Everyday Idioms: For Reference and Practice / Edition 1

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Do you feel left out when your friends speak English? Do American English expressions go in one ear and out the other? Do you wish you had a way with words? Here's the answer!

Everyday Idioms Book One and Book Two, by Ronald E. Feare, bring the challenge of learning typical American English expressions within any student's reach. Each book presents over 600 idioms within tightly organized semantic categories. No other idiom texts give as comprehensive coverage of essential American idioms or make them as accessible to students.


  • Logical organization in functional and situational contexts makes idioms easy to learn, easy to remember.
  • A variety of multiskill exercise types develop students' language skills.
  • Regular review units provide students with further practice and reinforcement.
  • An Audiocassette offers additional listening practice for Book One.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780201441819
  • Publisher: Pearson Education ESL
  • Publication date: 10/28/1996
  • Series: Everyday Idioms for Reference and Practice Ser.
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 492,086
  • Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 10.70 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

Unit 1 Timing

all of a sudden / in no time / not miss a beat / right away / as soon as / in the long run so far / be (just) about to / at the last minute

Unit 2 Number and Quantity

at least / be left / or so / a drop in the bucket / a number of / the lion’s share / all told / pile up / come up short

Unit 3 Producing and Using

bring out / turn out / crank out / make to order / cut down (on) / run out (of) / go through / collect dust / pack rat

Unit 4 Speed and Pacing

in a hurry / hurry up / on the double / slow down / inch along / at a snail’s pace / pick up

Unit 5 Patience and Nervousness

hold one’s horses / take one’s own sweet time / sit tight / try someone’s patience / jump the gun / on edge / on pins and needles / be wound up

Unit 6 Mistakes and Confusion

goof up / mess up / do over / put one’s foot in one’s mouth / slip of the tongue / be on the wrong track / not think straight / mix up / get our/you/their wires crossed

Unit 7 Plans and Arrangements

cook up / draw up / map out / be in the works / on the spur of the moment / play it by ear / be up in the air / rule out

Unit 8 Chance and Opportunity

chances are (that) / be iffy / long shot / stand a chance / put all one’s eggs in on basket / irons in the fire / pass up / pipe dream / miss the boat / miss out (on)

Unit 9 Cooperation and Favor

pull together / put our/your/their heads together / take turns / play ball (with) / bend over backwards / It takes two to tango. / do a favor / real sport

Unit 10 Luck, Hope, and Optimism

break a leg / luck out / keep one’s fingers crossed / wishful thinking / hope for the best / hold out hope / not be the end of the world / be looking up / The sky’s the limit. / Every cloud has a silver lining.

Review Units 1-10

Unit 11 Human Relations

make friends / hit it off / start off on the wrong foot / get along (with) / rub elbows (with) / face to face / tie the know / on the rocks

Unit 12 Character Traits

thick-skinned / soft-hearted / hot-headed / be out of character / live wire / tough cookie / stick in the mud / have a (good) head on one’s shoulders / soft in the head

Unit 13 Modern Life

dog-eat-dog world / rat race / on the run / run around in circles / in a rut / back to the same old grind / couch potato / creature comforts (of home) / keep up with the joneses

Unit 14 Driving and Traffic

pull over / as far as / pull in(to) / turn around / u-turn / fender bender / bumper-to-bumper / stop and go / up to speed / wrap up

Unit 15 Banking and Finance

make out (a check) / bounce a check / on credit / take out / pay off / put aside / two bits / chip in / pay back

Unit 16 Business and Employment

set up shop / do business (with) / head-hunter / household word / on the market / go out of business / rank and file / put in for / lay off / go on strike

Unit 17 Government and Politics

run for (the) office (of) / press the flesh / sound bite / take office / middle-of-the-road / party line / red tape / grass-roots

Unit 18 Control and Influence

run the show / run a tight ship / play favorites / in hand / asleep at the wheel / loose cannon / pull (some) strings / throw one’s weight around / be on the take

Unit 19 Negotiation and Compromise

enter into / be on the table / go-between / cut a deal / drive a hard bargain / break off / meet halfway / give and take / happy medium

Unit 20 Promise and Commitment

give one’s word / keep one’s word / cross one’s hear (and hope to die) / stick to / famous last words / live up to / follow through (on) / come through for

Review: Units 11-20

Unit 21 Feelings and Reactions

open up / get off one’s chest / pour out / break out in(to) laughter/tears / choke up / get to / break someone’s heart / burst someone’s bubble / be music to someone’s ears / hard pill to swallow

Unit 22 Enthusiasm and Indifference

be crazy about / get into the spirit / pump up / liven up / throw cold water on / it’s all the same to / not give a darn / go with the crowd / might as well

Unit 23 Surprise and Shock

take by surprise / give someone a start / take aback / throw for a loop / heart-stopper / what on earth / drop a bombshell / turn over in one’s grave

Unit 24 Humor and Seriousness

tickle someone’s funny bone / crack up / double up / for laughs / lighten up / keep a straight face / no laughing matter / mean business / hit home

Unit 25 Embarrassment and Sympathy

on the spot / red-faced / one’s ears burn / save face / live down / feel sorry for / one’s heart goes out to / a shoulder to cry on / have a heart

Unit 26 Pride and Ego

take pride in / one’s pride and joy / hold one’s head high / blow one’s own horn / be stuck up / steal the show / take a back seat (to) / hurt someone’s feelings

Unit 27 Arguing and Complaining

have words (with) / have it out with / split hairs / make a big deal of / harp on / rant and rave / have an ax to grind / cause a stir / rock the boat / blow the whistle

Unit 28 Irritation and Annoyance

eat at / get on one’s nerves / rub the wrong way / hit a nerve / thorn in the side / ruffle some feathers / get into one’s hair / pet peeve / broken record

Unit 29 Concern and Regret

weigh on one’s mind / lose sleep over / raise eyebrows / make much of / not give a thought (to) / be too bad / kick oneself for / come back to haunt

Unit 30 Tolerance and Frustration

put up with / be fed up with / put an end to / the last straw / draw the line at / at the end of one’s rope / pull one’s hair out over / beat one’s head against the wall

Review: Units 21-30

Unit 31 Agreement and Disagreement

see eye to eye / go along (with) / on the same wavelength / side with / you can say that again / be for / be at odds with / war of words

Unit 32 Responsibility

leave to / dump on / take on / take over / look after / see about / see through / carry the ball / carry one’s weight

Unit 33 Support and Proof

back up (on) / stand up for / come out for / stand behind / pull for / jump on the bandwagon / not have a leg to stand on / paper trail / acid test / bear out

Unit 34 Assistance and Advice

lend a (helping) hand / pitch in / take under one’s wing / words of wisdom / speak to / turn to / steer straight / sound out / bum steer

Unit 35 Effort and Perseverance

get after / step up / give it one’s best shot / go overboard / come on strong / (on) one’s second wind / follow up on

Unit 36 Progress

under way / come along / take shape / make headway / keep up (with) / catch up (with) / So far, so good. / on a roll / gain steam / fall behind

Unit 37 Encouraging and convincing

Hang in there. / shot in the arm / pep talk / cheer on / talk up / talk into / bring around to / give in to

Unit 38 Determination and Stubbornness

bent on / take a stand / stand one’s ground / go to great lengths / set one’s sights on / get one’s way / put one’s foot down / stubborn as a mule

Unit 39 Gratitude and Praise

thanks to / owe it to / thank one’s lucky stars / owe someone (one) / hand it to / tip one’s hat to / Nice going. / pat oneself on the back

Unit 40 Likes and Dislikes

be in the mood for / go for / fit the bill / grow on / for the birds / could care less for / turn someone’s stomach / make someone’s skin crawl

Review: Units 31-40

Units 41 Knowledge and Perception

hear of / be news to / know-how / broaden one’s horizons / pick up / through the grapevine / get wind of / in the loop make of

Unit 42 Thought and Reconsideration

think over / think through / take into consideration / sleep on it / food for thought / have second thoughts / go back and forth (on) / take back

Unit 43 Noticing and Realizing

stand out / catch someone’s eye / pay attention (to) / take not (of) / look out (for) / ring a bell / dawn on / sink in

Unit 44 Logic and Illogic

stand to reason / go without saying / put two and two together / jump to conclusions / hare-brained / no rhyme or reason / put the cart before the horse / pie in the sky

Unit 45 Expressing Oneself

speak one’s mind / fire away / blurt out / have a way with words / beat around the bush / clam up / shut up / hold down / The cat has one’s tongue.

Unit 46 Decisions and Choices

rule of thumb / pros and cons / leave up to / make up one’s mind / leave open / call the shots / settle on / take one’s pick / take it or leave it

Unit 47 Solving Problems

get to the bottom of / nip in the bud / wrack one’s brains / Two heads are better than one. / work out / do the trick / quick fix / take a different tack / as a last resort / no magic bullet

Unit 48 Honesty and Secrecy

be on the level / level with / come clean / lay one’s cards on the table / keep from / skeleton in one’s closet / keep it to oneself / under the table / cover up / white lie

Unit 49 Danger and Risk

close call / on the line / touch and go / take a chance / stick one’s neck out / be at stake / play it safe / out of the woods / the chips are down

Unit 50 Beginnings and Endings

come about / usher in / kick off / from scratch / turn over a new leaf / bear fruit / bottom line / fall into place / come out ahead

Review: Units 41-50

Answer Key

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