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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

In the Spotlight

Idiom: In the spotlight; used as a prepositional phrase

First Example:
Dani: How was the party last night?
Henry: It was pretty fun.  Tom was crazy.
Dani: What did he do?
Henry: He got drunk and performed a dance routine in the living room. 
Dani: He does love being in the spotlight.
Henry: Yeah.  And then to make sure he still had everyone's attention, he jumped into the pool!
Dani: With his clothes on?
Henry: Yeah. He tried to get other people to join him, but no one would.  Eventually, he got out of the pool and took a cab home, but it was pretty funny.

Meaning: The phrase “in the spotlight” means at the center of attention.  The idiom comes from the literal meaning of being in a spotlight while onstage.  However, the idiom can now be used in a non-literal sense when someone is at the center of attention.  In the example, Tom loves to be the center of attention, which explains his crazy antics.   Look at another example:

Marisol: Are you excited about your presentation in class tomorrow?
Yoshi: Not really.  I hate being in the spotlight.  I get nervous being in front of other people.
Marisol: Then you should try to shift the attention.
Yoshi: What do you mean?
Marisol: Well, try to interact with your audience so that it feels more like a conversation.  You have a lot of friends in that class.
Yoshi: That's not a bad idea.  Thanks for the advice.

In this case, Yoshi does not like being at the center of attention, and he isn't looking forward to his presentation, so Marisol suggests a way of making him feel less "in the spotlight."

This idiom is from LSI's new edition of "Reading Horizons," which will be used in the Level 6 Reading classes. For more information, please visit

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