InglesCoruña.com

El Blog de las academias Innova English School

Expressions with Bear, Lion and Monkey

A BEAR OF A  (difficult, unpleasant) problem, dilemma, winter

  • He travelled and left me with a bear of a difficult problem, to pay all his bills.

A BEAR GARDEN

(a dirty and loud place)

  • It used to be a nice public square, but it became a bear garden.

A BEAR HUG

(a strong and warm hug)

  • He was so glad to see me after so many years that he gave me a bear hug.

A BEAR MARKET

(when the stock prices are on the low side)

  • He profited a lot when he bought shares at the bear market.

    AS HUNGRY AS A BEAR

    (famished, very hungry)

    • He is an athlete and always as hungry as a bear.

    LIKE A BEAR WITH A SORE HEAD

    (to be in a bad humour, grumpy)

    • Don’t go to see the boss now, he is like a bear with a sore head.

    THE LION’S SHARE

     (The best part)

    • They were five heirs, but John got the lion’s share.

    LION-HEARTED

    (to be quite courageous)

    • He is lion-hearted and volunteered to go to war.

    A LION IN THE WAY; A LION IN THE PATH

    (an imaginary danger or difficulty)

    • Mary sees a lion in the way, because she is a very pessimistic person.

      TO PUT ONE’S HEAD IN THE LION’S MOUTH

      (to expose oneself to danger in a reckless manner)

      • Hiding the thief you are putting your head in the lion’s mouth.

      TO THROW SOMEONE TO THE LIONS

       (to leave someone in a vulnerable situation)

      • John knew of the danger, but threw his friend to the lions.

      TO TWIST THE LION’S TAIL 

      (to badmouth the UK)

      • Never twist the lion’s tail if you want to be her friend.

        MONKEY-BUSINESS
        (dodgy or dishonest business)

        • He is not a reliable person, he is always involved in some monkey business.

        TO PLAY MONKEY TRICKS ON SOMEONE
        (to play pranks on someone)

        School children like to play monkey tricks on their teachers

        MONKEY NUT
        (peanut)

        • Don’t forget to buy monkey nuts for the cocktail party.

        TO GET ONE’S MONKEY UP
        (to get angry)

        • He got my monkey up with his silly behavior.

        HAVE A MONKEY ON ONE’S BACK
        (to be dependent on illicit drugs)

        • Her youngest son has a monkey on his back.

        TO MAKE A MONKEY OF SOMEONE
        (to mock someone)

        • She mimicked his gait and made a monkey of him.

        TO MONKEY AROUND
        (to be idle, to horse around, to do nothing, to loiter)

        • He is so lazy, all he does is to monkey around.

Ways of wishing someone “Good Luck”

For those of you who are going to face the Cambridge First Certificate or the Advanced one this coming Saturday, here are some expressions we would like to say to you:

Good luck

This expression is used for telling someone that you wish him/her success.

Break a leg

This expression is used for wishing someone good luck.

(The) best of luck

This is used for wishing someone good luck in something he/she is trying to do.

 

We wish you much success and of course all the best of luck!

Cheers.

‘Give the benefit of the doubt’

 

There are a lot of idioms in English originated from different English speaking countries all over the world and there seems to be an infinite list. No honestly! Even native speakers are constantly learning new ones all the time. Just because you have never heard of it or use it, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

 

Idioms make a language more interesting and melodic. It turns simple words into a story and delivers a new message. Take ‘give the benefit of the doubt’ for example, at pre-intermediate level, these vocabularies shouldn’t be difficult and most students would understand what each word means. But when they are put together, it means: to believe something good about someone, rather than something bad, when you have the possibility of doing either (by The Free Dictionary, see citation below)

 

See the idiom in an example: People tell me I shouldn’t trust him, but I’m willing to give Simon the benefit of the doubt and wait and see what he actually offers.

(Cambridge Dictionary of American Idioms)

 

Here’s a rough translation to Spanish: concederle a alguien el beneficio de la duda

The best way to learn idioms is to watch movies and series because while you might not know the exact meaning behind the phrase, the story often gives it away and you can guess what it means! Keep a list of new vocabularies with you and after the film, google it or ask a teacher.

 

Who said having a movie marathon or watching an entire season of The Walking Dead was a waste of time?

 

Citation:

give the benefit of the doubt. (n.d.) Cambridge Dictionary of American Idioms. (2006).

Bizarre is confused

For those of you who are not so well versed in the comic world…

There is a villain known as Bizarre (since the original is in English).

Say hi, Bizarre!

Bizarro

However, here comes the problem. He received this extravagant name because he’s supposed to be the bizarre opposite of Superman and dictionaries agree, as we can see: markedly  unusual   in   appearance,   style,   or   general   character   and   often  involving   incongruous   or   unexpected   elements;   outrageously   or  whimsically   strange;   odd.
Even in French, Bizarre is more or less happy with his name, since he is still weird and odd (not as much as in English, though).
And then, we have Bizarro in Spanish, where he suddenly becomes brave and splendid, and consequently, confused…
Bizarro has become one of those words, like eventualmente, that ends up being mistranslated into Spanish. It’s not so weird to hear these sorts of things:
¡Qué película tan bizarra! Qué situación más bizarra!
 And of course, Bizarre gets confused…
According to the RAE bizarro has the following entry:

(De it. bizzarro, iracundo).

 

1. adj. valiente (‖ esforzado).

2. adj. Generoso, lucido, espléndido.

So, imagine how bizarre it is for a situation or a movie to suddenly become brave :)

 

Be careful. Next time you misuse it, Bizarre will come back for you! (either bravely or weirdly)

To pull someone’s leg

joey43

To pull someone’s leg

I remember a day, as I was a child, eating at home with my family… My dad told my younger (and only) sister something strange and then said: “c’mon, I’m just pulling your leg!”. So what did she do next? Well, she looked under the table because she didn’t feel any pulling. And we all laughed!! And here’s why (in case you don’t know this English idiom):

To pull someone’s leg = to tell someone something that is not true as a way of joking with the person, for example: Stop pulling my leg– you didn’t have lunch with Madonna!

(Definition of pull someone’s leg from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

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(Idiom): It’s on the tip of my tongue

Expresión: (Tener algo~) en la punta de la lengua
 
Esta expresión significa que estás a punto de decir o recordar algo.
 
“Sé la respuesta… la tengo en la punta de la lengua, sólo dame un segundo más”.

Idiom: (to be ~ / To have something ~) on the tip of someone’s tongue
 
This idiom means that you’re about to say or remember something.
 
“I know the answer… It’s on the tip of my tongue, just give me another second”

Idiom: To take someone’s breath away

 

Expresión: Dejar a alguien sin respiración
Cuando “dejas a alguien sin respiración” significa o bien que impresionas tanto a alguien por tu encanto y belleza, o bien que algo asuste tanto a alguien que se quede sin respiración. O también, cuando realizas un gran esfuerzo físico puedes quedarte sin aliento.

¿Qué os parece esta “declaración de amor”?

Idiom: To take someone’s breath away
When you “take someone’s breath away”, it could mean either that you impress somebody so much with you charm and beauty, or that something scares so much somebody that leaves him breathless. Also, when you exercise so hard you could run out of breathe.

What do you think about this “declaration of love”?

Idioms from the Heart

Expresiones desde el corazón
¡Feliz Día de San Valentín! Hoy es 14 de Febrero, día de los enamorados, ocasión para demostrar amor y cariño a vuestros seres queridos. Desde Binaurality os proponemos un regalo muy original, ¿por qué no escribís la postal o una dedicatoria en inglés? Os ayudaremos con estas expresiones sacadas directamente del “corazón”.

Idioms from the Heart
Happy Valentine’s Day! Today is February 14th, Valentine’s Day, an occasion to show love and affection to your loved ones. From Binaurality we propose a very original gift, why don’t you write a postcard or a dedication in English? We’ll help you with these expressions straight from the “heart.”

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