Brrrrrr…it’s freezing!

Freeze has different meanings in English.

Capture d’écran 2014-12-29 à 12.49.15

 

Either used literally like:

Gosh, it’s freezing ! = it’s really cold

I’ll freeze the turkey leftovers= to preserve something in minus temperatures.

 

But freeze is also used metaphorically.

It means to stop, to hold, or to exclude.

Examples:

To freeze someone’s wages: to hold someone’s pay at its current level.

Or:

To freeze ON doing something: The company put a freeze on hiring.

Or:

To become unable to act or speak: He just froze in front of the audience.

Or:

To freeze OUT: To shut out or exclude someone. The others tried to freeze me out of the conversation.

wrap-up-warm-and-make-a-cup-of-tea

 

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Let’s talk turkey !

It’s Christmas time…!

Tough times for turkeys*….

*Turkeys are large birds which are often eaten on Christmas Day

 

Funnily enough, the word turkey comes up in many English idioms.

 

Here are a few examples.

 

To talk turkey means: to talk business, to talk frankly, to discuss a problem very seriously in order to solve it.

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Example:

Okay, let’s face it…We’ve got a tough decision to discuss here…. Let’s be prepared to talk turkey about what we can do about it.

Or:

To go cold turkeyto immediately, abruptly and completely stop a habit. I had to stop smoking, so I went cold turkey”.

Or:

Like turkeys voting for Christmas: when people choose to accept a situation that can only end badly for them .“This decision is crazy ! It ‘s like turkeys voting for Christmas!”

keep-calm-you-re-not-a-christmas-turkey

Merry Christmas !

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Red tape..

Here’s a useful idiom, most appropriate in today’s world.

RED TAPE…

 

Example:

We had hoped to settle this quickly but had to postpone the project as we got caught up in a lot of red tape

 

It means having to deal with an awful lot of official forms and procedures..

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This expression comes from the red tape used to bind official government documents.

 

 

 

 

 

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Expression of the day: a grey area

 A grey area…

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Hmmmm…. What could this mean?

Well, it’s not a way to describe the colour of the sky at the moment…

 

 

A grey area is a subject, a concept or a topic which is not quite clear..

 

Example:

-Is this legal?

-Well…It is a bit of a grey area, don’t you think?

(The speaker has an unclear view about this situation..)

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The idiom of the day: a handful

Idioms are phrases in which the meaning has little or nothing to do with the literal wording.

And using them occasionally will help to make you sound more fluent…

 

Here’s the pick of the day :

A HANDFUL

A handful, literally, is the quantity or amount that the hand can hold.

Like: She grabbed a handful of nuts.

 

But when used in a idiomatic way, it means: someone who is difficult to handle  or it could mean someone who expects a lot, depending on the situation.

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Examples:

When he’s stressed he really is a handful…

Gosh she’s such a handful, they were exhausted after her visit!

 

“Handful” can also have a slightly different meaning when it gives more detail about someone/something: a small, undefined quantity

Example:

Only a handful of people left the room: a small amount of people left the room.

 

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The idiom of the day: to keep an eye out..

Idioms are phrases in which the meaning has little or nothing to do with the literal wording.

And using them occasionally will help to make you sound more fluent…

Here’s the pick of the day :

To keep an eye OUT * .

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It means:
To be on the lookout (for someone or something).
Example:
We’ll definitely keep an eye out for new opportunities.
* But watch out…
“To keep an eye ON” means something slightly different: to watch closely or carefully.
Example:
“I’d better keep an eye on the time, otherwise I’ll be late for the meeting..”
The English language has so many subtleties like this one…
Such a rich,  complex and wonderful language !
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The tongue-twister of the day: W’s.

 

A tongue-twister is a sequence of similar sounding words, which can be  difficult to pronounce quickly and correctly.

Even native English speakers find tongue-twisters difficult to say quickly….

However, it’s an excellent elocution exercise to practise a particular sound and a fun way to losen your tongue !

Here’s the pick of the day:

Try to say it, first slow and easy, then pick up the pace.

While we were walking, we were watching

window washers wash windows

with warm washing water.

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Mind-boggling…

 

The English language is often seen (by the French) as: weird, complicated, illogical, mind-boggling* and difficult to pronounce …

Arrgghh

Ok, I admit some words are a  bit tricky on paper….

Like:

gorgeous

thoroughly

enhance

through

appliance

though

genuine

Thanks to  coaching  and practice, (in this case, practising word stress), saying them will be a breeze !

 

*Mind-boggling: That causes the mind to boggle/be confused, that is beyond one’s ability to understand or figure out, overwhelming, bewildering.

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To cut a long story short…

 

Using Idioms occasionally will make you sound more fluent…

 

Here’s the pick of the day :

“To cut a long story short”.

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It is a useful expression, it means that a person will only tell you the main facts about an event, or a story, rather than lose you in details.

Example:

“It all went very well during this meeting! To cut a long story short, the client was very happy and signed the contract”

 

Another expression to express this is In a nutshell

It means: summed up briefly.

Example:

“I’m running out of time..Tell me how it went, in a nutshellNutshell

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