Search This Blog


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

To Take Lightly

Idiom: to take lightly; used as a verb

First example: Monica told Jeff he needed to complete his work by the end of the day. Important clients were coming in the morning, and they wanted to see the finished product. Unfortunately, Jeff took Monica’s directions lightly. He spent most of his day talking to co-workers and didn’t finish his work. The next morning, when the clients came and found the product unfinished, they were angry. As a result, Jeff was fired.

Meaning: “To take lightly” is the opposite of “to consider seriously.” Monica told Jeff specific instructions, and gave him a good reason for why he needed to finish his work. However, Jeff did not pay attention to how important it was for him to complete his work. If Jeff had not taken her instructions lightly, he would have finished his work on time.

Here is another example.

Second example:

Lisa: Hi Barry, I have a problem I’d like to discuss with you.
Barry: Sure, go ahead and tell me.
Lisa: Well, I’m a little embarrassed because it seems like a silly issue.
Barry: Don’t be embarrassed. I never take your problems lightly. I know you only talk to me about serious issues.
Lisa: Thanks, Barry. Okay, this is what I’m worried about…

Meaning: In this situation, Lisa is a little embarrassed to share her problem. She is afraid that Barry won’t think it’s a serious issue. But Barry tells her that he never takes Lisa’s problems lightly. He understands that Lisa’s problem is an important concern. This gives Lisa confidence to tell Barry what is bothering her.

This idiom is from LSI's book "Reading Horizons," which is used in the level 6 Reading classes. For more information, please visit

The Honeymoon Is Over

Idiom: The honeymoon (be) over; used as an expression

First example: The people of the nation had a lot of hope when the new president started his term. Everyone praised him and constantly said what a great job he would do leading the country. Now, six months later, the honeymoon is definitely over. People are complaining that the president has not helped increase employment, or reduce taxes and crime. His job has become much more difficult.

Meaning: “The honeymoon is over” originally referred to marriage, when the vacation time right after the wedding was completed. In this case, it refers to the easy time the president had right after he started his term. During the “honeymoon” period, people treated him well and said good things about him. Now that the honeymoon is over, people do not treat him as well, and they offer a lot of complaints about what the president is doing. The president now realizes how hard his job is.

Here is another example.

Second example: Linda moved to Paraguay for a year after she graduated from her university. She wanted to work there while improving her Spanish. For the first few months, everything was great. Linda was excited to meet new people, try new foods, and learn more Spanish. But then the honeymoon was over. Linda realized that she missed her friends and family from home, she didn’t like all the new foods she was eating, and it was difficult to communicate clearly in Spanish. The magical feeling she had when she first came to Paraguay was gone.

Meaning: In this situation, Linda was originally excited to be in a different country, doing new things and speaking another language. Everything seemed magical and exciting. However, after a few months, this magical feeling ended and Linda realized how difficult life could be living abroad. The honeymoon was over, and she discovered that life does not stay magical forever.

This idiom is from LSI's book "Reading Horizons," which is used in the level 6 Reading classes. For more information, please visit