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II. What do we call...

1. an irritating person who knows everything? 4. the one who gets the best marks?

2. the person who is the teacher's favourite? 5. a person who is very lazy?

3. someone who thinks they are the best and says so?


III. You can also learn idioms by associating them with a key word or words. Here is a work-fork based on to have + head. Use the expressions to finish the sentences below.

    to have one's head screwed on [be sensible] a head for heights [not suffer from vertigo] a head like a sieve [bad memory] a good head for figures [be good at maths] one's head in the clouds [unaware of reality]

1. I'd better write it in my notebook. I have .....

2. Ask Martha to check those sums. She has ...

3. Don't ask me to go up that tower. I'm afraid I don't .....

4. She's very sensible and knows what she's doing. She ...

5. He's quite out of touch with reality. He really ...


IV. Which idioms do you think these drawings represent?

1 2 3


V. Try guessing from the context what the underlined idioms mean.

1. Don't get angry with him. His heart's in the right place.

2. Joe's a bit of a square peg in a round hole here. I think he should get a job which suits his character better.

3. A: Hey! I'm talking to you! B: Sorry, I was miles away.


Idioms describing people II

Animal names

These idioms are based on compound nouns related to animals.

A person who ... is...
is a dark horse someone who is clever or skilful in a way that no one knew or expected
is a lone wolf someone who does not mix socially with other people
is a cold fish someone who is not very friendly and does not show their feelings
is/acts as a guinea pig/gını pıg/ someone who acts as a subject in an experiment or trial of something
is a party animal someone who loves parties and socialising
would love to be a fly on the wall someone who would love to be present to see an important private or secret event


Note also:

There was a fly-on-the-wall documentary on TV last night about hospital waiting-rooms. [programme filmed in a real-life situation, sometimes with hidden cameras]

People's characters and their actions

John's bark is worse than his bite. [he may seem fierce/tough, but he is not really]

You don't need to be afraid of him. He wouldn't hurt a fly. [is totally harmless and would never hurt anyone]

Larry's really got the travel bug ever since he won that holiday in the Caribbean. [a strong desire to travel (bug here means virus; the original meaning of bug is a small insect)]

She's working very hard for her exams. She's really got/taken the bit between her teeth. [has started to work/act in a very determined way (a bit is a piece of metal put between a horse's teeth to control it)]

They've given me free rein to do what I like in this new job. [complete freedom (reins are what you hold in your hands to control a horse when riding)]

Tim: How did you know I was getting married?

Linda: A little bird told me. [said when someone has told you a secret, but you do not want to say who]

As soon as the meeting was over, we all made a beeline for the food. We were so hungry! [went quickly and directly to]

I always have butterflies in my stomach just before an exam. [feel very nervous]

I made a real pig of myself last night, so I'm not going to eat any lunch today. [ate too much]

I have so much work to do these days. I'm just chasing my tail trying to catch up. [doing a lot, but it is all pointless / without effect]


Date: 2016-03-03; view: 1015

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Character in action | II. Complete each passage below with the correct words from the list above it to make an accurate description of one of the people in the illustration.
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