You know, when learning a language it is also about learning about another culture. Grammar and vocabulary per se will take you a long way, no doubt, but if you are an advanced learner/fluent speaker then the use of idioms will make you sound much more natural.
So, a quick quiz for you:
1. You are chatting with a friend making plans for a long weekend away with your partner (who you haven’t asked yet), so you ask your friend to keep it a secret you say:
‘Don’t let the cat out of the …’
2. When it is raining heavily, what is it raining in English?
Β. cats and dogs
Γ. lions and tigers
3. Looking for someone in Athens is as hard as looking for a … in a haystack.
4. If you’ve fallen asleep, where have you gone?
A. To the land of not
B. To the land of nod
Γ. To the land of Oz
5. If you are underweight, you might be called …
Α. a bag of money
Β. a bag of bones
Γ. a bag of eggs
Check your answers here:
For all of the above the answer is B! Have a look:
1. Don’t let the cat out of the bag! This idiom means to keep a secret, not to reveal it to anyone,
2. It’s raining cats and dogs! Used when it is absolutely pouring with rain!
3. Look for a needle in a haystack! Used when looking for something or someone is a large area/space and thus very hard to find.
4. Land of nod. You say someone has gone to the land of nod when they’ve fallen asleep.
5. A bag of bones. Used to describe someone who’s skinny.
Did you get any? If you are interested in finding out more about English colloquial language, why not join one of our English language courses?