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Essential Idioms in English. Lesson 8

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to be about  to: to be at the moment of doing something, to be ready

  • This idiom is often used with the adverb just.
  • I was about to leave when you called me.
  • Oh, hi, John. We’re just about to eat dinner.

to turn around: to move or face in the opposite direction; to completely change the condition of(S)

  • She turned around to wave goodbye before getting on the airplane.
  • The man turned his car around and drove back the way he came.
  • The company has been very successful since the new business manager was  able to turn it around.

to take turns: to alternate, to change people while doing something

  • During the trip, Darlene and I took turns driving so that neither of us would tire out.
  • I have to make sure that my two sons take turns playing the video game.

to pay attention (to): to look at and listen to someone while they are speaking, to concentrate

  • Please pay attention to me while I’m speaking to you!
  • You’ll have to pay more attention in class if you want to get a good grade.

to brush up on: to review something in order to refresh one’s memory

  • Before  I travelled to Mexico, I brushed up on my Spanish; I haven’t practiced it since high school.
  • In order to take that advance math class, Sidney will have to brush up on his algebra.

Over  and over (again): repeatedly (also: time after time, time and again)

  • The actress studied her lines over and over until she knew them well.
  • Children have difficulty remembering rules, so it’s often necessary to repeat them over and over again.
  • Time and again  I have to remind Arturo to put on his seatbelt in the car.

to wear out: to use something until it has no value or worth anymore, to make useless through wear (S).

  • When I wear out these shoes, I’ll have to buy  some that last longer.
  • What do you do with your clothes after you wear them out?

to throw away: to discard, to dispose of (S)

  • I generally throw away my clothes when I wear them  out.
  • Don’t throw the magazines away: I haven’t read them yet.

to fall in love: to begin to love

  • Ben and Sal fell in love in high scholl, and  got married after graduation.
  • Have you ever fallen in love at first sight?

to go out (with): to go on a date (with); to date repeatedly

  • Andre and I are going out on Saturday.  We are going to have dinner at my favorite restaurant.
  • Eda went out with Rick for six months, but now she is going out with someone else

to go out: to stop functioning ; to stop burning; to leave home or work (also: to step out)

  • The lights went out all over the city because of an electrical problem.
  • The campers didn’t have to put out the  fire because it went out by itself.
  • I have to step out of the office briefly to pick up a newspaper.

to break up (with) to stop dating

  • Leo and Heidi just broke up after dating for three years.
  • Tai broke up with his girlfriend bacause he fell in love with someone else.

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