English Language Lessons

Tips and training suggestions for learning English as a foreign language.

Idiom of the week – Level out/off

Posted by englishlessons on December 5, 2016

Definition:

stop going up or down and continue at the same height or amount

Examples:

Food prices were going up every week, but they seem to have leveled off recently.

The plane climbed to cruising altitude and then leveled out. 

 

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Idiom of the week – Frown on/upon something

Posted by englishlessons on November 21, 2016

Definition:

disapprove of something

Examples:

The librarian frowns on loud conversations in the library.

Our supervisor frowns on employees taking long lunches.

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Idiom of the week – Not sit well with someone

Posted by englishlessons on November 11, 2016

Definition:

a change or situation that makes someone unhappy or upset

Examples:

When her husband corrected her in public, it did not sit well with her.

If you change the bonus structure, it won’t sit well with the employees.

 

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Idiom of the week – Mull over something

Posted by englishlessons on October 31, 2016

Definition:

think about something seriously over a period of time

Examples:

I’m not ready to make a decision about this right away; give me some time to mull it over.

Their lawyers are mulling over the latest offer in the negotiations.

 

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Idiom of the week – Hunker down

Posted by englishlessons on October 24, 2016

Definition:

Not do things that may be risky

Examples:

That company didn’t spend a lot of money last quarter; they hunkered down and saved their cash.

We decided not to buy a bigger house; we are hunkering down until the economy improves.

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Idiom of the week – Make headway

Posted by englishlessons on October 17, 2016

Definition:

make progress toward achieving something despite difficulties

Examples:

We made headway in the most recent negotiations, so we may be able to have a final agreement soon.  

If we make significant headway in our building project this summer, we should be able to finish by fall.

 

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Idiom of the week – Pare down something

Posted by englishlessons on October 11, 2016

Definition:

gradually reduce something

Examples:

We decided to pare down our investments in energy stocks.

Her parents asked her to look over the list of universities she wants to visit next fall and pare it down to 3 schools.

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Idiom of the week – Play up/Play down

Posted by englishlessons on October 4, 2016

Definition:

Emphasize/De-emphasize

Examples:

In her description of the property, the real estate agent played up the excellent schools in the area, but played down the house’s location on a busy street.

 

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Idiom of the week – Fork over

Posted by englishlessons on September 26, 2016

Definition:

pay

Examples:

They demanded that he fork over the cash immediately.

She complained when she was asked to fork over an additional 20% for the rent due to an increase.

 

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Idiom of the week – Sit tight

Posted by englishlessons on September 9, 2016

Definition:

hold off on any action or movement for a period of time

Examples:

We decided to sit tight and not make any changes in our investments right now.

They were advised to sit tight and see what happened to interest rates in the next three months.

 

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