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Shoulder Idioms

Idioms Course Patrons


Learn English idioms easily and have fun with them! Our idioms activities are designed to make learning idioms as accessible as any other part of the English language. Instead of just memorizing lists of vocabulary, our activities aim to make the learning process interesting and productive. Knowing as many idioms as possible is important as native English speakers use them frequently. With our activities, you'll be able to master idioms and use them like a native speaker in no time!


Did you know that there are over 600,000 words in English? That's a lot of words, and far more than any human being could ever manage to learn. Even Shakespeare only used around 55,000 different words in all of his works. Mind you, he did actually invent quite a few of them. To get a good mastery of English, you do need to expand your vocabulary as much as possible. The more words you know, the better your English will be. The Activities here will help you to quickly develop your vocabulary.


Prepositions are an essential part of the English language, as they help to convey the time and place of events in relation to others. However, learning prepositions can be a challenge for many students of English, as they often have few rules to follow. These Britlish Library Activities have been created to make learning and memorizing prepositions as easy and enjoyable as possible. Additionally, the Activities will also focus on the use of prepositions in phrasal verbs, which are equally important in achieving fluency in English. With interactive exercises and a focus on the most common prepositions, these Activities will help to improve your understanding and use of prepositions in English.

Learn some common English idioms with this vocabulary activation pack. The idioms are: Give someone the cold shoulder, To have broad shoulders, Rub elbows or shoulders with, Shoulder to cry on, Shoulder to the wheel, Have a good head on your shoulders, Carry the world on your shoulders, Look over your shoulder, Stand on the shoulders of giants, Shoulder to shoulder, A chip on your shoulder, Fall squarely on someone’s shoulders, Head and shoulders above, and A weight off your shoulders.

SHOULDER IDIOMS GIVE SOMEONE THE COLD SHOULDER To give someone the cold shoulder is to behave towards them in a way that is not at all friendly, possibly for reasons the other person doesn’t understand. “After the way she behaved, it’s hardly surprising he gave her the cold shoulder.” TO HAVE BROAD SHOULDERS If you have the ability to cope with unpleasant responsibilities and to be able to accept criticism calmly, you have broad shoulders. “Faced with that kind of press coverage, it’s a good thing he has broad shoulders.” RUB ELBOWS/SHOULDERS WITH To socialise with celebrities, or to spend time with people socially, is to rub elbows/shoulders with them. “As a reporter on a gossip magazine I often rub elbows/shoulders with the rich and famous.” SHOULDER TO CRY ON A shoulder to cry on is someone who will comfort you emotionally when things have gone badly wrong. “If she needs a shoulder to cry on, of course, I’m here.” SHOULDER TO THE WHEEL To put your shoulder to the wheel means to work vigorously and make a concentrated effort at something. “It’s surprising how much you can get done when you put your shoulder to the wheel.” HAVE A GOOD HEAD ON YOUR SHOULDERS If someone has a good head on their shoulders, they are intelligent and can be depended on to fulfil a particular role. “She never went to university, but she has a good head on her shoulders.” CARRY THE WORLD ON YOUR SHOULDERS To feel under a lot of pressure because of your immense responsibilities is to carry the world on your shoulders. “I wouldn’t want to be Prime Minister. You seem to have to carry the world on your shoulders.” LOOK OVER YOUR SHOULDER When you feel you are under imminent danger from someone or something you’re constantly looking over your shoulder. “You seem a little paranoid, always looking over your shoulder.” STAND ON THE SHOULDERS OF GIANTS If you make a discovery based on the previous work of those who have gone before you, you are standing on the shoulders of giants. “Because so many sacrifice for me, I stand on the shoulders of giants.” SHOULDER TO SHOULDER To stand shoulder to shoulder with a group all person is to share their purpose and support them, especially during difficult times. “The sergeant stood shoulder to shoulder with the inspector throughout the enquiry.” A CHIP ON YOUR SHOULDER Someone who has a chip on their shoulder appears constantly angry because they feel they have been slighted or are inferior to others. “I used to have a chip on my shoulder about not having been to university.” FALL SQUARELY ON SOMEONE’S SHOULDERS Something becomes the sole responsibility of you when it falls squarely on your shoulders. “With my partners in prison, the success of this company falls squarely on my shoulders.” HEAD AND SHOULDERS ABOVE Someone or something that is head and shoulders above someone or something else is far superior to them. “As a chess player, he is head and shoulders above the rest.” A WEIGHT OFF YOUR SHOULDERS When something is a weight off your shoulders, you have rid yourself of something that has been travelling or worrying you for a long time. “When I learned I wouldn’t have to give the presentation after all, it was a huge weight off my shoulders.”

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