    Example: You want an appointment for a haircut today? I can squeeze you in with Lynn at 3 o'clock.
  • stand by
    stand by
    to wait for further information
    Example: Passengers for Flight 52 to Dallas, your flight has been delayed. Please stand by.
  • steal
    steal
    a very good price
    Example: You bought a new computer for $199? What a steal!
  • steer clear of
    steer clear of
    to avoid, usually due to a bad experience
    Example: Mark got food poisoning at O'Reilly's? We'd better steer clear of that place from now on!
  • step on it
    step on it
    to go faster (refers to stepping on the gas pedal)
    Example: There's a creepy man following close behind us. Let's step on it and get away from him!
  • stop by
    stop by
    come over (often for a short visit)
    Example: If you're in my neighborhood on Saturday, please stop by.
  • stuffed
    stuffed
    to be completely full
    Example: After eating five pieces of fried chicken each, we were all too stuffed to eat any dessert.
  • surf and turf
    surf and turf
    a meal containing both meat and seafood
    Example: The waiter said, "Tonight, our special is the surf and turf. It comes with a lobster tail and a New York strip steak."
  • swing by
    swing by
    to visit someone or a place for a short period of time; to make a quick visit
    Example: I forgot my jacket at your house last night. Let me swing by after work and pick it up.
t
  • take a crack at
    take a crack at
    to try something
    Example: I don't know if l can fix your laptop, but I'll take a crack at it.
  • take a peek
    take a peek
    to have a quick look
    Example: Your car isn't running well? Let me take a peek under the hood and see if I can figure out what's wrong.
  • take a wrong turn
    take a wrong turn
    to turn where one shouldn't have
    Example: We were headed to Manhattan, but we took a wrong turn and ended up in Brooklyn.
  • take for a test drive
    take for a test drive
    to drive a car to see how it runs
    Example: Before he bought his new BMW, Jim took it for a test drive.
  • take my word for it
    take my word for it
    trust me; believe me
    Example: Take my word for it. You won't find this camera cheaper at any other store.
  • take you up on
    take you up on
    to accept your offer
    Example: "You're inviting me to lunch today? I'll take you up on that.
  • tell me about it!
    tell me about it!
    I agree
    Example: "The professor's lecture sure was boring." - ''Tell me about it! I fell asleep after 10 minutes."
  • telltale signs
    telltale signs
    sure signs of a problem; typical symptoms that indicate something
    Example: Liz feels nauseous all the time and says she's gaining weight. Those are telltale signs that she's pregnant!
  • thank you for a lovely time
    thank you for a lovely time
    thanks for having us to your house ( an expression used by guests to thank their hosts as they leave)
    Example: "Thank you for a lovely time." - "Thank you for coming. It was great seeing you."
  • that sounds good
    that sounds good
    I like your suggestion
    Example: "We're planning to bring a bottle of wine when we come to your.house for dinner on Saturday." - "That sounds good."
    NOTE: You can say this to answer positively when you are offered something or asked your opinion.
  • the last thing i need is
    the last thing i need is
    I definitely don't need; I really don't want
    Example: I hope Rick and Jenny are planning to stay at a hotel when they visit town. The last thing I need is more houseguests!
  • the more the merrier
    the more the merrier
    the more people who participate in an event or activity, the more fun it'll be for everyone (often said to encourage somebody to participate)
    Example: We already have 15 people in our book club, but you should join too. The more the merrier.
  • these things happen
    these things happen
    sometimes things happen that you can't control
    Example: You forgot your wallet? Don't worry about it. These things happen. I'll pay for lunch today.
  • throw in
    throw in
    to include for no additional fee
    Example: If you sign up for a one-year gym membership today, we'll throw in a free set of towels.
  • to the letter
    to the letter
    exactly
    Example: I followed the recipe on the box to the letter, but this chocolate cake tastes terrible!
  • track down
    track down
    to find (often after a long search)
    Example: A Picasso was stolen from the Metropolitan Museum? I hope they can track down the thieves!
  • traffic is heavy
    traffic is heavy
    there are lot of cars on the road, so the driving is slow
    Example: Traffic was heavy on Route 9 this morning due to an accident.
  • try something on
    try something on
    to put something on to see if it fits
    Example: You'd better try on your wedding dress again before the wedding to make sure it still fits!
  • turn down the music
    turn down the music
    to lower the volume of the music
    Example: I can't hear you. Can you please turn down the music?
  • turn off
    turn off
    to exit the highway
    Example: I think we're going the wrong way. Turn off here and we'll check the map.
  • turn up
    turn up
    to be found
    Example: Angela hopes her missing earring will turn up before the dance on Saturday.
u
  • under the weather
    under the weather
    feeling sick
    Example: If you're under the weather, don't go to work.
  • up ahead
    up ahead
    in front of (someone); in the near distance
    Example: I see an ambulance up ahead. There must've been an accident.
  • up the creek
    up the creek
    in trouble; in a very difficult situation
    Example: Our rent is due on Friday, and we have no money in our bank account. We 're up the creek!
    NOTE: The longer form of this expression is: up the creek without a paddle.
w
  • what a nightmare!
    what a nightmare!
    What a bad experience!
    Example: Our flight was canceled, and we ended up spending the night at the airport. What a nightmare!
  • what a shame!
    what a shame!
    that's too bad; how unfortunate
    Example: "Scott broke his leg, so he won't be able to go on the class ski trip." - "What a shame!"
  • what can i get for you?
    what can i get for you?
    What would you like to order?
    Example: "What can I get for you?" -"I'd like the meal deal."
  • what have you been up to?
    what have you been up to?
    What have you been doing?
    Example: I haven't talked to you in a long time. What have you been up to?
  • what seems to be the trouble?
    what seems to be the trouble?
    What's wrong?
    Example: "What seems to be the trouble?" asked the auto mechanic when we brought our car in to the shop.
  • what's the nature of your visit?
    what's the nature of your visit?
    Why are you coming?; Why do you need to see the doctor?
    Example: You want to see Dr. Patel? What's the nature of your visit?
  • when hell freezes over
    when hell freezes over
    never
    Example: Will the boss invite us all over to his house for dinner? When hell freezes over.
  • where are you headed?
    where are you headed?
    Where are you going?
    Example: "Where are you headed?" - "I'm going to the mall."
  • work on
    work on
    to eat; to finish eating
    Example: When the waitress asked me if I was finished with my lobster, I said, "No, I'm still working on it."
  • work out
    work out
    to be successful; to meet one's needs
    Example: I just bought my first Mac. I hope it works out.
  • worth one's while
    worth one's while
    deserving of one's time or effort
    Example: If you 're in Manhattan, I suggest you visit the Guggenheim Museum. It'll be worth your while.
  • wrap up
    wrap up
    to put in a container or box (to take home)
    Example: Sue didn't finish her meal so she asked the waiter to wrap it up.
y
  • you bet
    you bet
    yes; no problem
    Example: "If this DVD doesn't work in my DVD player, can I return it?" -"You bet."
  • you name it, we've got it
    you name it, we've got it
    we have a big selection
    Example: "What drinks do you have?" - "You name it, we've got it!"
  • you shouldn't have
    you shouldn't have
    this is a polite way to respond when somebody gives you something
    Example: "I brought you some chocolates for your birthday." - "You shouldn't have."
  • your total comes to
    your total comes to
    the bill is; the amount you owe is
    Example: "Your total comes to $12.89."
  • you've got a deal
    you've got a deal
    I agree; I agree to your terms
    Example: You want $99 for that dining room table? You've got a deal!
z
  • zoo
    zoo
    a noisy area; chaos
    Example: Thousands of people go to Times Square in New York to celebrate New Year's Eve. It's a zoo!
Answer Key
Favorite Books

If you already speak some English and now would like to speak more like a native, “Speak English Like an American” will help you. One of the keys to speaking like a native is the ability to use and understand casual expressions, or idioms. American English is full of idioms. Speak English Like an American will help you understand and use idioms better. It contains over 300 of today's most common idioms.

Read more

The purpose of the Illustrated Everyday Expressions with Stories series is to introduce English language learners to common idioms through humorous examples and illustrations. The lessons in this book will both entertain and enlighten students while providing exposure to how each idiom can be used in a variety of contexts.

Read more

The purpose of the Illustrated Everyday Expressions with Stories series is to introduce English language learners to common idioms through humorous examples and illustrations. The lessons in this book will both entertain and enlighten students while providing exposure to how each idiom can be used in a variety of contexts.

Read more

Do you want your English to sound natural and fluent? Idiomatic expressions are essential to natural sounding English, but they can be challenging to remember, and even harder to use in conversation. This simple and straightforward program can help you master hundreds of useful and common idiomatic expressions. Best of all, you don't need a book, so you can listen anywhere and anytime it's convenient. It's a piece of cake!

Read more