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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Make Yourself at Home

Idiom: Make Yourself at Home: Make yourself comfortable in one's house and do not be so formal.

Context #1 

A friend is visiting his classmate’s home for the first time

Mark: Hey, Mannie! I’m so glad you came. Please come in and make yourself at home.
Mannie: Hi, Mark. Thank you. Umm…where should I sit?
Mark: Why are you being so formal? Please, sit anywhere you would like. Also, if you want anything to eat or drink, feel free to go into the kitchen and get it.
Mannie: Thanks, again.
Mark: Don’t mention it. My house is your house!

Context #2 

Two roommates talking about a visitor after she left

Cassandra: Thank goodness Sherry is gone! Can you even believe how she acted while visiting our home?
Tabitha: It was so outrageous! She just made herself at home like she owned the place.
Cassandra: Did you see her just open the fridge and take out that bottle of wine without even asking us? She must have poured herself at least two glasses!
Tabitha: Unbelievable. We aren’t inviting her over again. I don’t like it when people we don’t know very well act so casually around us. I mean, we should be good friends before she starts making herself at home and drinking all our wine.
Cassandra: I agree.

Explanation: “Make yourself at home” means for someone to be comfortable in another person’s house and to not act so formally. In context 1, Mark knows Mannie very well from class and encourages him to “make himself at home” and to act in a less formal way. This is typically how we use this idiom. However, in context 2, Cassandra and Tabitha are upset that Sherry, a person they did not know very well, just “made herself at home” or acted really casually in their house. It was not appropriate for Sherry to act this way since she was not asked to make herself at home and she did not know Tabitha and Cassandra very well. 

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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Make a Mountain out of a Molehill

Idiom: To make a mountain out of a molehill – to make something seem bigger in importance than what it really is; to exaggerate the importance of something that is not very important

Context #1 

Two co-workers are talking during their break

Dan: What’s wrong, Juan? You look upset.
Juan: Oh, I’m OK. It’s just Bob, my boss is visiting from head office today. He took me into the conference room for a private 30-minute meeting and practically yelled at me the entire time.
Dan: Really? I can’t imagine why since you are the perfect employee.
Juan: He said that I had too many papers on my desk and that I need to put them away so that my desk doesn’t look so messy.
Dan: Seriously? That’s so crazy. Well, you know Bob, he always makes a mountain out of a molehill.
Juan: Yes, he does. What small thing will he find the next time he visits?

Context #2  

Two roommates arguing

Samira:  Umm, Polly. Look at this mess!
Polly: What mess? What are you talking about?
Samira: The cushions on the sofa are crooked and the blanket is not even folded!
Polly: You are making a mountain out of a molehill, Samira! The cushions don’t have to be perfectly straight all the time and blanket doesn’t always need to be folded. That’s not natural when you have people using the sofa every day.
Samira: Well, it just takes a few minutes to straighten everything out.
Polly: That’s just weird. I live in the normal world, so I’m leaving everything like this.

Meaning: To make a mountain out of a molehill means to exaggerate the importance of something that is not important at all.  In context 1, Juan, a model employee, is upset because his boss yelled at him for leaving a few papers on his desk (something not important to his job). In context 2, Samira is demanding that the cushions on the couch always be straight and the blanket always folded. Polly thinks that is asking too much, or that Samira is exaggerating the importance of the situation.

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