English Language Lessons

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

Archive for January, 2014

Idiom of the week – Stock up

Posted by englishlessons on January 27, 2014

Definition:

buy a lot of something that you plan to use later

Examples:

A storm is forecast, so people are stocking up on emergency supplies.

The coffee was on sale, so he decided to stock up.

Picture it:

Picture adding to your stock or supply of something

TOEFL® Tip:

Note that “stock up” is a phrasal verb. Phrasal verbs are included on the TOEFL® test as they are so frequent in English.

Slideshows:

AmEnglish.com Programs:

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Idioms in EnglishTOEFL Listening Practice

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Idiom of the week – Break out

Posted by englishlessons on January 20, 2014

Definition:

emerge forcefully from a restrictive condition or situation*

Examples:

After a period of slow growth, economists expect business investment could break out next quarter.

That team finally broke out of their slump and won their next game.

*Note: We also use this word to talk about a skin condition. He broke out in a rash after touching the poison oak as he’s allergic to the plant.

Picture it:

Picture a tiger breaking out of its cage.

TOEFL® Tip:

Note that “break out” is a phrasal verb. Phrasal verbs are included on the TOEFL® test as they are so frequent in English.

Slideshows:

AmEnglish.com Programs:

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Idioms in EnglishTOEFL Listening Practice

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Idiom of the week – Dial back

Posted by englishlessons on January 13, 2014

Definition:

decrease in intensity/strength

Examples:

We advised him to dial back his anger. He needs to control his temper in meetings.

Her sales approach is too aggressive. She needs to dial it back a bit.

Picture it:

Picture moving the dial back on a control panel to reduce the volume.

TOEFL® Tip:

Note that “dial back” is a phrasal verb. Phrasal verbs are included on the TOEFL® test as they are so frequent in English.

Slideshows:

AmEnglish.com Programs:

Improve your fluency in English. Check out all 17 English Language Training Programs from AmEnglish.com

Idioms in EnglishTOEFL Listening Practice

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Idiom of the week – Boil down

Posted by englishlessons on January 8, 2014

Definition:

reduce a problem to its essentials

Examples:

The problem boiled down to a disagreement over privacy rights.

We had number of arguments over the years and everything finally boiled down to one issue.

Picture it:

Picture boiling down a liquid so that it becomes more concentrated.

TOEFL® Tip:

Note that “boiled down” is a phrasal verb. Phrasal verbs are included on the TOEFL® test as they are so frequent in English.

Slideshows:

AmEnglish.com Programs:

Improve your fluency in English. Check out all 17 English Language Training Programs from AmEnglish.com

Idioms in EnglishTOEFL Listening Practice

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