For Students: Body idioms and Phrases
Updated: Apr 17
Hello 2020, and hello January the month that starts a brand new twelve months and for us and for us to try and start those resolutions we made for the year ahead. Why not add a new mission for 2020? How about learning a new idiom or phrase a month and then making sure you use it at least twice in that month. Here are 12 idioms and phrases to help you with just that, all containing a part of the body….
January: (to have) a gut feeling – a feeling inside you have that you think something might happen. Example: I didn’t get the job, I had a gut feeling I wasn’t the right man after the interview.
February: A pain in the neck/arse(ass) – something or someone unpleasant and annoying. Example: Please don’t bring Bob to the cinema, he’s a pain in the ass.He always asks questions during the film.
Note: A very common phrase meaning the same, but a bit stronger is (something/someone) does your head in. It could easily fit in the above example making the annoyance stronger.
March: Play it by ear – to not arrange something officially and to decide at the time of the meeting.
Example: Monday is OK, but when I don’t know, so let’s play it by ear.
April: Pull your finger out – To work harder. Usually after a long period of not working hard. Example: If you want to pass those exams, you really need to pull your finger out or you.
May: Keep your eyes peeled – To be aware for something or someone – Example: When you go to London, keep your eyes peeled for that supermarket I told you about.
June: Off the top of my head – without thinking too much or giving too much thought about something. Example: I don’t know now, but off the top of my head about 400 pounds.
July: No-brainer – an easy decision – Example: They offered me a job and of course I accepted it. It was a no-brainer
Note: Recently, I was told that Ukraine is suffering from a brain-drain at an alarming percentage – loss of talented people to other countries. It was very sad to hear.
August: To lend someone a hand – to help someone. Often used in a question. Example: Do you want a (wanna) hand?
September: My hands are tied – when you have no control over something. Example: I heard about their choice. I’m sorry I couldn’t help. My hands were tied.
October: (to have)A sweet tooth – someone who likes sugary things like sweets, chocolate, and cakes. Example: I have a sweet tooth, so it’s really hard for me to go a day without some chocolate.
November: (to be)All ears – when you give all your attention to someone who wants to tell you something. Example. Let me finish writing this email, and then I’m all ears.
December: To keep an eye on (someone/something) – To monitor or care for someone or something. Example: I just have to go out, I’ll be back in 30 minutes, but can you keep an eye on the oven, I’ve just put the chicken in.
English native speaker and CELTA qualified English language teacher in Lviv.
Online English lessons using Skype and Zoom with a British native speaker.
Conversation #1 The Staff room
a) How is your class?
b) They are OK. I have Stepan Semenyuk in my class this year, and you what a ………. he is!
a) Yeah, I remember him from last year. But, he really did ………. towards the end of last year and got some good marks in the final exam. But, you will have to .......... his lateness. He is often late for lessons.
b) Yeah, he was late today.
Conversation #2 The Street
a) Do you ………. carrying that bag?
b) Yes, please. Be careful. There are lots of chocolates bars in there. My grandson has a .......... and he goes crazy for a Bounty
a) I just ………. that he won’t win
b) Won’t win!! It’s ………. Of course he will. Why are you being so negative?
a) I’m not, it’s just how I feel. When was the last time he won 3 in a row?
b) ………. Maybe 3 years ago.
a) Exactly, that’s ages ago.
a) So what time are we meeting?
b) I’m not sure, let’s ……….
a) OK. I’ll be in the centre anyway, so ……….for my new orange jumper
b) Ha-ha did you buy it then?
a) Yeah, I was .......... on the price because I knew the sales were coming and then it was reduced
Key: Pain-in-the-ass / pull his finger out / keep an eye on / want a hand / sweet tooth / have a gut feeling /a no-brainer / off the top of my head / play it by ear / Keep your eyes peeled / keeping an eye on