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Friday, January 27, 2012

To Tell a White Lie

White lie – noun; a lie that won’t hurt others. “White lie” is usually used with the verb “to tell.” A white lie is often told to a person who does not want to hear the truth or will be negatively effected by the truth.


Jane: Look at this dress! I love the way the orange stripes match my blue eyes, don’t you?

Eriko: Ah, sure. Orange and blue look lovely together.

Jane: I’m going to try it on. I’ll be right back.

Tom: Eriko, you really think that orange dress matches her blue eyes?

Eriko: No, but she really thinks so. It was just a little white lie. The truth might hurt her feelings.

Jane: I’m back! It feels fantastic! And it looks great! Tom, what do you guys think?

Tom: The stripes really highlight your figure!

Jane: Thanks, Tom. I’m going to buy it!

Jane leaves. Eriko turns to Tom.

Tom: You’re right, Eriko. A white lie isn’t so bad.

* From Speaking Savvy, which is used as the speaking/listening textbook for level 5…

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

to hurt (someone’s) feelings

to hurt (someone’s) feelings
Used as a verb


Larry: Hi, Emma! How have you been? I haven’t seen you in a long time!

Emma: Hey, Larry! Yeah, it’s been a while, but I’ve been well. How about you?

Larry: I’ve been all right. Hey, what have you done with your hair? It looks different from the last time I saw you.

Emma: Oh, it’s a lot shorter now. The last time you saw me, it was much longer. Do you like it this way?

Larry: Actually, no. I think you looked much prettier when your hair was longer. The short hair makes your face look fat.

Emma: Larry! How can you say such a thing?!? You really hurt my feelings! My face doesn’t look fat!

Larry: I’m sorry, but I’m just telling the truth.

Emma (crying): You’re a jerk! Never speak to me again! You’ve really hurt my feelings! (sobbing)


“To hurt (someone’s) feelings” means to cause someone to feel bad or sad about themselves. It is usually considered rude, because the words can easily make someone feel upset. Hurting someone’s feelings is generally an insensitive and mean thing to do.

This idiom is from LSI's book " Reading Connections" which is used in the level 3 Reading classes. For more information, please visit

Posted by Paul Grosfield