Idioms in Speech

By Eric Thompson,2014-04-26 12:56
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Idioms in Speech

К.Г.Середина, А.К. Томлянович,.И.А.Краснянская

Idioms in Speech

(1) to do smb a favour,

    to do smb a good turn

    them too and that you're just dying to do them a favour. It's sort of funny, in a way. (J. Salinger)

    2. This is for a friend who's done me a good turn. (1. Murdoch)

    3. "1 came to do you a good turn," she said. (J. Wain)

    (2) so far (as yet) up to now, all the while up to now

    1. Hm! May I ask what you have said so far? (B. Shaw)

    2. Thirty years ago five doctors gave me six months to live, and I've

    seen three of them out so far. (D. Cusack)

    3. So far you are right. (W. S. Maugham)

    (3) to take a fancy to (for) somebody (to take a liking to

    somebody, to take to somebody) to become fond of, to

    like (often followed by immediately)

    1. 1 met this young man in the train Just now, and I've taken a fancy to him already.

    2. Mr. Short himself had taken a liking to George. (G.Gordon)

    3. He had a warm, cheerful air which made me take to him at once. (A. Cronin)

    (4) to be all for strongly in favour of, to want it to be so,

    definitely to want something

    1. Mother, I'm all for Hubert sending his version to the papers. (J. Galsworthy)

    2. "I'm ready to welcome what you call half the truth the facts." "So am I. I'm all for it." (J. Priestley)

    3. Anthony was all for the open fields and his friends, Steve on the

    other hand took little notice of other children. (G. Gordon)

    (5) as a matter of fact in fact, in reality; to be exact,


    1. "Haven't you finished?" "As a matter of fact, we haven't begun." (A. Cronin)

    2. "Do you happen to have any cigarettes, by any chance?" "No, 1 don't, as a matter of fact." (J. Salinger)

    3. I've been meaning to have a word with you as a matter of fact. (Gr. Greene)

    (6) not to care two pins about (not to care a hang, fig,

    hoot, etc.) to care nothing

    1. I don't care two pins if you think me plain or not. (W. S. Maugham)

    2. Caroline does not care a hang for woods at any time of the year.

    (A, Christie)

    3. ... a laugh you couldn't trust, but a laugh which made you laugh

    back and agree that in a crazy world like this all sorts of things didn't matter a hang. (Or. Greene)

    (7) to put up with to bear, to endure, to tolerate

    1. If only he could be happy again she could put up with it. (J. Galsworthy)

    2. She's my sister. We put up with each other. (I. Murdoch)

    3. I want to know how long this state of things between us is to last?

    I have put up with it long enough. (J. Galsworthy)

    (8) as good as practically, almost, nearly

    1. You'll be as good as new in six months or dead in twelve. (D. Cusack)

    2. You see, I'm an only child. And so are you of your mother. Isn't it a bore? There's so much Expected of one. By the time they've

    done expecting, one's as good as dead. (J. Galsworthy)

    (9) to slip (out of) one's mind (memory) to forget

    1. Perhaps you really have a friend called Merde and it slipped your mind. (J. Wain)

    2. ... that the main purpose of my visit had slipped from his failing

    memory. (A. Cronin)

    (10) all along from the very first, from the very begin-

    ning (it implies 'over a period of time' or 'during that period')

    1. Miss Boland is the daughter of a close friend. Thus, all along, he regarded her as his own responsibility. (A. Cronin)

    2. Savina realized now that all along she had felt a secret

    superiority to Edna. (M. Wilson)

    3. That's what I suppose I intended doing all along. (M, Wilson)


    I. Translate into Russian:

    1. Serious or not I'm all for the truth coming out. (J. Priestley)

    2. Mum and Dad were so old-fashioned, so conventional

    that if he took a girl home, they would consider her visit as

    good as shouting an engagement from the house-tops. (D. Cusack)

    4 But N. A bit weak still, I think a few days will put her right.

    you should have seen her husband on the day when we 5 took Tanya home. He made such a fuss about buying

    flowers and presents and things! 6 L. I remember now you said he was a good man at heart,

    though at first your mother used to say she was afraid that 7Tanya would find herself in a predicament if she let 8herself in for a marriage entailing so much loneliness. N. It was because he was always so busy at that time, he had a

    lot to do with his project. But now this work on his

    machine is as good as done and he is comparatively free. L. As far as I know, Tanya loves him very much. She is all for

    helping him in everything, isn't she?

    N. She is, to be sure. Oh, Lily, it's ten to twelve. I'm sorry to

    have kept you so long, but I couldn't help it, you know. L. No need to apologize, Nina. I'd love to see you tomorrow.

    When can you come, or shall I drop in at your place? N. Come any time you like, dear. I'll be at home all day. L. See you tomorrow, then. Good night.

    N. Good night.


    (1) out of the blue (out of a clear sky) a sudden surprise, something quite unexpected

    1. A life, they say, may be considered as a point of light which

    suddenly appears from nowhere, out of the blue. (R. Aldington)

    2. We were sitting at the supper-table on Carey's last day, when, out of the blue, she spoke. "How would you like to live in London, Jane?"

    (J. Walsh)

    3. "Well, there's one happily married couple, any way," I used to

    say, "so congenial, and with that nice apartment, and all. And then, right

    out of a clear sky, they go and separate." (D. Parker)

    (2) the fat is in the fire a step has been taken, some thing

    done, which commits to further action, or will produce

    excitements, indignation etc.

    1. He rose. "Well, the fat's in the fire. If you persist in your

    willfulness, you'll have yourself to blame." (J. Galsworthy) 14

    2. Then the fat was in the fire! Dear Mamma took up the tale. (R. Aldington)

    3. "Yes," murmured Sir Lawrence, watching her, "the fat is in the fire,'' as old Forsyte would have said. (J. Galsworthy) (3) in the long run eventually; before all is over; finally;

    after many changes of fortune, successes and failures

    1. He filled a pipe and tried his best to feel that, after all, in the long run Dinny would be happier unmarried to him. (J. Gals worthy)

    2. "Naturally 1 don't approve of them," said Emery, still uncertain

    whether he felt more annoyed or pleased at Clayton's insistence that in the long run they were both good fellows more or less on the same side.

    (J. Lindsay)

    3. Hospital meant charring as far as work went but in its social

    atmosphere it meant something more interesting, more romantic, and, in the long run, more respectable. (J. Wain)

    Note: In the long run means 'over a period of time' or 'at the end of a

    long period of time'. In the end means 'something less vague'.

    It is a more particular point of time.

    In the long run it will not matter to us whether we stay at

    Brighton or Hastings. They are both seaside towns so 1 cannot

    understand why my parents are making such a fuss about the


    But: In the end we decided to stay at Brighton because my

    mother said there was more to do there if it rained. I must tell

    him about it in the end.

    (4) to put (set) somebody (something) right to restore to order, to a good condition; to correct something, or some body's


    1. This is Dr. Bulcastle. He's going to see what can be done to put you right again. (J. Wain)

    2. I was thinking about our awful misunderstanding and wonder ing

    how on earth I could put it right. (A. Cronin)

    3. He got a small model made and tried it out one afternoon, but it

    wasn't a success. He was a stubborn boy and he wasn't going to be

    beaten. Something was wrong, and it was up to him to put it right. (W. S. Maugham)

    (5) to make a fuss about (over) to complain or be angry

    about unimportant things

    1. "Don't make such a fuss, Mother," he whispered, on the plat-

    form, after she had kissed him. "I've only been away a short time." (G. Gordon)


    2. "Fella, darling," he said, "just don't make a fuss. If there's one thing I cannot stand it's women making a fuss." (I. Murdoch)

    3. But nobody's going to make a _fuss about lifting a pair of boots from one of the toffs. (K. Prichard)

    (6) at heart in one's heart; in one's heart of hearts; in

    one's secret heart; in one's inmost self

    1. "The trouble with you, Bill," said Nan, "is that for all your noisy

    Labour Party views you're a snob at heart." (I. Murdoch)

    2. He went home, uneasy and sore at heart, for this concerned two people of whom he was very fond, and he could see no issue that was

    not full of suffering to both. (J. Galsworthy)

    3. Short of the most convincing proofs he must still refuse to believe

    for he did not wish to punish himself. And all the time at heart he did believe. (J. Galsworthy)

    (7) to be in a predicament to be in a dangerous,

    awkward or unpleasant situation

    1. I felt a sharp anger against him for the predicament in which he had placed me. (A. Cronin)

    2. ... he had not realized, what circumstances were soon to teach

    him, that his predicament was not one that could be improved by

    thinking. (J. Wain)

    3. To them he narrated Veronica's predicament and they imme-diately offered to adopt the child as soon as it was born or say a month after. (A. Coppard)

    (8) to let oneself in for to be persuaded to do


    1. I let myself in for several hours' boredom every day, Dixon. A

    couple more won't break my back. (K. Amis)

    2. Oh, God, Christine, you don't want to come to that, you'll be

    bored stiff. How have you let yourself in for it. (A. Christie)


    I. Translate into Russian.

    1. )


A. Try to guess what it is.

    T. Don't speak so loud, Alla, we'll disturb others. 3 A. Sorry! But I can't help letting the cat out of the bag:this

    summer our group is going on a trip to the Caucasus. Will

    you join us, Tanya?

    T. I'm all for it, but I have been too busy up until now with my

    course-paper to think of anything else.

    A. As a matter of fact, I knew all along that you would join us.

    It'll be such fun! But let's get down to business now. Have

    you done much, Tanya?

    T. Not very much as a matter of fact. I'm in a bit of a

    predicament about my course-paper. I lack some material.

    I've looked through the catalogue here, but so far I have

    not found the book I need.

    A. Oh, it is of no consequence. We shall go to the local library, 4they're sure to have it there. Did you sit up late last night? 5T. Yes, I did. But for my sister I could never have done so

    much. She helped me a lot writing out the examples I

    found in books. What about you, Alla?

    A. The first part of my paper is nearly done, but I wish I had

    done more in winter. 6T. It's no use crying over spilt milk, Alla, but I think it serves 7 you right for being lazy during the term. I knew all along

    that it would come to this, but the first of April seemed

    such a long way off, didn't it?

    A. You are right. I don't think it is worth while making a fuss

    over. We shall make it in the long run.

    T. I was going to say so myself but you got there first. So let's

    get down to work. Fetch Webster's dictionary, will you? A. Oh, dear, I've left my reader's card at home! 8T. You can fill in a new slip, so what's the odds? A. No, I'd better run home for my reader's card. It won't take

    more than ten minutes.


    (1) what's up? what is going on? what's the matter?

    1. "What's up?" said Adrian to a policeman. (J. Galsworthy)

    2. "What's up, lad?" "You made me think of my mother." (J. Braine)


    3. You'd better wait here, and I'll go in first and pretend I haven't

    seen you, otherwise she'll guess there's something up. (D. Cusack) (2) in high (great, good) spirits cheerful

    1. The young woman wore a bunch of violets and seemed in high

    spirits. (Th. Dreiser)

    2. Carrie reached home in high good spirits, which she could

    scarcely conceal. (Th. Dreiser)

    3. He was pleased to see the architect in such high spirits and left

    him to spend the afternoon with Irene, while he stole off to his pictures,

    after his Sunday habit. (J. Galsworthy)

    (3) to let the cat out of the bag to disclose a secret

    1. From the warmth of her embrace he probably divined that he had

    let the cat out of the bag, for he rode off at once on irony. (J. Galsworthy)

    2. I shouldn't have let the cat out. But there it is it's a lucky start for you, my dear fellow. (A. Cronin)

    (4) to sit up late (to keep late hours) not to go to bed at the usual hours

    1. Alf and Morris swore they could not sleep. They wanted to sit up

    all night in order to get down to the wagon on time. (K. Prichard)

    2. Bless you! Don't sit up too late. Anne's rather in the dumps. (J. Galsworthy)

    (5) but for (except for) if it had not been for (if it was not for)

    1. But for that your uncle would have been dead long ago. (J. Galsworthy)

    2. It was curious to reflect that, but for his meeting with these down-

    and-outs, he would never have been able to continue in his new life. (J. Wain)

    3. But for the war it might never have developed in Ferse, but you

    can't tell. (J. Galsworthy)

    (6) it is no use crying over spilt milk (to cry over spilt milk)

     to spend time uselessly regretting unfortunate events

    1. "Well, I judge there's no use crying over spilt milk. Command me

    in any way. 1 am your very faithful servant." And turning round, he

    went out. (J. Galsworthy)

    2. "Oh, dear me!" exclaimed Carrie. Then she settled back with a

    sigh. "There is no use crying over spilt milk," she said. "It's too late!"

    (Th. Dreiser)

    3. And the grass those great places had no grass, he believed! The

    blossom, too, was late this year no blossom before they left! Well, the milk was spilled! (J. Galsworthy)

    (7) it serves you right you have got just about what you

    deserve for your behaviour or actions

    1. You took money that ought to have fed starving children. Serve you right! If I had been the father of one of those children, I'd have

    given you something worse than the sack. (B. Shaw)

    1. "Served him right," said Drouet afterward, even in view of her

    keen expiation of her error. "I haven't any pity for a man who would be

    such a chump as that." (Th. Dreiser)

    3. And as to confiscation of war profits, he was entirely in favour of

    it, for he had none, and "serve the beggars right!" (J. Galsworthy) (8) what's the odds? is it of any consequence? what

    difference does it make?

    1. 1 reckon Morrey's right. Lost faith in Hannans myself. But what's the odds? (K. Prichard)

    2. "You mean the gold stealing and illicit buying?" "You know what I mean. And if you're not in on it, they'll think you are. So what's the odds?" (K. Prichard)

    3. Later Alice challenged him. "I can't say I like him," he answered.

    "But what's the odds?" (J. Lindsay)


    I. Translate into Russian.

    1. They talked and laughed in the secret way of lovers. But

    for the chill wind they would have stayed for hours. (D. Cusack)

    2. Her father always contended I was a socialist. But what's

    the odds? (J. London)

    3. It was Michael who drew attention to Professor Sommer-

    ville. "He's the only one not being bailed tonight. What's up?" (D. Carter)

    4. This is what comes of being avaricious, Harry. Two thirds

    of your income gone at one blow. And I must say it serves you

    right. (B. Shaw)


    A. P. And how could she spare the time to make a dress

    for you? 9V. Mother had set her heart on helping me somehow or other.

    Well, we had to sit up late together to make the dress. A. P. I

    really must come to see this work of art. Good-bye,

    Vera. Tell your mother I'll drop in on Saturday. V. Good-

    bye, Anna Pavlovna. It's been nice seeing you.


    (1) to be beside oneself to be wildly excited, mad, out of

    one's senses

    1. Charles stared about him, almost beside himself. He actually felt tears of rage and humiliation forcing themselves up. (J. Wain)

    2 Stroeve had always been excitable, but now he was beside himself; there was no reasoning with him. (W. S. Maugham)

    3. So you can imagine how embarrassing it all is. I'm simply

    beside myself. (I. Murdoch)

    (2) to set one's mind on something to be intent on; to be determined about

    1. It was true that he had his ways. When he set his mind on something, that was that.

    2. I may as well tell you that I should have thrown it up, only,

    I'm not in the habit of giving up what I've set my mind on. (J. Galsworthy)

    (3) to take pains (be at pains) to take the trouble to get

    something or do something; to try to do something

    1. ... a queer, penetrating look mingled, too, with intelligent

    interest which, as our eyes met, he took pains to conceal. (A. Cronin)

    2. They took pains not to stand next to one another or begin any

    private discussion (J. Wain)

    3. Now that her means were adequate she took great pains with her dress (W. S. Maugham)

    (4) into the bargain beyond what has been stipulated;

    extra; besides; in addition

    1. "I know it's a bit thick to rob you of a cheroot and then grill

    you with personal questions into the bargain," he began. (J. Wain)


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