Learn American Idioms 3

After all: in spite of everything

e.g. She didn’t get a good score; after all, it was her first attempt

Late in life: in old age

e.g. It was only late in life that he became a famous writer.

You bet: yes, of course

e.g. “Are you hungry?” “You bet!”

 Act one’s age: behave maturely

e.g. Stop behaving like a teenager! Act your age.

 All of it: the best

e.g. From the way he presented him at the debate, he was all of it.

 Vicious circle: a series of events that create more problems

e.g. You take drugs to remove the symptoms, but the drugs also cause symptoms that require more drugs; you are ony creating a vicious circle.

 Lead someone astray: cause someone to do something wrong or illegal

e.g. If you are always in the company of lawbreakers, you  may be easily be led astray.

Abide by: accept and follow

e.g. If you wish to become a citizen of the United States, you must abide by U.S. immigration laws.

 Pass the hat: collect money for

e.g. He is always passing the hat for something.

Actions speak louder than words: do something about it, not just talking about it

e.g. Show me what you have done! Actions speak louder than words.

Bag your face: shut up!

e.g. You and your loud mouth! Go and bag your face!

Live beyond one’s means: spend more than one can earn

e.g. You are in debt because you are living beyond your means.

Down and out: very poor

e.g. He is down and out without a job and a roof over his head.

Tail end: the last part

e.g. His speech was long, and only the tail end was interesting.

Ball of fire: an energetic and enthusiastic person

e.g. We all want his presence; he is a ball of fire.

 No flies on: very alert, smart

e.g. You cannot trick her; there are no flies on her.

Add insult to injury: make things worse

e.g. Enough is enough! Don’t add insult to injury.

Ball of fire: an energetic and enthusiastic person

e.g. We all want his presence; he is a ball of fire.

Stephen Lau

Copyright© 2018 by Stephen Lau


Author: Stephen Lau

Born in Hong Kong, Stephen Lau received his education from the University of Hong Kong, SEAMEO in Singapore, and the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. He has published books on learning English as well as on health and wisdom in living. He now resides in the United States.

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