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.
Learn some common British English idioms in this video English lesson from Britlish. The idioms are: As plain as the nose on your face, Keep your nose out, Turn your nose up at, Stick your nose in where it’s not wanted, Can’t see further than the end of your nose, Under your nose, Cut off your nose to spite your face, Brown-nose, Put someone’s nose out of joint, No skin off my nose, Look down your nose at, Rub your nose in it, Powder your nose, and Have a nose for.Body Idioms Course
AS PLAIN AS THE NOSE ON YOUR FACE
Something which is very apparent is as plain as the nose on your face.
“It’s as plain as the nose on your face that the school is worried about falling pupil numbers.”
KEEP YOUR NOSE OUT
If you keep your nose out, you do not interfere in somebody else’s business.
“I wish he would just keep his nose out. It’s got nothing to do with him.”
TURN YOUR NOSE UP AT
To turn your nose up at something is to reject it as being not good enough for you.
“I never turn my nose up at my mother’s apple pie and cream.”
STICK YOUR NOSE IN WHERE IT’S NOT WANTED
If you stick your nose in where it’s not wanted, you are interfering in something that has nothing to do with you.
“She’s always sticking her nose in where it’s not wanted.”
CAN’T SEE FURTHER THAN THE END OF YOUR NOSE
Someone who is selfish, narrow-minded, and lacking in insight, cannot see further than the end of their nose.
“The company won’t invest in the necessary training because the boss can’t see further than the end of his nose.”
UNDER YOUR NOSE
When something is obvious, and right in front of you, yet you do not notice it, we say it’s under your nose.
“After an hour of fruitless searching, I realised that my keys had been under my nose on the table all the time.”
CUT OFF YOUR NOSE TO SPITE YOUR FACE
If you overreact to a problem and do something unnecessarily self-destructive, we say you have cut off your nose to spite your face.
“If I just resign, it’ll be like cutting off my nose to spite my face.”
When you try to please someone in authority over you in a way that others find unpleasant, you are known as a brown-nose.
“He only got the job as director because he brown-nosed Michael.”
PUT SOMEONE’S NOSE OUT OF JOINT
To put someone’s nose out of joint is of make them feel resentful, upset, or annoyed.
“Being passed over for promotion really put his nose out of joint.”
NO SKIN OFF MY NOSE
To say that something is no skin off your nose is to say that what someone else does or thinks is not of great significance to you.
“By plane or by train, it’s no skin off my nose.”
LOOK DOWN YOUR NOSE AT
If you think that someone is less significant than you, or something is not good enough for you, you are looking down your nose at them/it.
“The native-speaking teachers always looked down their noses at the non-natives.”
RUB YOUR NOSE IN IT
When you remind someone they have not succeeded at something, or that they have done something wrong, you rub their nose in it.
“I was happy to tell him I had got another job and really rub his nose in it.”
POWDER YOUR NOSE
To powder your nose is a euphemism for going to the toilet, especially for women.
“Would you excuse me? I need to powder my nose.”
HAVE A NOSE FOR
If you’re good at uncovering a particular kind of information, we say you have a nose for it.
“Most reporters have a nose for a good story.”
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