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Wednesday, January 10, 2018

To have (something) both ways

Idiom: to have (something) both ways; used as a verb.


First Example: Mario has been dating Erika for six months, but he also likes Tina and would like to ask her out. Mario wants to have it both ways. He would like to date both Erika and Tina.

Meaning: to have (something or it) both ways means to get the best of a situation by getting the benefits of two opposite things. In this example, Mario likes his relationship with Erika, but he also likes Tina. However, he can't date both of them at the same time because he has been dating Erika for six months. This idiom can apply to any situation where there are two opposite things that can't be done at the same time. It's used as an infinitive in this example. 
Here is another example: 


Second Example: John works long hours and makes a lot of money, but he would like to have more time off to do the things he enjoys. However, John can't have it both ways. He either works hard and makes a lot of money, or he takes more time off and makes less money. 

Meaning: In this case, the two opposite things are working a lot and taking more time off. John can't make a lot of money if he does both of these things at the same time. He must choose one thing. In this example, it's used with the modal "can't." 
This idiom is from LSI's book "Speaking Savvy," which is used in the Level 5 Listening/Speaking classes. 

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Get shredded


Example 1: 

John: Did you try the new exercise routine by Arnold Schwarzenegger? It's guaranteed to get you shredded! 

Paul: OMG! I have to try it! 

John: Totally, man! I can teach you but be prepared for a lot of physical pain.  

Paul: You can count on me! 

Meaning: Means well defined muscles especially in the arms and abs.


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Friday, December 22, 2017

to cut to the chase


Idiom: to cut to the chase; used as a verb

First Example:

Henry: ...and then, I asked if there was going to be a meeting about this, or if it was just a decision from management, but she couldn't tell me, although she did not seem to want a meeting...       
Patti: Can you just cut to the chase already? Are they making the change or not?
Henry: Oh, uh, yeah, the managers decided.
Patti: Great, thanks.

Meaning: The expression "to cut to the chase " means to focus on what's important. As in the above example, the expression is often used when someone is telling a story or giving background, but the other person just wants to know the final outcome.


Second Example:

Lou: I need a new assistant. Mine is not working out.
Nico: Why not?
Lou: She gets hung up on little details, but our office is such a fast-paced environment. I need someone who can cut to the chase and get things done.
Nico: I think I know someone who might be perfect. I'll tell her to send you her resume.
Lou: Thanks!

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to drink like a fish


Idiom: to drink like a fish; used as a verb

First Example:

Darla: Oh, is Tom out sick?                          
Jane: You haven't heard? He got in an accident last night.
Darla: Was he drunk driving?
Jane: Yeah, how'd you guess.
Darla: I mean, he did drink like a fish. It was only a matter of time.

Meaning: The expression "to drink like a fish" means to excessively drink alcohol frequently. The expression is not used for someone who drinks on occasion (even if they get very drunk when they do drink), but rather, someone who drinks nearly every day.

Second Example:

Frances: I need to take it easy this weekend.
James: Why? You don't want to go out?
Frances: No, I've been going out too much. I think I've gone every night this month, and I've been drinking like a fish. I think I need to just chill and get some rest.
James: OK, but we're going out, so if you change your mind, you know where to find us!
Frances: The bar?
James: Of course!
Frances: You have fun. I'll stay in.

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finger lickin' good


Idiom: finger lickin' good; used as an adjective

First Example:

Billy: Have you been to that new barbeque place?    
Etta: Yeah, and their ribs really are finger linkin' good.
Billy: Ooh, that sounds good, and now I want ribs.
Etta: Let's go for lunch!

Meaning: The expression "finger lickin' good " is used for especially good food. It literally that the food is so good that you will lick your fingers after, although not everyone who says the expression will literally lick their fingers. "Finger lickin' good" was initially a slogan for Kentucky Fried Chicken (now KFC), and while it is still sometimes used by the company, it has become a popular expression outside of KFC.

Second Example:                               

Mom: What do you want for dessert for your birthday? Cake?
Son: No. Can you make that finger lickin' good brownie you made last month?
Mom: Sure! That was good, wasn't it?

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Thursday, December 14, 2017

To cross one's fingers

Idiom: to cross one's fingers; used as a verb



First Example:

Oscar: I have a job interview later today.     
Tiffany: What's it for?
Oscar: A new startup - it pays better than my current job; plus, it's what I went to school for.
Tiffany: That sound perfect.
Oscar: Yeah. Cross your fingers that it goes well.  
Tiffany: I will!

Meaning: The expression "to cross one's fingers " means to wish for something to happen. In the above example, Oscar says Tiffany to "cross your fingers" that his interview goes well. In American culture, people often physically cross their fingers to non-verbally say "wish me luck;" you can also ask someone to "cross their fingers" or say that you are "crossing your fingers" without physically doing so for the same meaning.



Second Example:

Mom: Why were you up all night?
Son: I was studying. I have a big test today.
Mom: I thought you were playing video games.
Son: No, I'm just nervous about this test.

Mom: I'll be crossing my fingers that you do well!


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Thursday, December 7, 2017

At the drop of a hat


Example:

My friend had an extra Taylor Swift ticket and offered it to me. She's my favorite, so I took the ticket at the drop of a hat. I didn't even hesitate for a second.

Meaning: To do something suddenly or immediately, especially because you're excited about it.

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