Tuesday, July 17, 2018


How to Talk about Remembering Bad Feelings for a Long Time
Do you hold a grudge against Montgomery Burns? 
A "grudge" (noun) is a strong feeling of dislike and anger that lasts a long time. To hold a grudge against someone means to dislike them and feel angry at them for a long time because they treated yo ...   more
974 days ago 9 Comments

How to Say You're not Enjoying Life and Feel Stuck in your Own Ways
Honey! Are we in a rut? 
Honey! Are we stuck/too fixed in our own ways?
975 days ago 8 Comments

An idiom to describe getting married
Megan and Brian tied the knot in Hawaii. 
The idiom "to tie the knot" means "to get married". It's often used in positive and negative sentences as well as questions, for example: "They're going to tie the knot in Canada next year". "She's ...   more
976 days ago 6 Comments

How to say you really don't know
I have absolutely no idea.  
This is a very common phrase that means "I really do not know". People also say "I have no idea" or use the phrase as a question "Do you have any idea about X?" e.g. "Do you have any idea about the an ...   more
977 days ago 10 Comments

How to say that you don't want to do something any longer.
I'm sick of painting.  
I've been painting for a long time now I'm bored of it and I don't want to do it any longer.
1218 days ago 5 Comments

1509 days ago 5 Comments

How to say something is really excellent.
They're a real cracker.  
"A cracker" is an informal expression for something which is great, excellent and completely amazing. It can be used as a noun or an adjective, and it's used to describe people as well as places and e ...   more
1510 days ago 6 Comments

How to describe an extremely angry and badly behaved person
Sheen went ballistic 
If either an adult or a child reacts badly to a situation and starts screaming, shouting and possibly kicking or throwing things, we can say that they are "having a tantrum", or "going ballistic". Thi ...   more
1513 days ago 10 Comments

How to say that you want something very much.
I've longed for kids since I was young.  
The phrasal verb "to long for something" means "to have a strong desire for something". It is quite a formal expression; in casual conversation people usually say "I really really want" instead. When ...   more
1514 days ago 5 Comments

How to say that you love technical things
I'm a big geeky fan of all that.  
A "geek" is someone who is very interested in electronics, computers and science, but is not interested in regular things such as sports, going to the movies or listening to music. In this sentence th ...   more
1515 days ago 5 Comments

How to talk about making something more exciting
How do we pump it up? 
"To pump" means to push air into something - for example a bicycle tyre. In this expression "to pump" means "make it more exciting". For example, a
1609 days ago 5 Comments

How to describe being extremely stressed
She's pushed to the edge.  
This phrase is an idiom, that means that she is feeling so stressed and under so much pressure that she almost feels she cannot cope any longer. She might feel like she wants to scream, hit someone or ...   more
1610 days ago 4 Comments

How to say you are very very disappointed
I'm mega-gutted.  
The phrase "I'm gutted" is a very common expression to show disappointment; in this video Jessie J adds the prefix "mega" to make the expression even stronger. It's not usually used in direct question ...   more
2298 days ago 4 Comments

How to describe something you can't see clearly
It's just a blur. 
A "blur" is an unclear picture. In this situation, "It's just a blur" means "people can't see the beautiful hill clearly because the people in the cars are moving so fast". The expression also has a ...   more
2319 days ago 5 Comments

How to talk about improving your work
They teach actors to up their game.  
This idiom means to improve one's performance. For example, "He really upped his game when the boss came back from holiday", meaning "He started working harder when the boss came back". Or, "Can you h ...   more
2332 days ago 6 Comments

How to predict someone will be very successful
You've got it in you to go the whole distance. 
In this sentence, the "it" means "talent, drive, ambition, energy etc", the power that makes a person successful. The expression "to go the whole distance" means "to succeed fully, to reach the most s ...   more
2343 days ago 7 Comments

How to say that everyone is talking about one person
Katy Perry is really being buzzed about.  
This expression means that a lot of "buzzing" or communication is happening around a particular person or event. The communication could be online (blogging, facebook updates, tweets etc) or could be ...   more
2353 days ago 6 Comments

How to describe something in the past that feels very recent
It seems like only yesterday. 
"Seems" has the same meaning here as "feels" or "appears". Although the event was truly a long time ago in the past, the speaker feels that is was only a short time ago. This expression is not norma ...   more
2360 days ago 8 Comments

How to describe an incredible experience.
I had the time of my life.  
"The time of my life" is used to describe an experience that was absolutely amazing. It can be used for a short-term experience such as a party (a few hours long) or for a longer-term experience such ...   more
2367 days ago 7 Comments

How to give advice about someone's future
She should stick to singing.  
This sentence uses a modal verb "should" to give advice and tell the listener a good thing for them to do, according to the speaker's opinion. The phrase "stick to" means "continue doing/not stop or ...   more
2371 days ago 6 Comments

How to describe an amazing experience
It doesn't get much better than that.  
This entence is used to describe an experience or event that is outstanding, excellent in every way, and could not be improved on. There is no positive version (we cannot say "It does get better than ...   more
2374 days ago 6 Comments

How to suggest a solution
This might do the trick. 
"Do the trick" means "fix the problem" and you can use it in positive sentences and in questions. For example, you can say "I think this will do the trick" or "I'm sure this will do the trick" or "Thi ...   more
2379 days ago 5 Comments

How to say something is uncertain
It's still up in the air.  
This is a common phrase for describing uncertainty. It can also be used in negative sentences e.g. "It's not up in the air any longer" (meaning something has been decided) and in questions e.g. "Is th ...   more
2381 days ago 5 Comments

How to describe an excellent performance
She's done a stand-out job.  
"A stand-out job" means an excellent, very high quality performance of a task. It's an informal expression and is good for using with friends and family, for example, your sister might cook a really d ...   more
2383 days ago 5 Comments

How to wish someone "Happy New Year"
Here's hoping it's a good one for all.  
"Here's hoping" is a common expression for people to use for future wishes - you can say "Here's hoping for good weather tomorrow" or "Here's hoping I pass the exam". In this sentence the word "it" is ...   more
2388 days ago 6 Comments

How to start a conversation
What're you up to? 
The phrase "up to" can mean "doing" in English - so this question actually means "What are you doing?" "Up to" is not usually used in positive sentences, but it can be used in negative sentences e.g. ...   more
2391 days ago 5 Comments

How to ask for directions
Could you tell me how to get to the medical school? 
This is a common way to ask for directions. You can change the word "could" to "can" and ask "Can you tell me the way to X?" and you can also ask "Can you tell me how to get to X?" or "Could you tell ...   more
2392 days ago 6 Comments

How to say that you haven't thought carefully about something
Off the top of my head 
This expression means "I haven't thought about this carefully - these are my immediate ideas only". It's a useful expression when you are asked a question that you don't know how to answer. For exampl ...   more
2393 days ago 7 Comments

How to say that you are confused by something unexpected
You're kind of thrown off. 
This expression is a phrasal verb and can be used to describe someone e.g. "He was completely thrown off by the surprise party" or "He wasn't thrown off at all by the surprise party"; or in a question ...   more
2394 days ago 5 Comments

How to describe a situation that benefits everyone
It's a win-win-win all around.  
This expression is also often used as "it's a win-win". It means that everyone involved "wins" or benefits. For example, you choose a gift for your friend in a shop and when you pay for it you receive ...   more
2395 days ago 6 Comments

How to ask how someone is coping with a problem
So how are you holding up? 
"Holding up" in this sentence means "coping" or "managing" - the question means "how are you coping?". You can use this question when you know that the person has a problem. You can also use the same ...   more
2398 days ago 6 Comments

How to describe an extemely supportive person
They've got a manager who's right behind the team.  
"To be right behind" someone means to support them totally in everything they do. You can say "My mother was always right behind me through university" or in the negative "My manager just isn't behind ...   more
2402 days ago 11 Comments

How to suggest someone work harder
When are you going to pull your finger out? 
"Pull your finger out" is an idiom which means "stop being lazy and start working hard". You can use it to give advice e.g. "You need to pull your finger out and finish your essay" or to talk about an ...   more
2405 days ago 5 Comments

How to invite a friend out
You got any plans for tonight? 
The full question form here is "Have you got any plans for tonight?" but it's usual for the question to be shortened to "You got any plans for tonight?" for casual and informal situations. ...   more
2406 days ago 10 Comments

How to say that you admire someone
I look up to you so much.  
"To look up to someone" is an idiom that means "to admire and greatly respect". It is appropriate to use about someone in your family or your social circle, and also appropriate to use about a famous ...   more
2408 days ago 14 Comments

How to say you have finished caring about something or someone
I thought I was over him.  
"To be over something/someone" means that in the past you were very interested in the activity or person but now you are not interested. For example, if you study for an exam for a long time and start ...   more
2409 days ago 6 Comments

How to ask someone to wait
Hang on a minute 
"Hang on a minute" means the same as "wait a minute", but it is more informal and casual. You can also say "hang on" or "hold on" for the same meaning.
2410 days ago 5 Comments

How to say that you have stopped doing an unpleasant activity
I'm done waiting. 
"I'm done + verb-ing" is an informal way to say that you have had enough of something. It suggests that you have done this thing for a long time, it's not a good thing, and you want to stop it and try ...   more
2413 days ago 5 Comments

How to greet someone and respond with bad news
How'd it go? It didn't.  
If someone has been to a meeting or a class or an event, you can ask them afterwards "How'd it go?" meaning "How was it, was it successful?". If the event was good, you can answer "Fine" or "Good" or ...   more
2414 days ago 6 Comments

How to ask for advice on solving a problem
What do you do with that? 
The question means "what does someone do with a problem like this?" It's a way of asking what the other person would do if they had the speaker's problem.
2415 days ago 5 Comments

How to speak casually
I'd like to see my ideal candidate just more involved in the community. 
Using the word "just" changes the register of a sentence or question to a more casual, informal register. For example, you can say "Could you pass me the dictionary please?" (quite polite and semi-for ...   more
2416 days ago 5 Comments

How to check if you understand correctly
Is that fair to say? 
In this question, "fair" means "reasonable" (it can also mean "pale" - "fair-skinned" people are very pale). The question is used after stating an opinion during a conversation, for example "You must ...   more
2418 days ago 5 Comments

How to say you don't know something
Never heard of it before in my life.  
This sentence is a common way to say "I don't know". Notice that the speaker doesn't say "I've never heard of it before in my life" - they drop the words "I've" completely. This is common in spoken En ...   more
2419 days ago 5 Comments

How to say that someone is criticising
Brad Pitt takes a stab at Jennifer Anniston. 
"To take a stab" is an idiom - it doesn't mean that someone used a knife to hurt someone. It means that someone said nasty, bad or horrible things about someone else. You can say "He took a stab at hi ...   more
2420 days ago 5 Comments

How to say you like something
I'm really into Jessie J. 
"Be into" something means that you really like it and enjoy it. Remember to use the "be" verb with this expression e.g. "I'm into golf", "Are you into pop music?", "He's into rugby". It's an informal ...   more
2421 days ago 5 Comments

How to say that you don't understand.
I just don't get that.  
In this sentence "get" means "understand" - "I don't get it" means "I don't understand it". It's a very common meaning of "get" - you can use it for a question ("Do you get it?") or a negative ("I don ...   more
2422 days ago 5 Comments

How to describe something that is waiting to happen
Everything that's been bottled up in the past three movies kind of explodes in this one. 
"Bottled up" means the person doesn't talk about a problem or issue, and doesn't tell anyone. You can say "He always keeps things bottled up" or "Don't keep that problem bottled up". When someone ha ...   more
2423 days ago 5 Comments

How to say you don't know something
He has no clue why we're here. 
The phrase "have no clue" means that the person really doesn't know anything about the topic. We don't usually use this phrase in questions or negative sentences, only in positive sentences, and it's ...   more
2426 days ago 5 Comments

How to show your surprise
How on earth did they know? 
The phrase "on earth" emphasises the speaker's astonishment. You can use it in many situations. For example if you are surprised that your friend bought some very ugly shoes, you can say "Why on earth ...   more
2427 days ago 5 Comments

How to emphasise your ideas
You know what? 
This question is a short way to say "Do you know what I'm going to say?" - the speaker doesn't expect the listener to answer, it's simply a question to use before starting to give an opinion. It's a g ...   more
2428 days ago 5 Comments

How to show that you don't believe something
Are you for real? 
This question is an informal way to say "I don't believe you/what you are saying". You can also use the phrase "for real" in other sentences, for example: "Is that for real?" (talking about an unbelie ...   more
2429 days ago 5 Comments

How to say something was unsuccessful
It just didn't go that way. 
This sentence means something did not happen as planned. The speaker had a clear plan about how something should happen, but something else happened (an accident, change in the weather, being sick etc ...   more
2430 days ago 4 Comments

How to ask someone to do something for you
Can you do us a favour? 
This question means "Could you please do something for me?". Although the man uses the pronoun "us" he means "me" - this is common in British English. For example, a person can say "Could you help us ...   more
2431 days ago 6 Comments

How to describe something that's very very important.
Wow, that's a really really big deal. 
A "big deal" is an informal way to say something is very important or very unusual. For example: Heather: "My brother was offered a job at Google after finishing high school." Waleed: "Wow, that's a ...   more
2432 days ago 4 Comments

How to give an excuse for bad behaviour
Everybody's going to have a bad day every now and then. 
"A bad day" means a day when things don't happen as you want them to happen. Maybe other people do things which make you unhappy or you have some personal problems that make it difficult for you to do ...   more
2433 days ago 4 Comments

How to emphasise how good or bad something is
Oh, you have no idea. 
This sentence means that the other person really doesn't understand or doesn't know how extremely good or extremely bad something is. The speaker is emphasising the quality of the experience. For exam ...   more
2434 days ago 4 Comments

The rhythm of American native-speaker English.
If you don't love it, you're gonna fail, so you've gotta love it. 
Steve Jobs speaks fluently here so he uses some contractions: "going to" sounds like "gonna" and "got to" sounds like "gotta". So, his sentence actually reads: "If you don't love it, you're going to f ...   more
2435 days ago 4 Comments

How to say that you like someone's idea
Oh, I like the sound of that! 
This sentence means "I like what you are saying". It's very casual and it's good to use with friends or in informal situations.
2436 days ago 5 Comments

How to check someone is ready to talk.
Do you need a minute? 
This question means "do you need some time to take care of yourself before we talk". Use this question when your friend or work colleague can't speak - maybe they are laughing like in this video, or t ...   more
2437 days ago 5 Comments

How to reply to a shop assistant when you are shopping.
May I help you? No, I'm just checking things out.  
The beginning of this video is a typical shopping conversation - the shop assistant asks "May I help you?" or "Can I help you?" and the customer answers either "Yes, I'm looking for a ...." or "No tha ...   more
2438 days ago 6 Comments

How to describe an event at a fixed time in the past
The first week I lost 40 pounds of just water. 
This sentence uses past simple tense (subject + past simple verb) to describe something that happened at a known time in the past. In this sentence, the known time is "the first week" (= "the first we ...   more
2439 days ago 4 Comments

How to ask for new information
What's the latest from Civil Defence? 
"The latest" means "the latest news", "the most recent information/news available". It's a very common, informal, everyday English expression. You can say to your friends: "What's the latest on Jo's n ...   more
2440 days ago 4 Comments

How to ask if something is the right thing to do
Do you want me to take my shoes off?  
This question has the same meaning as "Would you like me to take my shoes off?", but it is more direct and a little less polite. You can use this question with good friends in informal situations. For ...   more
2441 days ago 6 Comments

How to describe someone who is angry
You must have the Secret Service hopping about now.  
If you say someone is "hopping" it is a short form of "hopping mad" and means they are very very angry or mad or crosss. It is an informal expression that you can use with friends and family, for ex ...   more
2442 days ago 5 Comments

It looked like Ali Wentworth, wife of George Stephanopoulos, already had dibs.  
The phrase "to have dibs" means that the person has announced that he/she wants to have something that other people want as well. In this situation, there is a cute dog available and many people might ...   more
2443 days ago 4 Comments

What could be better than a delicious beef stroganoff with seven different vegetables and a hint of herbs? 
This type of question is called a "rhetorical question" because the speaker does not expect the listener to answer. The speaker is saying that there is nothing better than a delicious beef stroganoff. ...   more
2444 days ago 6 Comments

Bangkok's Chao Phraya river is expected to burst its banks over the weekend. 
This sentence uses the passive voice (subject + be + past participle. Notice the infinitive verb (to + base verb) - "expected" in the passive is always followed by an infinitive verb. The passive vo ...   more
2445 days ago 5 Comments

The celebration goes back over 400 years to 1605. 
Here's another phrasal verb! "To go back" is used to describe the length of time something has existed. This sentence means November 5th "has been celebrated" for over 400 years. You can also use thi ...   more
2446 days ago 4 Comments

We had to go out on this big kind of bang. 
The phrase "go out with a (big) bang" means to finish something with a very impressive final action or event. In this sentence, the speaker uses "on a bang" instead of the usual "with a bang". Other ...   more
2448 days ago 5 Comments

They've got absolutely no reason to doubt you.  
You can use the adverb "absolutely" to mean "totally, 100%". This sentence means "There is definitely no reason to doubt (disbelieve) you". Other common expressions using this word are: - I'm absolut ...   more
2449 days ago 6 Comments

We're kind of having a massive pool party there on Saturday. 
The words "kind of" actually mean "a type of", for example, "Apples are a kind of fruit". But in this sentence they are used to make the sentence more informal and less important. Here the boy wants t ...   more
2450 days ago 6 Comments

Some say Jack only had a pumpkin to carry his light in.  
"Some say" means "some people say" and we use it to say that a number of people agree on something, but not everybody agrees. It is used in this sentence because other people believe that Jack had a t ...   more
2451 days ago 8 Comments

He couldn't quite make out what it was.  
This sentence means "he couldn't see it clearly, and didn't know what it was". In this story, the man was walking on the beach early in the morning and it was too dark to see what the thing was. You c ...   more
2452 days ago 7 Comments

Sorry to be so dramatic but it's quite true.  
This sentence is a useful sentence to use after you tell someone a frightening or surprising piece of information. You are saying "I'm sorry if that is frightening". For example a vet telling a custom ...   more
2453 days ago 4 Comments

William didn't let the side down either. 
This is an idiom - it means that William did not disappoint people, or he did not do something badly. The word "either" suggests that there is someone else discussed who also did not disappoint or did ...   more
2454 days ago 5 Comments

They've never seen anything like it.  
This is a good example of the present perfect simple tense: "subject + have + past participle". The sentence refers to the time period "from when they were born until now" and means that in that time ...   more
2455 days ago 5 Comments

Dad, your hand is jammed in the toaster. 
"Jammed in" is a prepositional phrase and means "stuck in, unable to be removed". Look at the picture of Homer's hand and you will see that it's difficult to remove his hand - it's stuck. There is als ...   more
2457 days ago 6 Comments

You all set? 
This is an informal question that means "are you ready?". You can use it to ask your friends if they are ready to leave the restaurant after eating, or ready to go out if you are at home. Notice the m ...   more
2458 days ago 6 Comments

We would have asked you, we just thought you wouldn't be interested. 
The first clause of this sentence uses the result clause of the third conditional, "would + have + past participle". The condition clause is not said, because it is generally understood. If the condit ...   more
2459 days ago 12 Comments

How to say that something is perfect for someone
It's right up their alley 
This is an idiom, and is an informal phrase that you can use with friends. It is the same as "It's right up their street". Both idioms mean "They will definitely love/enjoy/appreciate this". For examp ...   more
2460 days ago 5 Comments

Very scared, very devastated for everyone here. 
The sentence is the man's feelings about the recent shark attack. This is a good example of the natural speed of a native speaker, and also a good example of ellipsis. Ellipsis is when a person doesn’ ...   more
2461 days ago 6 Comments

Well, let her know that we're thinking of her. 
This is a very useful phrase to know - you can use it when someone is leaving to visit someone who is sick or unhappy, and you want to visit as well but you can't (maybe you're too busy to go). The ph ...   more
2462 days ago 6 Comments

How to summarise an idea
Long story short 
In this video the boy says "long story short", but people often say "To cut a long story short". Both these sentences mean the speaker is going to use a few words to explain a long, complicated idea. ...   more
2463 days ago 7 Comments

How to say something is good
This kid thing is really working out for you 
If something is "really working out for you" then it is very successful. The words "this kid thing" are an informal way of saying "the topic of the kid". So the sentence means "The topic of the kid is ...   more
2464 days ago 7 Comments

That's wasted on me. I don't understand what you're saying. 
This sentence means that the speaker cannot understand anything that the other person is saying. The words they are using are wasted (not useful) because the speaker can't understand. ...   more
2465 days ago 6 Comments

I never didn't love Michael 
This sentence uses a double negative - two negative words in one sentence to make the idea stronger.
2466 days ago 4 Comments

How did it come to this? 
In this question, "it" means "this situation I'm in now" and "this" means "all these problems I'm having now". So the question means "How did this situation become so awful?" ...   more
2467 days ago 5 Comments

Any update on the ambulance? 
An "update" means "new information since last time we spoke about this topic". This question is asking "is there any new information on the ambulance?"
2468 days ago 5 Comments

Well I'd think I'd have thick skin after seven years of doing this show. 
To have 'thick skin' means you are not sensitive to criticism and not worried about what other people say about you
2469 days ago 5 Comments

You think I can't do it?! Watch me. 
This sentence means that if you doubt that I can do it, you should watch me and see that actually I can do it. The speaker is challenging the other person to doubt them. ...   more
2470 days ago 18 Comments

Some of us learn the hard way - what goes around comes around 
Some people learn by bad experience, that if you are good, good things will happen to you and if you are bad, bad things will happen to you ('what goes around, comes around') ...   more
2552 days ago 5 Comments

I'm going to plead guilty and have this over with 
I will plead guilty to the crime so that the problem will be finished now, instead of continuing on for a long time
2719 days ago 6 Comments

I know exactly what's going on, I am onto you 
'I am onto you' means I know who you are, what you did, or what you will do
2722 days ago 6 Comments

You got Ian into this mess, Janine, I'm sure you can get him out of it 
You are the one who made the trouble and problems for Ian, and you are able to fix it
2727 days ago 4 Comments

So there you go, New Zealand English in a nutshell 
'In a nutshell' means to explain something in a short and simple way
2729 days ago 8 Comments

If you'd like to ask Burns for something, now is the time.  
If there's something you'd like to ask Burns to do for you ask him now - it's the best time (i.e. he's very likely to say yes).
2735 days ago 6 Comments

I would like to buy a hamburger. 
2787 days ago 5 Comments

Hello! I'd like to order french fries, a burger and a milk shake. 
2802 days ago 7 Comments

How to talk about having fun with your friends.
We catch up with each other and have a laugh.  
"To catch up" with someone means to see an old friend, or someone you already know, usually after a long time apart, and to learn about what has happened in their life recently. It's very commonly use ...   more
6744 days ago 7 Comments



All rights Reserved. imimic Copyright 2010
Contact us on: