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A guy gets more than he bargained for after

Claire knew that to argue any more would

entering into an affair with the wife of an investment

only undermine her credibility.

Gain/lose credibility:
The government is losing credibility by
innovative; pioneering.

its failureto act quickly.

"groundbreaking research into fertility problems"

used about things such as systems, statements,
or beliefs
Turn the page

The credibility of your work will suffer if you get

your facts wrong.

Means to leave a difficult situation behind and move

on to a new period in your life. Its more commonly

Good faith noun

used in American English.

the intention of behaving in an honest and sincere


Joan cried a lot during her divorce. When it was over,

in good faith:

she decided to turn the page and start partying


I borrowed the money in good faith, but now I

cant payit back.

The president told the nation the war was over and
asked them to turn the page and work for the

Honesty NOUN

reconstruction of the country.

an honest way of behaving, speaking, or thinking
Be on the same page.
Sincerity NOUN
That phrase means 'to think in a similar way'.
an honest way of behaving that shows that
The team leader organized a meeting as soon as he

you really mean what you say or do

started in the new post. He wanted to make sure

everybody was on the same page.

Openness NOUN


an honest way of talking or behaving in which you

Qualities that someone has

do not try to hide anything

that make people believe or trust them

Transparency NOUN
The jury had doubts about the credibility of some of
the witnesses.

an honest way of doing things that allows other

Undermine/damage someones

people to know exactly what you are doing

credibility (=damage it):

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Buy time request time to plan, ask for extra time

Let me get this straight. You say there's a moose in

If we can just buy a little time, may be the price will

your bathtub?

go down.

get me down cause me to feel negative; to feel

Get a hold of talk to, phone


I tried to get a hold of Pierre when I was in Montreal.

What gets me down is the way government wastes

a man of few words a man who says little; who uses

our money.

few words

get you down cause you to feel sad, cause you to be

Chung is a man of few words, but when he speaks,


people listen.

Do Mondays get you down? Do you hate going back

Get burned be caught, get blamed, get into trouble

to work?

I got burned for helping Bev with her divorce.They

get something out of learn from, benefit from

blamed me.

We always get something out of her class. We learn

get carried away become too emotional, go


overboard, go too far

get the point understand the idea or the message

When the kids play hockey, their parents get carried

Did you get the point of his talk? What was the main

away, yelling at the referees and fighters.


get caught found doing something, caught in the act

get to the bottom of get the facts, find the cause Did

Did we get caught driving without a license? Did she

you get to the bottom of the problem? What is the

"get a ticket"?


get caught up do unfinished work, learn what you

get to the point say what is important, come to the



I have to get caught up on my studies. I missed two

When answering questions, get to the point. Be


direct and brief.

get down to business work seriously, not waste time

get to the root of the problem find the cause, get to

or effort

the bottom of

"Let's get down to business," he said. "We have

We got to the root of the problem. The children are

much to do."

afraid of the dog.

get in deeper cause you more trouble, dig yourself in

get together come to visit, have you over

Telling another lie will only get you in deeper - make

We should get together at Easter. Would you like to

it worse.

visit us?

get in my face confront me, stand in front of me

Got what it takes Have the necessary abilities.

When I try to talk to Jodi, her boyfriend gets in my

give 110% work harder than required, do more than



get in on it benefit from it, take advantage of it

If we want to win this game, everyone has to give

Baymart is having a half-price sale, and I want to get


in on it.

give her credit say that she helped or contributed

get it straight understand it, catch on, figure out

Give Jane credit for staying with Tarzan all these

She doesn't know the difference between boys and


girls. I hope she soon gets it straight.

give it all you've got try very hard, do all you can

get this straight understand what is said, get the

When I say "push," give it all you've got.

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give it your best shot do the best you can, try your

Uncle Bob works for the City. If your tax bill is too


high, maybe he'll go to bat for you.

If you want to win, you have to give it your best

Go to great lengths/ go to any lengths


Do whatever is necessary, never give up

give you hell [B] lecture you, scold you, tie into you

Cynthia will go to any lengths to find a dress

She'll give you hell if you come late to her class, so

designed by Voz.

be on time.

go to hell [B] leave, go, drop dead, take off When I

go back on reverse a decision, break a promise

asked him to move his car, he told me to go to hell.

Mat wouldn't go back on his word. He's very

Go with the flow do what others do, do what helps



go bad spoil, become sour Milk will go bad if it's left

Don't always try to be different. Go with the flow

in the sun. It will taste sour.


go easy on do not ask him to work hard, ease up on

Go wrong choose wrong answers, make a mistake

Go easy on Billy, please. He's not well today.

Where did we go wrong with our budget? Did we

go easy on do not take too much, use less Go easy


on the jam, please. Leave some for

Going strong doing well, succeeding


The party was going strong - lots of dancing and

go for it try it, attempt it When he asked if he should


climb the tree, we yelled, "Go for it!"

Go ahead, make my day The phrase basically

go in circles walk around but not work, work in

means do what you are intending and I will make


you regret it. The phrase was originally said by Clint

I'm going in circles. I have to stop and plan my work.

Eastwood in a film in which he played a tough

go into detail give details in a story or report Don't

detective facing a criminal who was planning to

go into detail right now. Just tell us how much it

shoot him the implication was that if the criminal


had tried to shoot, Eastwood would have shot him

go out of your mind (See out of your mind)

before he could reach his gun.

go out of your way do special things to help, put

Go easy on them (1) Give a less harsh punishment

yourself out

than might have logically been expected. (2) A

Hilda went out of her way to help us when Dad was

request that a punishment be made less harsh (e.g.


I think you should go easy on them, since they

Go the extra mile work longer or harder than

didnt fully realize what they were doing).

expected, give 110%

Go mad/nuts (1) Become insane. (2) Become

If you are willing to go the extra mile, you can be the

angry. (3) Have (usually boisterous) fun. (4) Enjoy.

top student.

(5) An instruction to enjoy something (e.g. a person

Go to any trouble work to make us welcome, put

giving another person a toy or something frivolous

yourself out

might say go mad, meaning enjoy it).

Please don't go to any trouble for us. Don't change

Go round in circles Perform a task that seems to

your plans.

accomplish nothing except increase the level of

Go to bat for help someone by talking to managers

frustration. There is usually the implication that any

or authorities, put in a good word for

attempt to find a solution leads back to the original

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Go the extra mile Make an especially strenuous

Play havoc with someone or something or raise


havoc with someone or something to create

Go their own way Act independently.

confusion or disruption for or among someone or

Go through hell Endure great hardship and/or

something. Your announcement raised havoc with


the students. I didnt mean to play havoc with

Go to their head Something that goes to their


head predominates their thoughts. The phrase is

Play hard/ safe/ nice

generally used in two contexts: (1) if alcohol goes to

Play ignorant and play dumb to pretend to be

a persons head, then they are drunk; and (2) if

ignorant [of something]. I played ignorant even

success goes to a persons head, then they become

though I knew about the surprise party. John

conceited and/or arrogant.

played ignorant when I asked him if he knew who

Go too far

had been on the telephone.

Go with the flow Copy or accept the prevailing

play innocent to pretend to be innocent and not

mood and/or behaviour.

concerned. There is no need to play innocent. I

Go without saying It is expected.

know you broke the lamp! John is playing

good-for-nothing not useful, useless

innocent, and he knows more than he is telling us.

I'll be glad when we sell that good-for-nothing truck.

play into someones hands [for a person one is

good for you good work, 'at a boy, good on you

scheming against] to come under ones control

When Dad saw my high marks, he said, "Good for

without realizing it. John is doing exactly what I

you, Nick."

hoped he would. Hes playing into my hands. John


played into my hands by taking the coins he found

Play a joke on someone to make a joke that tricks

in my desk. I caught him and had him arrested.

someone. The children played a joke on their

play it cool to act calm and unconcerned. No

teacher. I dont like it when you play jokes on me.

one will suspect anything if you play it cool. Dont

get angry, Bob. Play it cool.

Play a trick on someone to do a trick that affects

play it safe to be or act safe; to avoid taking a risk.

someone. Somebody played a trick on me by

You should play it safe and take your umbrella.

hiding my shoes. The little boys planned to play a

If you have a cold or the flu, play it safe and go to

trick on their teacher by turning up the heat in the



Its hard to figure out what John is up to because he

Play tricks (on someone) to trick or confuse

plays his cards close to his chest.

someone. I thought I saw a camel over there. I

Dont let them know what youre up to. Keep your

guess my eyes are playing tricks on me. Please

cards close to your vest.

dont play tricks on your little brother. It makes him

play ones cards right and play ones cards well


to work or negotiate correctly and skillfully. (Also

Play fair to do something by the rules; to play

literal. Informal.) If you play your cards right, you

something in a fair and just manner. John wont

can get whatever you want. She didnt play her

play with Bill anymore because Bill doesnt play fair.

cards well, and she ended up with something less

You moved the golf ball with your foot! Thats not

than what she wanted.

playing fair!

play ones trump card to use a special trick; to use

ones most powerful or effective strategy or device.
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(Also literal. Informal.) I wont play my trump card

Mind n

until I have tried everything else. I thought that

My mind does not work that way.No tow mind

the whole situation was hopeless until Mary played

thinks alike.

her trump card and solved the whole problem.

Stuff the mind with facts.

play on something to have an effect on something;

Lets switch our minds to another subject.

to manage something for a desired effect. The

Music can take our mind off our worries.

clerk played on my sense of responsibility in trying

I take ones mind off ones work.

to get me to buy the book. See if you can get her

I cant get this matter out of my mind.

to confess by playing on her sense of guilt.

You need holiday to take this matter off your

Play politics 1. to negotiate politically.


Everybody at city hall is playing politics as usual.

Out of sight, Out of mind-Proverb, people who

If youre elected as a member of a political party,

are far away are soon to forget

youll have to play politics.

Throw ones whole mind into ones work.

2. to allow politics to dominate in matters where

His name slipped from my mind.

principle should prevail. Look, I came here to

What do you have in your mind?

discuss this trial, not play politics. Theyre not

Do you have anything in your mind for next year

making reasonable decisions. Theyre playing



Act this with definite purpose in our mind

Play (the) devils advocate to put forward

Go out of ones mind

arguments against or objections to a proposition

She must be out of her mind to want to go out

which one may actually agree withpurely to test

with him.

the validity of the proposition. (The devils advocate

The thoughts lingered in my mind.

was given the role of opposing the canonization of a

The thought just flashed into my mind.

saint in the medieval Church in order to prove that

The question why I am here: just keep popping up

the grounds for canonization were sound.) I agree

in my mind.

with your plan. Im just playing the devils advocate

My mind is disturbed by my failure to warn her then.

so youll know what the opposition will say. Mary

This thought troubled my mind many days.

offered to play devils advocate and argue against

Dont trouble your mind about it.

our case so that we would find out any f laws in it.

Turn ones mind to.

Play the fool to act in a silly manner in order to

The mind boggles at the sum which would be

amuse other people. The teacher told Tom to stop


playing the fool and sit down. Fred likes playing

His mind drifted/flowed.

the fool, but we didnt find him funny last night.

I cant prevent my mind from dwelling on these

Play up to someone to try to gain someones favor.

sad events.

Bill is always playing up to the teacher. Ann

His mind was absorbed in other matter.

played up to Bill as if she wanted him to marry her.

Affect ones mind

Play with fire to take a big risk. (Also literal.

The question agitates ones mind.

Informal.) If you accuse her of stealing, youll be

It is time you apply your mind to books.

playing with fire. I wouldnt try that if I were you

The poetry was written in a very different world to

unless you like playing with fire.

ours, and it takes time to attune ones mind to

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Bend ones mind to a task.

Improve ones mind by reading.

His sermon blew my mind.

Inspire the mind of others.

The scale of the accident was more than enough to

Keep your mind on something:

boggle the mind.

I cant keep my mind on work

It is necessary to bring an unbiased mind to this

when its so sunny outside.


Leave those girls alone and keep your mind on what

Cast ones mind back.

you are supposed to be doing.

Anyone who has cleared his mind of the

It is difficult to keep ones mind on the thing that

obsession of tradition will agree that

matter when social life takes up so much time.

Concentrate ones mind on some task.

we must lift our mind above the mere national

His mind was confused.


A strange though suddenly crossed my mind.

She is beginning to lose her mind.

Two instance cross my mind at this moment.

confuse sbs mind.

A university education is supposed to cultivate the

His mind was obsessed/possessed by (with) the

mind. Education develops and disciplines the

fear of death.


The problems which are occupying ones mind.

Thoughts and fear distract the mind.

What most occupies the public mind at present is

Black thoughts disturbed my mind.

the question of.

We took him to mountain to divert his mind from

Open your mind to some new thougthts.

these sad thoughts.

Brush up/Polish ones mind.

Try to divert your mind of these thoughts; we will

Books like these are polluting our minds.

solve the problem somehow.

My mind was preocuupied with other things.

Love draws the mind to higher planes.

Once she puts her mind to it, she will learn fast.

Your letter eased/relived my mind greatly.

Keep in mind what I am about to tell you.

Solving problems of racial prejudice is largely a

Be of a mind

question of educating the public mind.

Intention, disposition, temper, Temperament :

Engross the mind of

I was of a mind to let him have his own way.

Enlarge the mind..

the part of you that thinks,knows,remembers,

Enrich sbs mind.

and feels things

With a mind enriched by experience.

His mind was full of the things he had seen that day.

A bold thought entered his mind.

I need a walk to clear my mind.

The question exercises the minds of many

Know one's (own) mind.

scientists. Knowledge expands mind.

be decided or resolved, be firm or resolute, be sure

Her mind was filled with thoughts of the future.

or certain or positive, be (self-)assured or

Fix ones mind on..

(self-)confident, be in touch with oneself:

Follow ones own mind.

He knows his own mind when it comes to his career.

He tried to get his mind off this home.

She is too young to know her own mind.

I have a mind to undertake the work.

In someones mind:

I have half mind (good mind) to fire you, but I

You never know whats going on in her mind.I

will give you one more chance.

made him tell me what was on his mind. There

I have no mind to do it.

Page 6 of 28

was something important at on his mind. It is on

be of like mind

my mind thatI have troubles on my mind

FORMAL-to have the same opinions about

your attention or thoughts

someone or something as someone else

Can you say that again? My mind was on something

She had always worked with people of like mind.


be of one/be of the same mind (about)

your usual way of thinking

to agree about someone or something

Ellens husband has a very suspicious mind.

I think were all of one mind about who to choose.

Receptive mind, quite mind, practical mind, rational

He and I of the same mind on this matter.

mind, sharp mind, unbiasaed mind, worried mind,

I am of the same mind with you on that question.

troubled mind,

With open mind

Relax mind and relax body can go hand in hand.

be of sound mind

We have to deal with this problem with unbiased

LEGAL to not be mentally ill


bring/call /someone/something to mind

[SINGULAR] your intelligence and ability to understa

to remind you of someone or something :

nd things

This latest crisis brings to mind the events of last ye

a brilliant/keen mind


Her youngest child has a very enquiring mind (=is

to remember something :

very interested in things and always asking

I cant call his name to mind right now.


Change your/someones mind (about

My grandmothers mind is failing.


[COUNTABLE] someone who is very intelligent

to change your/someone elses decision or opinion

He is one of the finest minds in physics today

He is always changing his mind.

At the back of your mind

I was going to go swimming but it started raining,

not thinking about something now, but knowing that

so I changed my mind.

it exists or is true

Ive changed my mind. I dont want to go out.

At the back of her mind, she knew he was lying.

What made you change your mind?

Fear was at back of his mind. I kept it at the back of

See if you can change his mind about coming with u

my mind.


be/go out of your mind

come/spring to mind

INFORMAL to be/become crazy or confused

if something comes to mind, suddenly you remembe

You must be out of your mind to want to see him ag

r it or start to think about it


They asked for my comments, but nothing sprang to

be/go out of your mind with


worry/jealousy/boredom etc:

fragile was the word come to my mind.

Ill go out of my mind with boredom

what shall we do ? - mum nothing suitable

if I have to stay in this job.

comes to my mind at the moment, but we will think

be in or of two minds (about something)

of something.

to not be certain about something, or to have difficul

get someone/something out of your mind

ty in making a decision

to stop thinking about someone or something :

Im in two minds about accepting the job.

Shes never been able to get him out of her mind.

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Great minds think alike

In my minds eye, I saw him coming down the path t

HUMOROUS -used for saying that you are both

o meet me.

very clever when you and another

its all in your mind

person have the same idea


Have a good mind to do something/have half a

used for saying that something is not real and is just

mind to do something

being imagined

SPOKENused for threatening to do something, when

Hes not really ill; its all in his mind.

you probably willnot do it

keep something in mind

Ive a good mind to tell your parents what youve do

to remember something, especially something that


willbe important in the future, do not forget or

Have someone/something in mind

overlook, recall, retain, be aware or cognizant or

to know the type of person or thing that you want fo

mindful of, consider:

r a particular purpose

Bear in mind that the post office is closed tomorrow.

What kind of house did you have in mind?

Keep that in mind when you come to make your deci

have someone/something in mind for:


What sort of person do you have in mind for the job?

keep someone in mind (for something)

to remember someone or something

to remember someone because they might be suitab

Does everybody have the procedure firmly in mind?

le for a particularsituation, job etc in the future

have (it) in mind to do something

Keep me in mind if you need some help.

FORMAL to intend or want to do something

Attention, thoughts,Concentration, thinking: Try to

We had it in mind to take legal proceedings against

keep your mind on your work.


the last/ first thing on your mind

have a mind of its own

something that is not important enough to worry ab


out, especiallybecause you have more serious

if a machine or object has a mind of its own, it behav


es in a way thatyou do not expect

Cleaning the house is the last thing on my mind at t

This shopping trolley has a mind of its own.

he moment

have a mind of your own

a load/weight off someones mind

to have strong opinions and the ability to make your


own decisions

something that someone no longer needs to worry a

William certainly has a mind of his own!


have/keep an open mind

Knowing that youll be here to help is a load off my

to be willing to listen to other peoples opinions abou


t someone orsomething

Lose your mind

I told the committee that I had an open mind on the

to become crazy or very confused


I must be losing my mind I was sure I put the keys

in your minds eye


if you can see someone or something in your minds

Make up ones mind on something.

eye, you canimagine or remember what they look lik

to make a decision Come on, make up your mind!

Page 8 of 28

She made her mind to die rather that be defeated

put/set/turn your mind to something

in her purpose. I made up my mind that something

to decide to do something and try very hard to achie

should be done.

ve it

make up your mind whether:

You can do anything if you put your mind to it.

I cant make up my mind whether to go or not.

read someones mind

Someones mind is made up:

to know what someone else is thinking

My minds made up. Nothing will make

Yes, Id love a coffee; you mustve read my mind.

me change it.

set your mind on doing something

Someones mind is/goes blank

to be determined to have or achieve something

used for saying that someone is/becomes unable to r

Once Annas set her mind on getting something, the

emember or think anything

res no stopping her.

When he asked me for my number, my mind went c

Ive set my mind on getting a university degree.


Presence of mind


He had the presence of mind to call the police.

Mind over matter

State of mind

the ability to control pain or an unpleasant situation

the way that you are thinking and feeling at the pres

by using your mind

ent time

Do you believe that healing is a question of mind ov

She shouldnt drive in her present state of mind.

er matter?

I could not do it at present state of my mind.

How did they manage to survive without water for

Take your mind off something

so long in desert? mind over matters, I guess.

to make you stop thinking or worrying about sth.

On your mind

A good night out will help you take your mind off ex

in your thoughts, or making you worry


Work is very much on her mind at the moment.

Mind of own

have something on your mind:

Opinion, attitude, (point of) view, feeling, judgment,

You seem quiet today. Do you have

belief, viewpoint, position:

something on your mind?

She has a mind of her own.

have a lot on your mind:

to my mind- SPOKEN

She isnt usually so rude; shes got a lot on

used for emphasizing that you are expressing

her mind.

your own opinion

put someone in mind of

To my mind, their behavior is unreasonable.

to remind someone of someone or something

To my mind, the process could be greatly speeded

This puts me in mind of a similar situation we had la


st year.

With someone/something in mind

put someone/something out of your mind

while thinking about someone or something

to try to forget about someone or something unpleas

We moved here with the childrens schooling in min

ant, even if onlyfor a short time


Just try to put the problem out of your mind.

This room was designed with Carol in mind.

put/set someones mind at /ease/at rest

With that in mind, let us turn to page 77.

to stop someone feeling worried

Your assurances have really put my mind at rest.
Page 9 of 28

The memory of that day is still fresh in my mind.

A few doubts remained at the back of my mind.
Cant you get it into your head that Im not
His head is filled with useless facts and figures.
Ive been searching my memory, but I
still dont know who she is.
Try to relax: empty your mind.
I pushed/drove the thought out of my
It crossed her mind that he was lying.
The idea never entered my head.
The name was fixed/stuck in her mind.
I have my suspicions, but Im trying to
keep an open mind.
His mind is closed to any new ideas.
idea, intelligence, knowledge, opinion, understand
Never mind.
ignore, disregard, forget, pay no attention to, do not
think twice about, do not give a second
thought to, cancel from the mind,: Never mind
what that naughty boy calls you!
Put sbs mind at rest. She tried to put my mind at
rest by expaining the problem had been solved
peacefully many times before. I had been very
worried about him and your letter put my mind at
Puzzle ones mind with the thought. His behaviour
puzzled my mind.
Rasie the mind above how cares.
He reads peoples mind like a book. Try to read
sbs mind.
Art refines the mind.
Relax ones mind. Speak your mind.
He has set his mind on acting. She set her mind
to thinking up ways to solve the problem. Get your
mind set. You may set your mind at rest about

that. She managed to set mind at rest.

Your mind is like a container or area, with thoughts

It has slipped my mind entirely.

being stored there or going in and out.

Page 10 of 28

Mind v

Be thoughtful towards ones friends. The nurse

was thoughtful enough to leave us alone for a while.
Lead v
The discussion will lead us nowhere. His
despair ultimately led to suicide. Where does that
road lead? This path leads down to the lake.
[INTRANSITIVE/TRANSITIVE] to walk, drive, fly, sail
etc in front of a group of people, vehicles, planes,
ships etc
Leading the mourners were his widow and 14-yearold daughter.She led us down the hill.
lead one into something: He led his men into
[TRAN.] to show one the way to a place by going
there with them After showing us the dining room,
the estate agent led us into the kitchen.
lead the way (=show others the way to a
place): Sheila turned and led the way downstairs.
[TRAN.] to take or pull a person or animal

object to, resent, take offence at, be offended by,

somewhere by holding onto them or onto something

dislike, be troubled or annoyed by, care, have any

fastened to them
She took the boy by the hand and led him from the

objection to, be bothered or affronted by:

room. Dismounting, I led the horse by the reins back

Do you mind not smoking? Yes, I mind very much.

Would you mind moving your car, Youre blocking

to the stable.
[INTRANSITIVE/TRANSITIVE] if something such as a

the drive.

road, river, or door leads in a particular direction or

heed, attend to, pay attention to, obey, listen to,

to a particular place, or if it leads you there, it goes

make or take note of, mark, note: Please mind what

your mother says.

in that direction or to that place

The road leads west for three miles then turns

17 watch, be careful of, take care with, be cautious

south.We followed a dirt track leading through the

of: Mind your head at that low doorway!

The pipe leads from the water heater to the

18 watch over, take care of, care for, look after, sit
with,guard, keep an eye on or out for, have or take
charge of, attend: Suzie is minding the children so
Thoughtful/Considerate/Attentive/Caring- adj

I have

brought some flowers. How thoughtful of you !

Try to be more thoughtful about other people.


was thoughtful of you to invite me to the party.

the High StreetThis door leads you to a large

entrance hall.
[INTRANSITIVE/TRANSITIVE] to be winning at a

that we can get some work done.

She is always extremely thoughtful.

bathroom upstairs.a narrow alleyway leading off

particular time during a race or competition

The polls show Labour leading with only 10 days left
until the election.
lead one by something: France was leading
England at half time by 3 goals to 2.
lead the field: Johnson led the field throughout the
final day of the rally.

Page 11 of 28


to begin something by doing or saying something

successful, popular, or advanced of all the people,

The Prime Minister had invited the President to lead

groups, organizations etc involved in a particular

off the press conference.

lead off with: She led off the afternoon with

lead the world (in something): They lead the
world in oil production.
lead the field: Spain still leads the field as the top
British holiday destination.
[TRAN.] to be in control of an organization, group of

questions from the audience.

lead on
lead one on to encourage one to do something or
to expect something, especially by lying to them or
promising them something that they cannot have I

people, or activity She led the software

hope he's not just leading her on, because I'd hate

development team during the project.

[INTRANSITIVE/TRANSITIVE] to be in control of the

to see her look foolish.

lead on to
lead to (sense 1) Prout's work on digestion led on

way in which a discussion or conversation develops

I asked Ned to lead the discussion.
lead something away from something:
She kept trying to lead the conversation away from

to studies of proteins and fats.

lead into or lead on to
lead to something to begin a process that causes

personal matters.
[TRAN.] to cause one to do something
lead one to do something: He said differences

something to happen There is no doubt that stress

can lead to physical illness.a process of

over foreign policy had led him to resign.I had

been led to believe that the job was mine if I wanted
[TRAN.] to live your life in a particular way
lead a good/happy/busy/quiet etc life: He had
always led a quiet life until he met Emma.
[INTRANSITIVE/TRANSITIVE] to begin a part of a card

negotiation leading to a peaceful settlement

Collocations: lead to
collapse, decline, decrease, demise, deterioration,
downfall, drop, fall, growth, improvement, increase,
loss, (negative): breakdown, (positive): emergence,

game by playing a particular card

lead with: She led with the eight of spades.
be easily led-to be easily persuaded to do or

lead to something/lead one to something to

believe something
lead nowhere-to have no successful or useful

to a different conclusion.
lead up to something if events, problems, actions

result -All his months of hard work had led nowhere.

lead the wayto be the first to do something,

etc lead up to an important event, they happen one

especially to achieve success, and to show others

event to happen The negotiations leading up to

how to do it It is a country that has always led the

the contract were very tough.

lead up to something to happen or exist

make one think something The evidence leads me

way in its conservation policies.

lead into - definition
lead into same as lead to (sense 1) Discussion of a

after another in a way that makes it possible for the

immediately before something In the weeks

client's tax affairs will lead naturally into

leading up to graduation I did very little.

lead up to something to gradually direct a

consideration of investment options.

lead off

conversation towards a particular subject, especially

one that is difficult or embarrassing
I knew he was leading up to something, but I had no
idea what.
lead with something/lead something with
something to begin a speech, news broadcast,
story etc with a particular story or subject
We'll lead with the Prime Minister's visit to China.

Page 12 of 28

lead with something to begin an attack in boxing

Paid off if something that you do pays off,

with a particular hand or hit He led with a right

it brings you some benefit All


those weeks of studying will pay off when you take

The orchestra would like you to lead. Who is going to

the exam.

lead the men into battle? Nicole leads a weekly

Wash their hands ofRefuse to accept

discussion group on alcoholism.


lead up to. a prepare or pave or clear the way,

for.say or show that you do not want to be involved

do the groundwork or spadework : The events

with someone orsomething and that you are not res

leading up to the overthrow of the government may

ponsible for them

never be known.

End one's association with someone or something. E

Pay attention (to someone or something)

nd all involvement with someone or something Stop

to be attentive to someone or something; to give

being involved with or responsible for someone or so

ones attention or concentration to someone or

mething, usually because they have caused too man

something. Pay attention to me! Im paying

y problems for you

Pay a visit to someone or something or pay

I washed my hands of Tom. I wanted no more to do wit

(someone or something) a visit.

h him. That car was a real headache. I washed

Pay for something 1. to pay out money for

something. Did you pay for the magazine, or shall

I've decided to wash my hands of her.

I? No, Ill pay for it. 2. To be punished for

something. The criminal will pay for his crimes.
I dont like what you did to me, and Im going to see

I should imagine he couldn't wait to wash his hands of t

he whole project.
Phil seemed cold and distant, and now she was very afr

that you pay for it.

aid that he would wash his hands of her.

Pay homage to someone to praise, respect, and

You can't just wash your hands of the problem of homel

honor someone. My parents taught me to pay

homage to my elders. The widower paid homage

essness. The government had washed

their hands of the affair

to his dead wife by placing f lowers on her grave.

Pay someone respects to honor someone; to have
and show respect for someone. You really should
pay your boss more respect. We have to pay our
parents a lot of respect.
Pay the piper to face the results of ones actions;
to receive punishment for something. You can put
off paying your debts only so long. Eventually youll
have to pay the piper. You cant get away with
that forever. Youll have to pay the piper someday.
Pay to do something to be beneficial to do
something; to be profitable. It doesnt pay to drive
downtown when you can take the train. it pays to
take an umbrella with you if its supposed to rain.

my hands of it long ago.

Mess n
We are all in the same mess. The economy is in a
mess. Get into a mess. How did you get into
this mess? What has got the country into its
present mess? It was you who get me into this
mess. They did not know how to get out of this
mess. Get me out of this mess! You got me into it.
There is one way out is mess.
Mishap a minor mistake or accident
Hundreds of children end up in hospital after some p
reventable mishap
Without mishap:

Page 13 of 28

All six rocket launches that year went off without

payday. You donot know a thing about riding.


Put things in sbs head/mind.


Up to your neck If you are up to your neck in

Major, serious, fatal, little, minor, slight

something, it means you are really busy with it or

The group suffered an extraordinary series of minor

heavily involved in it.


Dave is up to his neck with his studies and has no


+ MISHAP experience, have, suffer a mishap

time to go out with his friends.

I'm afraid your son had a slight ~ in the playground.

Play your cards right

Cause, avoid, prevent

If you play your cards right, it means you do the


without ~

right thing and become successful. People often use

We reached home without ~.

this phrase to offer advice and encouragement,

Experience a mishap/have a mishap/suffer a mishap

saying that 'if you play your cards right', something

No mishap

good could happen. If you play your cards right,

he might ask you to marry him! John, if you play
your cards right, you could become the new
To lay (or put) your cards on the table is to be
very open and honest about your thoughts, feelings
or intentions. I think it's time to lay your cards on
the table. Tell me honestly why you don't like my
new boyfriend.
If you miss the boat, you miss a good opportunity
because you wait too long. Sorry John, the
deadline for applying for the job has passed. You've

If we analyze the things a little more deeply. He
will arrange things for you. All things considered.
People in those days did things properly. He has
done great things for his country. I have better
things to do with my time. I can find better things
to do than.. do things ones own way. I cant do

missed the boat.

You shouldnt have We use this expression to say
thank you for something and say that maybe the
other person has been too generous.
Hey, everyone, I've bought doughnuts.
There are enough for everybody.
Thanks Joe. Really you shouldn't have.

a things with.. this is not the way we do things

Don't mention it.

here. I have not eaten or drunk a thing all day.

Example 2

Enjoy the good things in life. How did you find

things in USA ? I did my best but I could not get a
thing out of her. His influence can get things done.

Simon, I'm speechless. This is a real

Well I wanted to get something you'd like

Get ones things ready. Manage to get things

straight. This will hold things for a while. I still

and..I do. It's lovely. But really, you shouldn't have!

have a little money left to keep things going till next

Page 14 of 28

The thing is ...We use this expression to introduce

Example 2

a problem.

He travels a lot, your Dad, doesn't he?

Example 1

Yes. You name it, he's been there - Japan,

Can you come to the party tomorrow?

Thailand, Chile, Venezuela, Brazil...

Normally I'd love to. The thing is, I've got

Leave it to me

to be in New York the next day, so ...

We use this expression to tell someone that we are

Example 2

happy to take responsibility for doing something.

Don't you like cake?

Yes, I do. The thing is, I'm on a diet.

Example 1
How can we get hold of a video recorder

So far, so good We use this expression to say that

before the meeting tomorrow?

Leave it to me. I know someone who can

we are happy with the progress of a situation that

has not yet finished.


Example 1

Example 2
Someone should tell Martin not to come

How's your new office assistant getting

in today as the meeting's cancelled.


Leave it to me. I was going to phone him

So far, so good. He's settling in and there

haven't been any big problems.


Example 2

Fingers crossed We use this expression to say we

How's the meeting going?

hope for a positive result

So far, so good - but they haven't signed

And that sort of thing We use this expression

the contract yet.

after giving an example to indicate that there are

Nice of you to ask / say We use this expression to

other examples we could also use.

thank someone for saying or asking something.

A : What did they say during the meeting?

Example 1

B : We need to increase productivity and that sort of

We're having a picnic on Sunday. Do you

A1 : What did you do last week-end?

want to come?
I can't I'm afraid. I'm in London then. Nice

of you to ask, though.

expression to give a reason why we don't like

Thanks, nice of you to say. I wasn't sure it

was right for me.
You name it We use this expression to summarise a
list of examples
Example 1

So, what went wrong on your holiday?

Delayed take-off, terrible flight, awful

food - you name it!

and that sort of thing.

Too + adj/quantity for my liking We use this

I like your new hairstyle. It really suits


B1 : Went for a meal with some friends, watched TV

A1 : I see. Sounds relaxing.

Example 2


Why don't you go to Greece for your
holiday? It's lovely there.
No. It's too hot for my liking in summer. I
prefer somewhere cooler.
Would you like to live in a city like
No. Too many people for my liking. It's too

Page 15 of 28

Good for you! We use this expression to

A : Exactly. He's a lucky man.

congratulate someone or show we approve of

A1 : He's so generous, he's given everyone a new


computer and paid for training for us all.

A: I've decided to leave Mark. I can find a better

B1: Not to mention all the money he's given to locals


schools to help underprivileged kids.

B : Good for you! He wasn't right for you.

Put words into someones mouth to claim that

A1: Mummy! I got an A for my test in school.

someone has said a particular thing, although they

B1: Good for you! You've worked very hard.

have not said it, or they did not mean what you say

Thats easy for you to say

they meant

A : I don't mind if we stay late and work an extra

couple of hours.

He accused the interviewer of putting words into his

B : That's easy for you to say. You don't have any


children to look after!

A1 : The exam tomorrow shouldn't be too difficult.

I dont mean toWe use this expression before we

B1: That's easy for you to say. I haven't had time to

say something that might sound bad. For example if

revise anything.

we say 'I don't mean to criticize' we are probably

Put it this way We use this expression to

going to say something negative but we don't want

summarize a position that is probably quite extreme.

the other person to be offended.

A : Was she rude to you?

A : Sorry. I don't mean to complain, but this steak is

B : Put it this way - if she was a man, I would have

completely cold.

punched her.

B : I'm terribly sorry sir. I'll take it back to the kitchen

A1 : Is it important?

right away.

B1 : Put it this way, if we don't do it, we'll go out of

A1: I don't mean to be nosy, but did I just overhear


you say you're getting a divorce?

Look on the bright side We use this expression to

B1: Well you are being nosy! And frankly, it's none of

encourage someone to think positively about a

your business.

situation they believe is negative.

Were all in the same boat We use this

A : It's so expensive living in New York.

expression to say that everybody is in the same

B : Yes, but look on the bright side - you learn so

situation - and normally it is a negative situation.

much more here than by studying from books, so

A : The electricity is off! I can't finish what I was

that's value for money!

doing on my computer!

A1 : I've got four exams tomorrow!

B: Relax. We're all in the same boat. It's probably

B1 : Ok, but look on the bright side - once you've

just a short powercut.

finished, you won't have any more exams for two

A1 : I'm going to be late. The traffic is terrible!


B1: We're all in the same boat. There's nothing we

Not to mention We use this expression to add

can do. Perhaps there's been an accident.

something which is even more important to a list of

Its the same old story We use this expression to


say that we are in a situation that has happened

A: He's got fast cars, great clothes, a helicopter..

before. Normally this is a negative situation

B: Not to mention the houses in New York and the

A : Why is Barbara crying?

Page 16 of 28

B : It's the same old story. She's had another

To take liberties with something or someone

argument with her boyfriend.

means to abuse the right to do something.

A1 : I can never find anything I need in the store

Dont take liberties with me, Mr Jones! I am a


married woman and the only man allowed to kiss

B1 : Yes, it's the same old story. No-one ever puts

me is my husband.

things away in the right place.

Blow your own trumpet

What Im trying to say is A: Your work is not good,

If you blow your own trumpet, you are boasting

you're often late, and you don't seem to care.

about your achievements and abilities.

B : I'm sorry - it won't happen again.

He's always blowing his own trumpet - it's so

A: No. What I'm trying to say is that if you don't

boring! Why can't he be more modest about his

change, I'll have to fire you.

abilities? You've got to blow your own trumpet a bit

A1: She's clever and she's really pretty.

more, otherwise you won't get a decent job!

B1: Yes. I think Sue is really nice, too.

The phrase to blow your own horn can also be

A1: No, what I'm trying to say is I'd really like to be

used in a similar way. Clare finds it hard to blow

her boyfriend.

her own horn because she's very shy.

At the end of the day We use this expression to

It never rains but it pours

introduce a conclusion or to summarize a position.

When someone says it never rains but it pours,

A : We went into business to improve on the services

they mean problems don't just happen occasionally -

other shops are offering.

they happen all at the same time.

B: OK - but at the end of the day, you are in business

We had nothing to do for weeks, then suddenly we

to make money.

have all this work to do: it never rains but it pours!

A: Of course.

I missed my train this morning, lost my wallet and

A1 : The team didn't play well. I pity the manager.

spilt coffee all over myself. It never rains but it

B1: Yes, but at the end of the day, it's the manager's


responsibility to get a win.

Pour cold water on

Wash your hands When you wash your hands of

If you pour cold water on someone's plans or

something, you choose not to take responsibility for

ideas, you are criticizing or being negative about

it any more.


The studio executives turned the movie from a

I wanted to walk up the mountain but Jane threw

drama into a comedy. The director got angry and

cold water on the idea. She insisted on taking the

washed his hands of the whole project.

cable car.

Mr Brooks was tired of helping lazy students every

Hold your tongue

day. He decided to wash his hands of them and only

If someone tells you to hold your tongue it means

concentrate on the pupils who worked hard.

they want you to stop talking, because they don't

At liberty To be at liberty to do something means to

like what you are saying.

be free to do it without any restrictions.

I'm going to have to hold my tongue because I keep

Some companies keep information about salaries

saying what I think and people get upset!

confidential and lower rank managers are not at

I had to tell Jane to hold her tongue; what she was

liberty to discuss them. This is a free country! Im

saying didn't help us move forward in our planning

at liberty to go wherever I like.


Page 17 of 28

If you make a slip of the tongue, you pronounce a

In a way

word incorrectly or you say something you didn't

We use this expression to introduce a contrasting

mean to say. I meant to tell her she was fun not

idea or viewpoint, or to agree to a limited extent.

fat; it was just a slip of the tongue!

A1: I prefer living in the country to living in a city,

In safe hands

don't you?

When you say someone is in safe hands, you mean

B1:In a way. But it's always nice to have theatres,

they are being cared for by someone who is

cinemas, shops etc to go to, too.

confident and skilled. John is going to be operated

A2: It's a pity Jan and Mike can't come to the dinner

on by one of the best surgeons in the country. He's

party tonight.

in safe hands.

B2: Yes, but in a way it's good, because there will be

The new CEO of the company had degrees in

more food for the rest of us to eat!

engineering and business administration. The staff


knew they were in safe hands.

Deserving praise or admiration

'odd man out' or an 'odd one out'

Your commitment to the cause

If someone or something is an 'odd man out' or an

is highly commendable.

'odd one out', it is unlike the others in a group.


When I got to the party everyone was wearing

Unusual in a way that surprises or impresses you

beautifully tailored suits and I was in ripped jeans

and a smelly t-shirt. Felt like a bit of an odd man

The play has been a remarkable success. Her

out. Martha was always the odd one out. She

mother made a remarkable recovery. a

never joined in when the other kids played.

remarkable achievement/feat/performance

A grey area is a topic with no clear solution, often

because there are no known rules or because it is

Remarkable that: Its remarkable that no one has

hard to decide what is right or wrong.

complained about this system before.

When it comes to the law there are many grey

Remarkable about: Theres nothing particularly


remarkable about the film.

The difference between flirting and harassment is a

remarkable for: The standard of craftsmanship is

grey area.

remarkable for bronze work of this date.

To be on the safe side We use this expression to

Attracting or worthy of notice, especially for being

say someone should do something just to be sure

unusual or extraordinary: a remarkable movie that

there will be no problems - normally with time or

held my interest.


1. worthy of note or attention: a remarkable


How long will it take us to drive to

2. unusual, striking, or extraordinary: a remarkable



Two hours. The meeting's at ten, so we

extraordinary - beyond what is ordinary or usual;

should leave at seven to be on the safe side.

Is it an expensive restaurant we're going

No - but I'm taking 50 to be on the safe


highly unusual or exceptional or remarkable;

"extraordinary authority"; "an extraordinary
achievement"; "her extraordinary beauty"; "enjoyed
extraordinary popularity"; "an extraordinary capacity

Page 18 of 28

for work"; "an extraordinary session of the

I think its time we cleared the air, dont you?


to get rid of stale or bad air. Open some windows

Remarkable - worthy of notice; "a noteworthy fact

is that her students rarely complain"; "a remarkable

and clear the air. It's stuffy in here.

to get rid of doubts or hard feelings. All right, let's


discuss this frankly. It'll be better if we clear the air.

Noteworthy, significant, important - important in

Eliminate confusion, dispel controversy or emotional

effect or meaning; "a significant change in tax laws";

tension, as in His letter has cleared the air; we now

"a significant change in the Constitution"; "a

know where he stands. This idiom alludes to an

significant contribution"; "significant details";

atmosphere cleared of sultriness by a storm.

"statistically significant"

if an argument or discussion clears the air, it causes

arresting, bold, eye-catching, , noticeable,

bad feelings between people to disappear The

observable, outstanding, , pronounced,

meeting didn't solve anything, but at least it cleared

salient, ,exceptional, extraordinary, magnificent, ,

the air.

preeminent, rare, singular, uncommon, unusual.

to explain something that someone disagreed with


or did not understand To help clear the air, Mills will

FORMAL to ask for something, or to try to get

meet with all employees to discuss the new



Seek advice/help: Seek medical advice if

to remove any doubt about something that

symptoms last more than a week.

happened An investigation may be needed to

uncover the facts and clear the air.

seek permission/approval: You must first seek

Bark up the wrong tree

permission before publishing their names.

make the wrong choice; to ask the wrong person; to

follow the wrong course. (Alludes to a dog in pursuit

to ask for something from a law court

of an animal, where the animal is in one tree and the

seek compensation/damages/redress: The boys

dog is barking at another tree.) If you think I'm the

parents are seeking damages from the health

guilty person, you're barking up the wrong tree.


The hitters blamed the team's bad record on the

seek approval: a referendum seeking public

pitchers, but they were barking up the wrong tree.

approval for major constitutional change

Waste one's efforts by pursuing the wrong thing

FORMAL to try to find something or someone that

or path, as in If you think I can come up with more

you need in your life To be eligible, you must show

money, you're barking up the wrong tree.

that you are actively seeking employment. Many


single people are seeking that special someone.

At your disposal
available for you to use at any time A car and

Do you have a reservation?

driver were placed at my disposal.

Charter to create a city, organization, university etc

make a reservation:

by giving it a charter

I've made a reservation for you on the morning

Clear the air


to discuss a problem or difficult situation with

a feeling of doubt about

someone in order to make it better

whether something is good or right

Page 19 of 28

Reservation about:

underline that:

The government has expressed reservations

Doyle underlined that the students would notwelco

about the cost of the project.

me these changes.

Have reservations:


He has reservations about the proposals becausethe

difficulty, fact, importance, need, point, problem,

y reduce workers' rights.

It cannot be emphasized enough that . You

Without reservation:

should emphases that more fully Emphasize sth

We accepted their offer without reservation.

strongly He emphasized this repeatedly. She


rightly emphasizes the need for a reassessment.

She emphasized to me the great importance of my

emphasis on:
The main emphasis should be on quality rather than

missionLet me emphasize again that this is a very

risky project. Let me emphasize what a great help
you have been to me. It must be stressed again

The emphasis is usually on the first syllable.

that I cant stress enough that It cannot be

place/lay/put emphasis on something:

stressed too strongly that He stressed that what

We should place greater

he was about to reveal was strictly confidential.

lay/put/place stress on something:


We place great emphasis on staff development.

special importance given to something so that you
paymore attention to it

to describe something in a way that makes it

seem better, worse, larger, more important etc than
it really is
greatly/grossly/wildly exaggerate something:

The course lays great stress on

The papers political

the importance of oral communication.

influence has been greatly exaggerated.

to emphasize something such as an idea, fact, or det Exaggerate the importance/significance of


We should

stress that:

not exaggerate the importance of this agreement.

The Prime Minister stressed the importance of contr


olling spending.
Bring a coat in case it turns cold.Can I bring the ch
ildren with me?

He stressed that this was a temporary solution.

My parents always encouraged us to bring our friend

At school they emphasize good manners.

s home.

emphasize that:

to have something with you so that you can give it t

She emphasizes that her novels are not written for

o someonewhen you arrive


bring someone


something: I'll bring you some grapes.

to emphasize something or state that it is important

bring something for someone:

Both leaders underlined their commitment to makin

I brought that book for you.

g theagreement work.

to get something for someone and give it to them

Page 20 of 28

bring someone something:

Forty-three new members joined the society, bringin

Could you bring me a plate from thekitchen?

g the tota lmembership to 157.

bring something to
someone: Don't get up I'll bring your tea to you.

Two other people with the disease bring the number

to move something somewhere

of confirmed casesto 16.

bring something down:

She reached up to the shelf and brought

bring an action/prosecution/claim:

down a box.

The council has brought this

bring something up:

action to protect the interests of the residents.

Bring your hands slowly up to shoulder height.

bring charges:

bring something together:

The authorities are expected to bring charges again

Bring the two edges together and stick them down.

st both parties.

to make someone or something come to a place or b

used for saying that you have finished talking or writ

e in a place:These policies will help to bring families

ing about one thing

back to the city centres.

and are going to talk or write about another

bring someone/something to something:

This brings me to the problem of how and when lang
Government investmenthas brought thousands of n

uage is acquired.

ew jobs to the area.

to provide people with something that they can buy
They built canals to bring water from the river.

or use

What brought you to Chicago in the first place?

Our journalists work to bring you the region's most c

omprehensivenews service.

to be the cause of a state, situation, or feeling

Count on us to bring you the best in new technology
The agreement forms part of our efforts to bring pea

for the home.

ce to the region.
Bring a smile to your face/lips
Bad weather brought chaos to the road and railway

to make you smile


Bring tears to your eyes

to make you cry, or to feel as if you are going t

Morning brought no relief from the heat.

o cry
Bring something to an end/a close/a halt

bring someone something:

to make something stopHe brought the conversati

The baby has brought them great joy.

on to a close.

bring someone/something into contact with:

Cant bring yourself to do something

My work brings me

to be unable to do something because it is too unple

into contact with all kinds of people.

asant or embarrassing, or makes you too upset

if something brings a number to a particular total, it

makes it reach thattotal

He can't even bring himself to talk to me.

Page 21 of 28

Come out smelling of roses

to be busy doing, discussing, or

Emerge from a situation that was potentially

thinking about something

damaging to the reputation with an unblemished

The whole meeting was taken up with arguing about

record, or even an enhanced reputation.

the budget.

Come up smelling of roses

to come out of a difficult situation with your reputati

She was completely taken up with her own worries.

on better than it was

before, especially when you do not deserve to

Take it or leave it

Race against time An activity in which there is a

Take it out on A simple phrase describing a

limited amount of time in which to complete it.

complex subject. First, someone is made bad-

Rack their brains Think very hard about

tempered by somebody or something (e.g. an illness

something. The phrase is usually used as part of an

or an argument can make someone bad- tempered).

admission of failure (e.g. Ive racked my brains on

The person then behaves unpleasantly to someone

this matter, but I cannot think of a solution).

or something other than the cause of the anger. The

Rack your brain(s)

implication is that the victim of the unpleasant

to try very hard to remember something or to solve

behavior does not deserve to be so harshly treated

a problem

(e.g. Bob took out his anger on the blameless Sue

I've racked my brain, but I just can't remember his n

because John had been unpleasant to Bob earlier in


the day).

Cant take your eyes off

Take on board Can have the same meanings as

bring on board, and also: (1) Understand the

to be unable to stop looking at someone or somethin

information supplied. (2) Accept responsibility for

g that is attractive, surprising, or interesting

Take its toll

Take after (1) Resemble. (2) Chase after.

to harm or damage someone or something, especiall

Take courage in both hands Prepare to do

y in a gradual way

something requiring considerable courage.

The recession has taken a heavy toll.

Take it from me Accept my advice.

Take its toll on:

Take it into their head Decide.

The stress was beginning to take its toll on their

Take it like a man Accept a rebuke or a


punishment without complaining about it

Take out (1) Take to a restaurant, theatre, concert

Take it up To start a discussion about something

or something else entertaining, usually as part of

(e.g. I was worried about the seating arrangements

dating or courtship. (2) Kill. (3) Remove. The context

for next weeks meeting so I decided to take it up

should indicate which meaning is intended.

with the manager).

Take pains Make a considerable effort and pay

Take up with Begin courting or dating.

attention to details.

take up with someone

Take the breath away Say or do something that

INFORMAL- to become friendly withsomeone, especi

amazes. This can be something pleasant (e.g. his

ally someone who could have a bad influence on you

new collection of paintings is so wonderful it takes

I don't want you to take up with the wrong crowd.

the breath away) or unpleasant (e.g. the increase

be taken up with something

in prices of basic goods took my breath away).

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Take their breath away Astonish them

Their own worst enemy A person who is their

Take the shine off Reduce the level of excitement

own worst enemy is more likely to inflict damage on

or enjoyment

themselves than to other people. The phrase is often

Take the bull by the horns Deal with a problem

used of someone who is too self-critical.

directly and decisively.

Throw-away remark Means the same as off the

Take the easy way out (1) Choose to end

cuff remark.

something by the method requiring the least work.

Throw to the lions/ Throw to the dogs/ Throw

The phrase is usually derogatory, and implies that

to the wolves (1) Remove the protection afforded

there is a better solution that is morally more

someone so that they can be attacked. (2) Discard.

acceptable, but which requires more work. (2)

(3) Place in danger

Take the edge off Make less. The phrase can refer

Thrown in at the deep end Placed in a situation

to level of interest, sensation, pain or other things,

for which a person has little prior experience, and

depending upon context. The phrase nearly always

which is very demanding.

implies that something is made less unpleasant.

Time will tell

Take the heat (1) Receive punishment. (2)

To be frank / To be honest A statement

Withstand an unpleasant situation without

emphasizing that what follows should be attended to


(e.g. to be honest, Im not sure we can do anything

Take the lead (1) Move into first place. (2) If

more). It does not mean that the rest of the time

someone takes the lead from another person, then

the speaker is being dishonest.

they are copying them (e.g. Brian took the lead

To die for Something that is to die for is seen as

from Sue and stood up as well).

highly desirable. The phrase is an exaggeration the

Take the liberty Do something without

desired item in question is usually very appealing


but not worth risking life in order to acquire it.

Take the money and run To accept what is on

To say the least Attached to a criticism, the phrase

offer without argument. Commit to doing

means that the criticism offered is the mildest that


can be offered, and implies that an accurate

Take their point Accept the validity of an

criticism would probably be much harsher.


To the full As much as possible

Take them back Be reminded of something that

To the hearts content To the complete

happened a long time ago (e.g. hearing the song


took me back to a time when it was first released

Tom, Dick and Harry Ordinary people (e.g. this is

and in the hit parade).

the sort of thing that would appeal to any Tom, Dick

Take to heart Believe.

and Harry means that it is the sort of thing that

Take to task Criticize and/or punish.

most people would find appealing). The phrase is

Thats life An expression of acceptance that

often used to denote exclusivity or lack of it (e.g.

unexpected events can happen. The phrase is often

we dont want just any Tom, Dick and Harry joining

given in response to a situation which has become

the club).

unexpectedly worse.

Top and bottom of it The most important or

Thats the pinch That is the problem.

salient features of something.

Thats the spirit That is the correct emotional

Top of the world See on top of the world.

response and/or level of commitment.

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Top of their game Their best level of

Up for it Willing to do it.


Up in the air to be in a state of uncertainty (e.g.

Touch bottom Reach the worst and/or most

nobody knows if the new hospital wing will be built

depressing stage.

its up in the air at the moment and we wont know

Touch wood An expression of hope that something

until the planning committee meets next week).

will happen. Originally, people would also make an

Up on (1) Ahead of. (2) Have extensive knowledge

earnest effort to touch a piece of wood, but this


appears to be becoming a less frequent action.

At par / Up to par Of an acceptable standard.

Tough act to follow - hard act to follow.

Up to the mark/ Up to scratch Of the required

Trick of the trade An advantageous working


practice that is well known within a profession or

Up to the neck/Up to the eyeballs An expression

trade but largely unknown by the general public.

used to indicate having too much of something. For

True colours See show their true colours.

example, Ive had it up to the eyeballs with this

Try to see it my way A request that a person tries

problem means Ive spent too much time and

to recognize that the speaker has a different point of

energy on this problem, whilst Im up to my

view. In other words, the speaker wants someone to

eyeballs in work means Ive got too much work to

change their opinion.

do. There are similar phrases such as up to the

Turn a blind eye to Ignore

armpits that mean the same thing. The phrase is

Turn a deaf ear to Ignore.

presumably meant to give the impression of a

Turn their back on (1) When talking about a

person standing in a room that has flooded, so that

person, the phrase means to refuse to help

water has reached up to eyeball level.

someone. (2)When talking about something rather

Wake-up call

than someone (e.g. I turned my back on the whole

Wash dirty linen in public Divulge secrets that

affair), the phrase means to refuse to spend any

should have been prudently hidden. The phrase can

more time talking or thinking about it.

describe both the deliberate revealing of such

Turn their hand to Take part in an activity not

information, or arguing in public during which such

attempted before.

secrets are revealed.

Turn their head Alter their belief or behaviour. The

Waste their breath Argue something with no

phrase usually denotes a change for the worse, such

effect. Hence the advice dont waste your breath,

as making a person conceited or believing in

indicating that any argument will have no effect

impractical schemes.

Well I never An expression of surprise.

Turn their life around radically change their way

Tight corner Difficult situation

of living or general outlook

Rainy day A problematic time.

Turn upside-down

Raise the bar (1) Raise standards. (2) Make the

Turning point A moment when something can

task harder.

change (e.g. a turning point in a story occurs when

Raise their eyebrows Express disapproval or

there is a major development in the plot).


Two heads are better than one

Raise their sights Become more ambitious.

Two sides of the same coin Things that are

Raised eyebrows Disapproval or surprise.

different in many respects but still related in some

Reach for the stars Be ambitious.

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Read between the lines Discover through analysis

A: II reckon you dont want to buy your wife a

what something really means rather than accepting

birthday present because youre skint.

its superficial appearance. The implication is

B: I resent that remark! He resented the fact that I

typically that the surface appearance presents a

had accused him of taking his parents for granted

rather less sinister meaning.

over the last few years. In hindsight, I should have

Give them hell (1) Reprimand. (2) Make their lives

kept my mouth shut; I could see him welling up.


Mum and I really resent having to grovel to the

Recent events in city pointed to a failure of central

Headmaster to give you one last chance. Your

government to control spending by local authorities.

behaviour is doing our heads in. Sarahs brother

This failure can be put down to long lasting

Fred flaunts his wealth at her whenever they are

reluctance to tackle local corruption

together. This behaviour is uncalled for as he knows

Embroiled (Deeply involved in an argument,

that she is strapped for cash. No wonder she feels

someones problems or a difficult situation) I dont

such resentment towards him.

want to get embroiled in another row, but his

To be doomed (To have no means of escape from a

methods do leave a lot to be desired. I wish we

very bad situation, to have no future/chance of

hadnt got so embroiled in his troubled personal life.


Lets hope we can put it all behind us now.

Most people I know dont hold out much hope for

Apathy, apathetic (Lack of interest/motivation,

this country. Were doomed! Im off to The

uninterested/unconcerned) He resents his


students not turning up to his lessons, and puts it all

A: I told you the project was doomed from the start.

down to pure apathy. Its got nothing to do with him

B: Yes, I must admit things are looking grim.

overwhelming them with work. Sorry to sound

Stock market investor: The Euro firstly had teething

apathetic, but I couldnt care less whether he puts in

problems and now its doomed ...but Im still buying

a good word for me or not...and Im certainly not

it on the off-chance it might recover. I get a real

going to grovel.

buzz out of speculating.

To put in a good word for someone (To

Apathy, apathetic (Lack of interest/motivation,

recommend someone to another person/a group of

uninterested/unconcerned) He resents his students

peopleoften used with regard to employment

not turning up to his lessons, and puts it all down to

matters) I was really chuffed to hear that John had

pure apathy. Its got nothing to do with him

pu t in a good word fo r me with my department

overwhelming them with work. Sorry to sound

manager. Until then I had been thinking about giving

apathetic, but I couldnt care less whether he puts in

in my notice. Shes the only one who knows what

a good word for me or not...and Im certainly not

makes the boss tick. If she puts in a good word fo r

going to grovel.

you, hes bound to take you on.

To hamper (To restrict or interfere with the progress

To resent (To feel bitter about someone/a situation,

of something)

to object to a comment, accusation or having to do

The police were severely hampered d in their

something-note the use of the gerund in the fourth

investigations by a crowd of people who were

example below- -also note the noun resentment)

embroiled in a heated dispute. We all psyched

My brother has always resented me for having had a

ourselves up for a long journey which would no

better education than him. Hes never quite been

doubt be hampered by the weather. He was clearly

able to get it out of his system.

welling up with resentment towards me.

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To linger, lingering (To take a long time leaving a

finger (To make an effort to help someone

place/To stay in the area and not go away quickly,

generally used in the negative) At the dinner all he

long-lasting, remaining) We lingered over lunch,

did was take the mickey out of his mother-in-law. He

embellishing old memories of our childhood

didn t lift a finger to help his wife in the kitchen.

together. I dont think we were deprived of much.

A: While Ive been doing the housework, you

The general impression I got is that customers are

havent lifted a finger.

welcome to browse...but not linger for too long.

B: Oh, get off my back! Ive got a lot on my plate at

Doctor to patient: Its quite feasible that you have

the moment.

had a lingering virus that has made you feel a bit

To be overwhelmed, overwhelming (To be

under the weather... but theres nothing untoward to

completely controlled by an emotional feeling, too

worry about.

much, over the top, greater than expectedeither

If you have any lingering doubts and are still

positive or negative)

feeling a bit sceptical, let me know and Ill take you

He was overwhelmed with joy when they told him

through the proceedings once again.

they were going to publish his book; now he will be

Overall (Taking things altogether/by and large-

able to reap the rewards of years of hard work. I do

usually followed by something positive) Overall, we

find him a bit overwhelming at times; he tends to

shouldnt really complain; they did try to make

take over any conversation I start and perpetually

amends for what they had done. There were a few

refers back to events in his own life.

flaws with the design, but overall we were quite

To be out of ones depth (To feel that one has

chuffed with the results.

insufficient knowledge or experience, to be with

Gilt reaction (Immediate reaction/response based

people who are more knowledgeable/better

on instinct rather than careful consideration)

educated, or who perform at a much higher level)

N\y gut reaction was to resent his accusations, and

I felt a little out of my depth when he began to

I had a real go at him. Later, when I realised he had

touch on scientific theories. He was trying to

in fact put in a good word for me with my manager, I

mingle with a group of Oxford professors, but was

regretted not having given the matter more

quite clearly totally out of his depth. It has become

thought. His outburst of anger was just a gut

increasingly apparent to me that quite a few of our

reaction, but when he had calmed down, he decided

players are out of their depth in the Premier League.

that it was better not to make a big song and dance

They were all pathetic last Saturday.

about it. It was the first time his teenage son had

Teething problems (Initial problems-note that

come home paralytic.

when a baby is teething it means that his first

To mingle (to mix socially) I think she finds it

teeth are coming through) If we manage to get

difficult to mingle with a boisterous crowd of

over these teething problems, we should break even

guests. By and large, most people at the party

this year. How can I put it? Lets just say that

mingled, and your cousin turned out to be quite a

when we got this project underway, we had more

dark horse.

than a few teething problems relating to the layout

Trait (Characteristic)

of the building, but now things are definitely looking

He clearly has the trait of a winner in him; the rest


of the will remain the laughing stock of world

Sloppy (Careless, too casual) / feel weve become

football. She has many of the traits of her

too complacent lately and need to tighten up on

grandmother, who was also very outgoing.To lift a

sloppy work if we want to reap the rewards that are

Page 26 of 28

clearly on offer Football manager: Its true we were

To cash in on something (To take advantage of a

overwhelmed in midfield, but our sloppy defence

situation, to exploit) There was uproar from

didnt help matters. done in a very careless way

Members of Parliament (MPs) who support the

a sloppy performance

Government when the leader of the Opposition tried

To put something behind you (To forget about a

to cash in on the Prime Ministers recent

bad experience) I think we should pu t the turmoil

unpopularity. Many ruthless businessmen are

of the last year behind us; its time to move on.

cashing in on the fact that the poor are not endowed

A: I f I had known he was such a womaniser; I

with the means to escape poverty. If he thinks he

would never have married him.

is going to cash in on my misfortunes, hes got

B: Its probably best that you put that period of your

another think coming.

life behind you.

To take someone through something (To

To grow on someone (To become gradually more

describe a situation, to explain something to

pleasing/likeable to someone) if something or


someone grows on you, you start to like them more.

Policeman: Take me through exactly what was

The new house slowly began to grow on her.

going on in your mind when you inadvertently

Viable (Practical, able to work in practice) I didnt

passed a red light. .. Madam.

think he had it in him to come up with so many

Commentator to footballer: Can you take us

viable ideas. My wife didnt relish the idea of

through your second goal? The goalkeeper looked

opening another shop, and after reflecting on the

absolutely gobsmacked.

hassles we went through with the first one, I agreed

To undermine (To ridicule someone/something, to

it wasnt really viable.

make someone in a position of authority feel

To be well up on/with something (To be well


informed-note also the expression to well up

Confidence in our sporting ability in this country

which means to be about to cry or become more

has been undermined by the fact that in recent

intense emotionally)

years we have become the laughing stock of the

Im not really well up on how the company


computer system works. So, Im going to ask Sharon

To get to the bottom of something (To resolve a

to show you the ropes. Sharon will be most

long-standing problem) Well have to get to the

enlightening...wont you, Sharon? Sorry, Peter, if

bottom of this issue and find out why he has been

this comes over as being tactless, but everyone at

made the scapegoat. Deep down, she still feels

the meeting was well up with what was going

that the doctors havent got to

on...apart from you. When she told me about how

the bottom of her illness.

prudish her dad was, it reminded me of my dear

To skim the surface (To deal with a matter only

grandfather. I suddenly started to well up.


Sceptical (Non-believing/Non-trusting)

A: I thought what the accountant told us this

I dont wish to dwell on the matter but Im still

morning was most enlightening.

very sceptical about whether hes the right person

B: Really? I felt he was just skimming the surface.

to get to the bottom of the problem. Why are you

Im not sure if hes got to the bottom of whats going

so sceptical? Cant you see that we are already

on here. Youre on record as saying the

beginning to reap the rewards?

Government has merely skimmed the surface as far

as reducing hospital waiting lists is concerned, and
Page 27 of 28

has become rather complacent about it in recent

To touch on (To mention something only briefly)
Id like to pick up on some of the points we touched
on last time. I know many of you feel uneasy about
this subject, but its not something thats just going
to blow over.
The Prime Minister refused to be put on the
spot and just touched on the matter, assuring the
journalists present that plans were in the pipeline

to get the road-building work going as soon as

To keep a low profile (To behave in a way that
does not attract attention to oneself, i.e. to
remain unnoticed)
To weigh up i. (To balance/To consider all
aspects of a situation before coming to a
Having weighed everything up, we thought
wed be better off keeping a low profile. What
you have to weigh up in your mind is whether its
worth going along with them for the time being
on this one issue, or nipping the whole thing in
the bud now, before you get down to business.

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