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Thursday, September 21, 2017

To Add Fuel to the Fire

Idiom: To add fuel to the fire - To do or say something to make a problem or bad situation worse; to further anger a person or group of people who are already angry

Context #1

Dan: Hey, Juan. Did you see the huge fight at the soccer match last night?
Juan: No, I didn’t. What happened?
Dan: Well, the home team was losing badly, but the visiting team was really playing dirty. The crowd was already angry.
Juan: Well, that’s understandable.
Dan: But then the fans from the visiting team started laughing and taunting the home team crowd by calling them names like “losers.” Of course, this only added fuel to the fire and the crowd got even angrier.
Juan: Wow! So the crowd attacked the visiting team’s fans?
Dan: Yep! The crowd started throwing things at the fans and then even punched some of them!
Juan: Well, I guess that is what happens when you add fuel to the fire, especially in front of a crowd of people!

Context #2

Samira: Did you see the president’s speech last night about the conflict going on right now?
Polly: Yes, I did. Unfortunately, I think the president only added fuel to the fire because now the situation is even worse and the countries in the conflict are even more hostile.
Samira: I agree. What was the president thinking? He needs to be more diplomatic in his words in order to calm the situation down.
Polly: Right! Hopefully, he will be more careful in his next speech and try to predict peace instead of war.
Samira: Well, we can only hope. It seems like this president enjoys adding fuel to the fire. It’s good for his ratings.

Meaning: To add fuel to the fire means to make a situation worse or to further anger a person or group of people. In context 1, the fans from the visiting team added fuel to the fire, or made the home team crowd even angrier, by calling the crowd names. In context 2, the president made the conflict even worse by not using diplomatic language or language that would make the situation calmer.

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Monday, September 18, 2017

Right Off The Bat

Idiom: Right off the bat – Immediately, Instantly, Without Hesitation

Context #1

Tanya: Hi, Suzy. What’s wrong?
Suzy: Oh, hi Tanya. I’m so disappointed in my new apartment.
Tanya: What do you mean?
Suzy: Well, I was told that is was a fully furnished, new apartment, but I noticed that the heated floors and the electric fireplace are not turned on yet. It’s just really upsetting.
Tanya: Are you serious? Suzy, it’s September and still hot outside. You don’t even need those things yet. Besides, you can’t expect everything to be ready right off the bat. It’s a new apartment and they are still finishing things off.
Suzy: I guess you’re right. It's just that I paid a lot of money for that apartment, so is it too much to ask for things to be done right off the bat?
Tanya: I see your point.

Context #2

Sam:  Hey, Patricia. You look like you are in pain. What happened?
Patricia: Oh, I just went to my first bicycle lesson yesterday. I fell off the bike and crashed right off the bat.
Sam: Bicycle lesson? Do they actually have those types of lessons? Didn’t you learn how to ride a bike when you were a child?
Patricia: No, Sam, I didn’t! I know it’s strange, but I never learned and it’s super scary for me, especially since I hurt myself yesterday.
Sam: I learned right off the bat when I was six years old. It’s so easy.
Patricia: Well, good for you, Sam. It’s easy for children to learn, but for adults, it is more challenging.
Sam: I guess you are right. Good luck and be careful!

Meaning: “Right off the bat” means instantly or without hesitation. In context 1, Suzy expected everything in her expensive new apartment to be ready instantly or right off the bat. In context 2, Patricia doesn’t know how to ride a bike, and when she tried, she fell off the bike right off the bat. Sam responded that as a child, he learned right off the bat. 

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