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.

Everyday American Idioms for ESL Learners

Idioms are words and phrases in a language that have come into existence for a variety of reasons, some obvious enough, some inexplicable, but most of them appropriately and delightfully characteristic of the race that created them. American idioms are no exception; they reflect American culture at every social level. They are used in everyday life, in speaking and in writing, in movies and on television, and by people from all walks of life. Some of them may be unfamiliar even to some Americans, especially ESL (English as a Second Language) learners.

In this book, there are approximately nine-hundred American idioms selected for ESL learners to provide them with a better understanding of American English. Learn them so that you may know what they mean when they are used by Americans, and use them in their right context in your speaking and writing in your daily contacts with Americans.

Each American idiom comes with a simple explanation followed by one or more examples, showing you how to use it. Make an effort to learn ten American idioms a day, and then review what you have learned over the weekend. Then proceed to learning another ten, and so on and so forth. You may not remember all the American idioms that you have learned, but, rest assured, they will come back to you when you hear them in your social contacts with Americans.

Learning American idioms is as important as learning the vocabulary, the sentence structure, and the grammar usage of American English. If you plan to stay in the United States, learning American idioms is a must.

learning American idioms is a must.

Turn tail: run away
e.g. As soon as he saw the policeman, he turned tail.

Chow down: eat
e.g. The puppy is always ready to chow down anything you give her.

Damage: cost
e.g. “What’s the damage for this hat?” “Twenty dollars.”

Don’t hold your breath: it might take longer than you think
e.g. At last the law might be passed by the Congress, but don’t hold your breath.
e.g. I think she’ll find a job soon, but don’t hold your breath!

Totaled: damaged beyond repair
e.g. My car was totaled in the accident, but the insurance company would not pay for it.

Rule the roost: be the boss or in control
e.g. Who rules the roost at your house—you or your wife?

In the hole: in debt
e.g. You are in the hole because you are a spendthrift.

Easy mark: a likely victim
e.g. There’re many swindlers here. She’s an easy mark, but I’ve warned her to be careful with her money.

Face the music: confront danger; accept a bad situation
e.g. There are many circumstances in life in which one has to face the music.

Get down to brass tacks: get down to business or the basics
e.g. There were far too many rumors. We had to get down to brass tacks in order to get to the bottom of the truth.

Have other fish to fry: have other things to do

e.g. I can’t help you right now: I have other fish to fry.

Face-off: a confrontation
e.g. The demonstrators were heading towards a face-off with the police.

Do you want to learn more of the above everyday American idioms? There are 900+ American idioms with examples for you to learn. To get the digital copy of Everyday American Idioms for ESL Learners, click here; to get the paperback, click here.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

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