Learn Some Idiomatic Expressions
Late in life: in old age
e.g. It was only late in life that he became a famous writer.
Afraid of one’s own shadow: easily frightened.
e.g. Don’t tell him that this is an unsafe neighborhood; he is even afraid of his own shadow.
Abide by: accept and follow
e.g. If you wish to become a citizen of the
United States, you must abide by immigration
Take to one’s heels: run away
e.g. Before the police could come, the thief took to his heels.
Feel like: have a desire for something
e.g. I feel like eating a hamburger.
After a fashion: somehow or somewhat
e.g. I play the piano after a fashion—well, not a concert pianist.
Keep abreast of: keep up with; keep updated
e.g. As a politician, you must keep abreast of what is happening around the world.
Put the finger on someone: accuse someone of some wrong-doing; inform the police
e.g. You think I took your money? Don’t try to put the finger on me!
Under a cloud: under suspicion
e.g. He has been under a cloud; the police has been investigating him for some time.
Paddle one's own canoe: do something by oneself
e.g. You're now a young adult; you should learn to paddle your own canoe.
Open a Pandora’s box: uncover a lot of previously unsuspected problems
e.g. If I were you, I would not look into his past; you might be opening a Pandora’s box.
Hit like a ton of bricks: surprise or shock
e.g. The sudden resignation of the President hit the people like a ton of bricks.
Go the distance: do the whole thing
e.g. This is a long, complicated project. To succeed, you must go the distance.
For a song: inexpensive
e.g. You can get this on the Internet for a song.
Hit the nail on the head: do exactly the right thing
e.g. Your remark hit the nail on the head; that was precisely the solution to the problem.
Copyright© 2018 by Stephen Lau