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Flashcards: Essential English Idioms


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above all

Định nghĩa:
mainly, especially
Ví dụ:
  • Above all, don't mention the matter to Gerard
  • he's the last person we should tell. Sheila does well in all her school subjects, but above all in mathematics. Her math scores are always over 95 percent.

according to

Định nghĩa:
in the order of; on the authority of
Ví dụ:
  • The students on the football team were ranked according to height, from shortest to tallest. According to my dictionary, you are using that word in your essay incorrectly.

all along

Định nghĩa:
all the time, from the beginning
Ví dụ:
  • She knew all along that we'd never agree with his plan. You're smiling! Did you know all along that I'd give you a birthday present?

all (day, week, month, year) long

Định nghĩa:
the entire day, week, month, year
Ví dụ:
  • I've been working on my income tax forms all day long. I've hardly had time to eat. It's been raining all week long. We haven't seen the sun since last Monday.

all in all

Định nghĩa:
considering everything
Ví dụ:
  • There were a few problems, but all in all it was a well-organized seminar. Leonard got a low grade in one subject, but all in all he's a good student.

all of a sudden

Định nghĩa:
suddenly, without warning
Ví dụ:
  • All of a sudden Ed appeared at the door. We weren't expecting him to drop by. All at once Millie got up and left the house without any explanation.

all right

Định nghĩa:
acceptable, fine; yes, okay
Ví dụ:
  • He said that it would be all right to wait in her office until she returned. Do you want me to turn off the TV? Alright, if you insist.

a lost cause

Định nghĩa:
a hopeless case, a person or situation having no hope of positive change
Ví dụ:
  • It seems that Charles will never listen to our advice. I suppose it's a lost cause. The police searched for the missing girl for two weeks, but finally gave it up as a lost cause. Children who have committed several crimes as teenagers and show no sorrow about their actions are generally lost causes.

as a matter of fact

Định nghĩa:
really, actually
Ví dụ:
  • Hans thinks he knows English well but, as a matter of fact, he speaks very poorly. I didn't say that. In fact, I said quite the opposite.

as for

Định nghĩa:
regarding, concerning
Ví dụ:
  • As for the money, we will simply have to borrow some more from the bank. There is no doubt as to her intelligence
  • she's the smartest one in the class.

as soon as

Định nghĩa:
just after, when
Ví dụ:
  • As soon as it started to snow, the children ran outside with big smiles on their faces. I'm busy now, but I'll meet you as soon as I've finished this work.

a steal

Định nghĩa:
very inexpensive, a bargain
Ví dụ:
  • I can't believe that I paid only $2,000 for this three-year-old car. What a steal! Scott considered it a steal when he bought a complete bedroom set for only $99.

as usual

Định nghĩa:
as is the general case, as is typical
Ví dụ:
  • George is late for class as usual. This seems to happen every day. As usual, Dora received first prize in the swimming contest. It's the third consecutive year that she has won.

at all

Định nghĩa:
to any degree
Ví dụ:
  • Larry isn't at all shy about expressing his opinions. When I asked Donna whether she was tired, she said, "Not in the least. I'm full of energy."

at first

Định nghĩa:
in the beginning, originally
Ví dụ:
  • At first English was difficult for him, but later he made great progress. I thought at first that it was Sheila calling, but then I realized that it was Betty.

at heart

Định nghĩa:
basically, fundamentally
Ví dụ:
  • James sometimes seems quite unfriendly, but at heart he's a good person. The Fares often don't see eye to eye, but at heart they both love each other very much.

at last

Định nghĩa:
finally, after a long time
Ví dụ:
  • We waited for hours and then the train arrived at last. Now that I am sixteen, at last I can drive my parents' car.

at least

Định nghĩa:
a minimum of, no fewer than
Ví dụ:
  • I spend at least two hours every night on my studies. Mike claims that he drinks at least a quart of water every day.

back and forth

Định nghĩa:
in a backward and forward motion
Ví dụ:
  • The restless lion kept pacing back and forth along the front of its cage. Grandmother finds it relaxing to sit in her rocking chair and move back and forth.

be about to do smth

Định nghĩa:
ready to, just going to
Ví dụ:
  • We were about to leave the house when the phone rang. I'm sorry that I broke in. What were you about to say?

be in touch (with)

Định nghĩa:
having contact
Ví dụ:
  • James will be in touch with us soon to relay the details of the plan. I certainly enjoyed seeing you again after all these years. Let's be sure to keep in touch.

be on the ball

Định nghĩa:
be attentive, competent, alert
Ví dụ:
  • Jim was the only one who caught that serious error in the bookkeeping statements. He's really on the ball. Ella was certainly on the ball when she remembered to reconfirm our flight arrangements. All the rest of us would have forgotten.

by all means

Định nghĩa:
certainly, definitely, naturally ; using any possible way or method
Ví dụ:
  • If the Johnsons invite us for dinner, then by all means we have to return the invitation. Of course, we don't have to invite their children, too. In order to ensure its survival, the ailing company has to obtain an infusion of cash by all means.

by far

Định nghĩa:
by a great margin, clearly
Ví dụ:
  • Jacquie is by far the most intelligent student in our class. This is by far the hottest, most humid summer we've had in years.

by heart

Định nghĩa:
by memorizing
Ví dụ:
  • He knows many passages from Shakespeare by heart. Do you know all the idioms you have studied in this book by heart?

by oneself

Định nghĩa:
alone, without assistance
Ví dụ:
  • Francis translated that French novel by himself. No one helped him. Paula likes to walk through the woods by herself, but her brother prefers to walk with a companion.

by the way

Định nghĩa:
incidentally
Ví dụ:
  • Movies are my favorite form of entertainment. Oh, by the way, have you seen the new picture that's playing at the Bijou? Vera's been divorced for three years now. She told me, by the way, that she never plans to remarry.

clear-cut

Định nghĩa:
clearly stated, definite, apparent
Ví dụ:
  • The president's message was clear-cut: the company had to reduce personnel immediately. Professor Larsen is well known for his interesting and clear-cut presentations.

close call

Định nghĩa:
a situation involving a narrow escape from danger
Ví dụ:
  • Bob, that car nearly hit us! What a close call. We had a close call when a small fire in our kitchen almost spread to the rest of the house.

cut and dried

Định nghĩa:
predictable, known beforehand; boring
Ví dụ:
  • The results of the national election were rather cut and dried
  • the Republicans won easily. A job on a factory assembly line is certainly cut and dried.

day in and day out

Định nghĩa:
continuously, constantly
Ví dụ:
  • During the month of April, it rained day in and day out. Day after day I waited for a letter from him, but one never came. Year in and year out, the weather in San Diego is the best in the nation.

dry run

Định nghĩa:
rehearsal, practice session
Ví dụ:
  • The college president requested a dry run of the graduation ceremony in order to ensure that all aspects went smoothly. Before the manager presented the reorganizational plans to the board of directors, he did several dry runs of his presentation.

every other (one)

Định nghĩa:
every second
Ví dụ:
  • I play tennis with my father every other Saturday, so I usually play twice a month. There were twenty problems in the exercise, but the teacher told us only to do every other one. Actually, doing ten problems was difficult enough.

face-to-face

Định nghĩa:
direct, personal; directly, personally
Ví dụ:
  • The workers' representatives had a face-to-face meeting with the management to resolve the salary issue. The stepmother and her teenage son talked face to face about his troubles in school.

few and far between

Định nghĩa:
not frequent, unusual, rare
Ví dụ:
  • The times that our children get to stay up late are few and far between. Airplane travel is very safe because accidents are few and far between.

fifty-fifty

Định nghĩa:
divided into two equal parts
Ví dụ:
  • Let's go fifty-fifty on the cost of a new rug for our apartment. The political candidate has a fifty-fifty chance of winning the election.

first-rate

Định nghĩa:
excellent, superb
Ví dụ:
  • The food served in that four-star restaurant is truly first-rate. The Beverly Hills Hotel provides first-rate service to its guests.

for good

Định nghĩa:
permanently, forever
Ví dụ:
  • Ruth has returned to Canada for good. She won't ever live in the United States again. Are you finished with school for good, or will you continue your studies some day?

for once

Định nghĩa:
this one time, for only one time
Ví dụ:
  • For once I was able to win a game of golf against Steve, who is a much better player than I am. Dad, for once would you please let me drive the new car?

for sure

Định nghĩa:
without doubt
Ví dụ:
  • In the dark, I couldn't tell for sure whether it was Polly or Sarah who drove by. I know for certain that Gene will move back to Washington next month.

for the time being

Định nghĩa:
temporarily
Ví dụ:
  • For the time being, Janet is working as a waitress, but she really hopes to become an actress soon. We're living in an apartment for now, but soon we'll be looking for a house to buy.

from now on

Định nghĩa:
from this time into the future
Ví dụ:
  • Mr. Lee's doctor told him to cut down on eating fatty foods from now on, or else he might suffer heart disease. I'm sorry that I dropped by at a bad time. From now on I'll call you first.

give and take

Định nghĩa:
compromise, cooperation between people
Ví dụ:
  • Give and take is an important element of a successful marriage. Most business negotiations involve give and take between the parties involved.

had better (do something)

Định nghĩa:
should, ought to, be advisable to
Ví dụ:
  • I think you'd better speak to Mr. White right away about this matter. The doctor told the patient that he'd better go home and rest.

hard of hearing

Định nghĩa:
partially deaf, not able to hear well
Ví dụ:
  • You'll have to speak a little louder. Mrs. Evans is hard of hearing. Please don't shout. I'm not hard of hearing. Listening to loud music too much can make you hard of hearing.

have got

Định nghĩa:
to have, to possess
Ví dụ:
  • Curtis has got a bad cold. He's sneezing and coughing a lot. How much money have you got with you right now?

have got to

Định nghĩa:
must
Ví dụ:
  • She has got to go to Chicago today to sign the contract papers. I have to be back home by two o'clock or my wife will feel ill at ease.

ill at ease

Định nghĩa:
uncomfortable or worried in a situation
Ví dụ:
  • Speaking in front of a large audience makes many people feel ill at ease. My wife and I were ill at ease because our daughter was late coming home from a date.

in a hurry

Định nghĩa:
hurried, rushed
Ví dụ:
  • Alex seems in a hurry
  • he must be late for his train again. She's always in a rush in the morning to get the kids to school.

in case

Định nghĩa:
in order to be prepared if
Ví dụ:
  • You'd better close the windows in case it rains. We should be sure to leave for the airport early, just in case. Cynthia, take one of your books in case you have some time to read on our trip.