English for Everyone

<b>English for Everyone</b>
Stephen Lau's website to help you get the wisdom to live as if everything is a miracle.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Learn Some English Slang (5)


Learn some English slang. Slang is highly ephemeral: it changes from one generation to another. Slang terms come into existence for various reasons, some obvious, some inexplicable, but most of them are delightfully direct and to the point. The use of slang adds spice to speech and writing.

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(5)

Square up to: face boldly
e.g. Can you square up to your boss?

Look in: a chance
e.g. I don't think you'll have a look in for that job.

Slap: exactly or precisely
e.g. He came back slap at 5 o'clock.

Plank down: pay a deposit
e.g. If you plank down $20, I'' reserve it for you.

Square meal: a satisfying meal
e.g That was a real square meal. I'll definitely come back.

Brain-wave: a sudden inspiration
e.g. With a brain-wave, we came up with a plan.

Slave one's guts out: work very hard
e.g. Your boss certainly slaves your guts out.

Mouthful: a long and important speech
e.g. The manager gave his staff a mouthful.

Sit up: surprise
e.g. What he told us  just now really made us sit up.

Rattled: drunk, confused
e.g. The man looked rattled; don't go near him.

Stephen Lau

Read my book Effective Writing Made Simple. To download the Amazon Kindle edition for only $4.40, click here; to purchase the paperback edition for only $7.00, click here; to download the e-book for only $4.40 from ClickBank, click here.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Learn Some American Idioms (3)


Learn some American idioms. The English language is rich in idiomatic expressions. A student studying American English as a foreign language with only limited knowledge of idioms will find himself or herself in a serious disadvantage in reading, discussions and debates.

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(3)

Get the blues: become sad.
e.g. Many people get the winter blues in this kind of dreary weather.

Back to back: following immediately.
e.g. We were busy with appointments back to back.

Come to think of it: I just remembered.
e.g. Come to think of it, you owe me some money.

Have one's head in the clouds: not knowing what is happening.
e.g. She drifted along with her head in the clouds.

Bark up the wrong tree: ask or choose the wrong person.
e.g. If you think I'm the guilty person, you're barking up the wrong tree.

Get a load off one's mind: say what one is thinking.
e.g. I have a lot to tell you; I just want to get a load off my mind.

Bury one's head in the sand: ignore the obvious danger.
e.g. You need to deal with the situation; you just cannot bury your head in the sand.

Johnny-come-lately: a late comer.
e.g. We have been doing this for years. Why should we let a Johnny-come-lately tell us what to do?

Kiss and make up: forgive and be friends again.
e.g. We had a big quarrel, but in the end we kissed and made up.

By the same token: in the same way.
e.g. I gave you financial assistance before; by the same token, I expect you to help me this time.

Stephen Lau

Read my book Effective Writing Made Simple. To download the Amazon Kindle edition for only $4.40, click here; to purchase the paperback edition for only $7.00, click here; to download the e-book for only $4.40 from ClickBank, click here.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Learn Some American Idioms (2)

Learn some American idioms. The English language is rich in idiomatic expressions. A student studying American English as a foreign language with only limited knowledge of idioms will find himself or herself in a serious disadvantage in reading, discussions and debates.

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(2)

Come to light: become known.
e.g. It came to light that he was the real benefactor. 

Buy a pig in a poke: buy something without seeing it.
e.g. Buying on line is sometimes like buying a pig in a poke.

On one's mind: currently thinking.
e.g. What's on your mind? You seem deep in thoughts.

By leaps and bounds: rapidly.
e.g. Our profits increased by leaps and bounds; thanks to your contribution.

Eat like a horse: eat a great deal.
e.g. At the party, he didn't do much, except eating like a horse!

Come what may: no matter what might happen.
e.g. I'll be back by nine, come what may.

Break the ice: start a social conversation.
e.g. After some moments, the shy girl finally broke the ice and participated in the conversation.

By the seat of one's pants: by luck, with little skill.
e.g. I finally finished my high school by the seat of my pants.

Get down to brass tacks: get down to practical matters.
e.g. The Congress should get down to brass tacks, and start discussing the debt crisis.

Grind to a halt: slow down to a stop.
e.g. The tour bus ground to a halt, and the tourists got out and stretched their legs.

Stephen Lau