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Friday, August 3, 2012

To raise (one's) voice

Idiom: to raise (one's) voice

Context #1:
Wife:  "Why are you coming home so late from work?  You said you would be home at 8!"
Husband (in a loud angry voice): "I hit traffic!  Ok?  Just calm down."
Wife: "You don't have to raise your voice.  I'm just asking because I was getting worried about you."
Husband:  "I'm sorry.  I didn't mean to yell at you.  I just had a really stressful day at work."  
Context #2:
Sara:  My mom is so nice to me.  I really appreciate her a lot.
Kathy:  I know!  Your mom is such a sweetheart.  You're very lucky.
Sara:  Even whe she gets mad or upset, she never raises her voice at me.
Meaning:  to raise one's voice means to talk in a loud manner, usually due to anger or frustration.  When people get into a fight or an argument, very often someone will raise their voice.  This expression can be found in the LSI textbook titled "Reading Savvy."  This book is used to teach level 5 Reading/Vocabulary classes.  For more information please visit

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

To pile up

Idiom: To pile up

Context #1
Mother:  Can you please clean your room?  Your dirty clothes are starting to pile up.  Pretty soon you will have a mountain of dirty clothes.
Daughter:  Ok Mom!  Don't worry.  I promise I'll put all my dirty clothes in the laundry basket before I go to bed tonight.
Context #2
Tom: Wow!  Today was so busy at work.  I was sick for three days so I couldn't come in to work.  Now my work has piled up for three days.  I checked my email and I had like 50 messages in my inbox.
Joe: Sounds like you will be busy this week.  Good luck catching up on all those emails.
Meaning:  the idiom "to pile up" is used when the amount of something increases to a relatively large amount.  It is usually used for things like work, clothes, books, and other random things. 
This idiom can be found in the LSI textbook Speaking Transitions which is used to teach Level 4 Speaking/Listening classes at LSI schools.  For more information please visit