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For Students: Idioms to use...

I was wondering what I was going to write about this week, but then I remembered the other day I had a conversation about idioms. While they are funny, fancy, and at times baffling – very confusing – they aren't always appropriate and an old-fashioned or rare idiom can sound a little weird. I thought how I could use some of the most commonly used ones to describe some of my everyday life and situations here in Lviv, Ukraine and came up with 9 idioms that you can also start using in your own English.

Hit and miss – this is when something is not consistence. I thought of a few restaurants I go here that are hit and miss. One day it's brilliant and then the next time I go, it's pretty poor. The same goes with the service in some places, sometimes it's brilliant and then the next appalling – very bad.

Spoilt for choice – when you have many options to choose from. When you go down to the centre of Lviv you are spoilt for choice when it comes to places to eat and drink. I do like a nice kvas in the summer outside on the square at Diana.

Once in a blue moon – something that doesn't happen very often. I'm not as young as I used to be and my drinking days are far behind me, so when you're invited to go to a night club.... it's not something I'd bite your hand off for, but once in a blue moon I go.

Piece of cake – when something is easy to do. Ukrainian and Russian, I do like the sound of these languages, and I would really like to learn some useful words and phrases, but it's not a piece of cake. I have recently downloaded some audio lessons, so prepare yourself to be wowed.

Does my head in – this is when something annoys you. There are many things that do my head in, but one of the things that does my head in is when I'm really hungry and I go into Puzata Hata and I see a queue as long as the Great Wall of China.

It must be something in the water - used to describe something that is unknown and can't be explained. Now, it's no secret the Ukrainian females are a very good-looking species, but why does every female look like they've just walked off the cat-walk. Well, it must be something in the water ;)

Call it a day – when you decide to finish work for the day. I try to be as disciplined as possible. By this I mean Monday – Friday I try to do some form of work connected with the English language. That can be from writing a post like this or writing lesson plans for teachers to exercises for students, but I always try to call it a day by 4pm.

Cost a bomb – something very expensive. I'm a fan of trainers. I owe loads of different pairs, but they are all back in England. I had no room in my walk-on suitcase to take any pairs with me, so I thought I'd buy a pair here in Lviv. A decent pair of trainers here in Ukraine cost a bomb. They are actually twice the price here than in England.

Only time will tell – when you don't know what the future will hold. This is an honourable idiom I've put here because it's one I use quite often and it's very appropriate for now and for next what I will post next. Only time will tell....


Try and choose one of the idioms above to fit the conversation below

Conversation #1

A: Do you go to the cinema often?

B: _________ I'd like to go more.

A: You?

B: Yeah, I go often, but it ________ when people are eating very loudly when I'm trying to watch a film.

A: Yeah, I know what you mean. You don't need to go to the cinema these days though because you're _______ with all the on-demand video services these days

B: True

Conversation #2

A: Where do you want to go for dinner?

B: How about Giovana's ?

A: mmm it's a bit _________ but I don't mind trying

B: We could go to Luke's?

A: It _________ I don't have the money to go there.

Conversation #3

A: How do I apply for that card you have?

B: It's __________ you can do it on your website. Do you want to do it now?

A: Nah, I'm going to _________ I have to pick up my daughter. I'll do it tomorrow

Conversation #4

A: Wow Luca, why is every girl like a supermodel

B: I don't know _______________

B: Do you think you'll find someone for you here?

A: _______________

Answers: Once in a blue moon / does my head in / spoilt for choice / hit and miss / cost a bomb / a piece of cake / call it a day / in must be something in the water / only time will tell

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