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Thursday, June 2, 2011

To work like a horse

Please read the following letter and try to guess the meaning of the idiom to work like a horse.
Dear Sheila,

How are things with you, my dear sister? I hope all is well.
I am still trying to adapt to New York’s life style. I can’t believe I’ve been here for almost six months now! I have been thinking about moving back to Los Angeles. At least there I have you, Mom and Dad, my friends, and I would be able to get my old job back.
My work schedule is crazy! I work from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. almost everyday. I know I am lucky to have such a well-paying job having just graduated from college, but I work like a horse and then go home and sleep. I don’t have the time or energy to enjoy all the money I am making… I am sorry to be so negative, but I am really upset and have no idea if I’ll be able to do this anymore.
I will write again after I make a decision.
I can’t write anymore now. I have a meeting starting in 3 minutes.

I love you,

Timothy.

What do you think to work like a horse means?

a. to work at the zoo
b. to work too much
c. to work just a little
d. to work dressed as a horse

Meaning:

To work like a horse means to work too much.

This idiom was taken from the LSI level 4 L/S book Speaking Transitions.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

To Make Fun of Someone or Something

Please read the following paragraph and try to guess the idiom in bold:

Joseph has been secretly in love with his co-worker Julia for a long time. Last week Julia received an anonymous love letter. The letter was signed by “Your admirer”. She read it to everyone in the office and everyone made fun of the letter. There were a couple of sentences in the letter that everyone in the office repeated over and over again: “ You are like a cake to me. You look good, you make me happy, you make my heart beat faster, and you are sweet…”
Yesterday, Joseph sent an anonymous e-mail to the whole office saying: “Do not make fun of the person who wrote the love letter… He is in love! This is not a joke!”. He signed “ Me” and everyone replied to his e-mail: “Good job, Joseph!”. Joseph can’t understand how everyone knew he was the one who sent the e-mail and everyone in the office is now making fun of him!

What do you think the idiom means?

a. To make someone have fun
b.To laugh at and/or talk about someone or something in an unkind way
c. To write and read while baking a cake
d. To cry in a kind way

The answer is....

b. To laugh at and/or talk about someone or something in an unkind way. To ridicule someone or something.

This idiom was taken from Speaking Transitions, our level 4 Listening and Speaking LSI book!