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Thursday, June 7, 2012

to kick back

Context #1:

David: So what are you going to do this weekend?
Sam:  I had such a busy and stressful week at work, so this weekend I'm just going to kick back and get some rest.
David:  That sounds good.  Call me if you change your mind and you want to go out and do something.
Sam: All right.

Context #2:

Stephanie:  When I was a kid, I lived way up in the mountains.
James:  Really?  Did you like living there?
Stephanie:  Yeah it was pretty cool.  After dinner, I used to go outside, kick back, and look at all the stars in the sky.  It was so beautiful.  In Los Angeles, we hardly ever see stars at night.
James: Yeah, that's true.

Meaning:  to kick back means to relax and take it easy. 

This idom comes from the LSI book titled Speaking Savvy.  This book is used to teach Level 5 Speaking classes at LSI schools.  For more information please visit

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

to be/get tied up

to be/get tied up

Context #1:

Tom:  What happened to you yesterday?  You were supposed to go out to dinner with me and Jeff?

Jerry: Well, I got tied up at work and I couldn't leave my office until it was like 10pm.

Tom: Oh, we were worried.  Next time just call us and let us know if something comes up.

Context #2:

Sara: Do you want to go to the beach with us this Saturday?

Jill: Oh, I would love to, but my friend is moving and I'm going to be tied up helping her pack and move.

Sara: Alright maybe next time!

Meaning:  to be/get tied up is an American idiom that means someone is busy doing something.  When this idiom is followed by a very phrase it must be followed by a gerund (see context #2 above).

This idiom was taken from LSI's book Speaking Savvy, which is used to teach the Level 5 Speaking class at LSI schools.  For more information please visit