Idiom: In the spotlight; used as a prepositional phrase
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 http://www.languagesystems.com/