I am determined to make idioms as accessible for all students as any other part of the English language. Reading and memorising lists of vocabulary is not the most productive, interesting, or useful exercise in English language learning. I created these Activities to encourage you to not only learn and remember many English idioms, but also to have fun with them, as having fun is a great aid to learning and remembering. It is important that you know as many idioms as possible as native English speakers use them with alarming regularity. I hope that as you work your way through the Idiom Activities you will make some of the idioms your own and use them regularly like a native.
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.
The Activities categorised as English in Use look at the way we use English in everyday life. The Activities cover the actual use of English and examine grammar, punctuation, and functionality of the language. For any student studying English as a second language or English as a foreign language, English in Use Activities are particularly useful for improving speaking, writing, reading, and listening skills. These Activities will help you to develop your confidence in using different types of text such as fiction, newspapers and magazines, as well as learning to speak and write about things such as the weather and travel, as well as preparing you for typical situations such as ordering in a restaurant or buying a train ticket.
The 7 idioms are, turn the other cheek, tongue in cheek, cheek by jowl, get something off your chest, keep something close to your chest, take it on the chin, and keep your chin up. This British English idioms lesson will help to you learn, remember, and use 7 common British English idiomatic expressions which use the words cheek, chest, and chin.Body Idioms Course
TURN THE OTHER CHEEK
If you can ignore someone’s abuse or insults against you, you turn the other cheek.
“Sometimes the best way to defuse a situation is to turn the other cheek.”
NOTE: This is an idiom taken from the bible: “but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.” (Matthew 5:39)
TONGUE IN CHEEK
When you say or do something that seems to be serious but is actually humorous, it’s tongue-in-cheek.
“Brian got really angry with Mark over his comments, until they realise they were tongue-in-cheek.”
CHEEK BY JOWL
Cheek by jowl means very close together, or side-by-side.
“In many Spanish cities businesses and housing are cheek by jowl.”
NOTE: The jowl is another word for the cheek.
GET SOMETHING OFF YOUR CHEST
To confess something, say how you feel, or express your criticism of something or someone, is to get it off your chest.
“I was getting fed up with her selfish and thoughtless behaviour, and I had to get it off my chest and tell her how I felt.”
KEEP SOMETHING CLOSE TO YOUR CHEST
When you keep something close to your chest you keep your intentions, plans, or tactics secret and confidential.
“When everything is finalised, I’ll tell you. But in the meantime, I have to keep things close to my chest.”
TAKE IT ON THE CHIN
When you are brave enough to avoid complaining about bad things which have happened to you, you take it on the chin.
“Sacked for incompetence, he took it on the chin.”
NOTE: This is an allusion to the ability of a boxer to take a punch without falling.
KEEP YOUR CHIN UP
When someone has to overcome some difficulties, particularly emotional ones, we can encourage them by telling them to keep their chin up.
“I know it’s not an easy time, but you just have to keep your chin up.”
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