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<b>English for Everyone</b>
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Monday, July 2, 2018

More Colloquial Expressions


More Colloquial Expressions

Pipe dream: something impossible or unrealistic.

e.g. The Mayor said that building another highway would be a pipe dream in the current economic environment.

Snap it up: be quick.

e.g. "Snap it up! We need to finish it before noon."

No can do: I cannot do it.

e.g. "Can you do this now?" "No can do.”

Says who?: who do you think you are to say that?

e.g. "I heard you were reprimanded by your boss for being late again." "Says who?"

Try as I may: I regret or fail to do something.

e.g. "Can you do something with this machine?" "Try as I may, I can't make it work."

Search me: I don't know; I don't have the answer.

e.g. "Do you know the author of this quotation?" "Search me."

Keep one's shirt on: calm down; don't get too excited.

e.g. "Cool off! Keep your shirt on. This is not the end of the world."

I am like you: we share the same opinion.

e.g. "I don't like cheese in my food." "I am like you: cheese makes me feel sick."

See to it right away: take care of a complaint or problem.

e.g. "The tap is leaking." "Yes, I'll see to it right away."

I spoke too soon: spoke without getting all the facts.

e.g. "You were wrong about that." "I'm sorry. Maybe I spoke too soon."

So much for that: that's the end of that.

e.g. "Well, so much for that. I'm not going to get involved any more. That's it!"

What would you say if: asking for an opinion; what about?

e.g. "I heard you were recently offered a job." "What would you say if I decline the offer?"

It could have been worse: accept an apology.

e.g. "I'm sorry I broke your glass." "It could have been worse."

Sorry I asked: I wish I had not asked.

e.g. "I didn't pass my test." "Sorry I asked."

Spare me the details: don't want to hear; avoid an unpleasant subject.

e.g. "Today I got fired." "Spare me the details!"

Speak out of turn: speak at the wrong time.

e.g. "Beware of what you're going to say at the meeting. Don't speak out of turn by talking about your divorce."

What else is new?: it is not new.

e.g. "Last night my husband came home dead drunk." "What else is new?" (i.e. he is always drunk)

You could have fooled me: I would have thought otherwise.

e.g. "We're not getting along well; we've too many differences." "You could have fooled me! I thought the two of you are cut out for each other."

Stephen Lau
Copyright© 2018 by Stephen Lau


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