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Friday, August 12, 2011

to cheer up / cheer someone up

Example 1:
Emily: I just failed my driving test. I'll never get my license!
: Oh no! That's ok. Don't be so sad. I can help you practice for your next test appointment.
: I never want to drive again! I'm so discouraged!
Matt: Come on, Emily! Cheer up! Everything will be fine! You just need a little more practice.
Example 2:

Rita: Good morning, Betty! How are you?
: Oh, hi, Rita... I didn't see you come in...
: Are you ok? You look sad.
: I am very sad today. My goldfish died yesterday. I only had him for two weeks!
: I'm so sorry to hear that! Is there anything I can do to cheer you up?
: No, that's ok. Thank you for your concern.

to cheer up is most often used in an imperative sentence (giving instructions, commands, or advice). When you say this to another person, you are instructing/advising/commanding them to feel better and stop feeling so sad or down.
In the first example, Emily is upset because she failed her driving test. Her friend Matt says, "cheer up" because it's not necessary to be so sad since she has another chance to take the test.

to cheer someone up is used when one person tries to make another person feel better. Remember to use object pronouns or names in place of someone.
In the second example, Betty is upset because her goldfish died. Rita asks, "is there anything i can do to cheer you up (make you feel better)?

This idiom is from LSI's book "Speaking Transitions," which is used in the level 4 Listening/Speaking class. For more information, please visit

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

out of the blue

Read the following examples to guess the meaning for out of the blue

Example 1:
I was washing dishes after dinner last night when out of the blue, my roommate from college called me on the phone! I hadn't spoken to her in over 5 years so I was really surprised that she called.

Example 2:
Julia and Oscar were dating for more than 8 months. They went out for a nice dinner last Saturday night. Right before dessert, Julia suddenly broke up with him. There was no explanation and no warning. It was totally out of the blue. Oscar was so sad and shocked.

out of the blue is a common expression that signals when something unexpected happens without warning.

In the first example, the speaker and her college roommate have not had contact for a long time, so the phone call was really surprising and unexpected. She called out of the blue.

In the second example, Oscar had no idea that Julia was going to end the relationship. He thought he was just going to have a nice date with his girlfriend! When she broke up with him before dessert, of course Oscar was shocked! It was totally out of the blue!

This idiom is from LSI's book "Speaking Savvy," which is used in the level 5 Listening/Speaking class. For more information, please visit