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Hello and welcome to your Confident English Wednesday lesson. I’m Anne Marie with Speak Confident English. This is exactly where you want to be if your goal is to improve your English language skills, your fluency and your confidence. This week we’re focused on idioms, and I want to share three reasons why idioms are so important for your English abilities. Number one is of course, native speakers use idioms all the time. We use them in business meetings and magazine, newspaper, blog articles, podcasts and radio programs, TV shows, conversations, movies. Whatever you are doing in English, to understand native speakers more easily it’s essential that you understand idioms and how we use them.
Reason number two that idioms are so important is sometimes that idiom is the perfect way, and maybe the only way for us to express what we want to say. Idioms are those groups of words that, when you put them together they have their own unique and sometimes strange meaning, but it expresses what we want. For you to have the ability to express what you want to say in English, sometimes an idiom might be the only expression to help you do that. Finally, to be fully proficient in English and to sound natural in English. Again, it is essential to use idioms and to know how to use them correctly. In this video we’re going to focus on seven idioms using vocabulary from the autumn season. It is October, and where I come from October is the month of autumn. It is when the leaves change, the air becomes a little bit chilly and brisk. We start wearing coats and scarves, the days are shorter.
Let’s get started right away with these seven idioms that you can start adding to your everyday vocabulary in English, and sound more natural. To get us started we have two idioms using the word apple. Where I come from it is apple season. This is the time of year when we pick apples, we go to apple orchards, we make apple cider, apple juice and a lot of desserts with apples. To get us started, to be the apple of someone’s eye. To be the apple of someone’s eye means to be particularly loved or cherished by someone for any possible reason. In the online lesson I gave the example of, “Did you know he has nine grandchildren and only one of them is a girl? That granddaughter is definitely the apple of his eye.” Because this little girl is the only girl in this big family of grandchildren she is specially loved or cherished. She is the apple of her grandfather’s eye.
Our second idiom using apple is the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. We use this expression when we want to say that someone’s behavior or their characteristics are very similar to someone else in their family, a relative or particularly, their parents. Again, in the online lesson I gave you a great example. If we think about a young woman going to medical school and we say that she wants to become a doctor, just like her father and grandfather. Then we might say, “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.” That lets us know that we’re trying to express that her choices, her behavior are very similar to others in her family.
Idiom number three is to drive someone nuts. Here I have walnuts. To drive someone nuts means to make them feel crazy or annoyed. Again, in the online lesson the example that I’ve used is, “Please turn down that music, you’re driving me nuts.” If someone’s playing music really loudly you can’t think, you can’t study, you can’t focus and you are annoyed. That person and the music is driving you nuts. We have several other idioms in English that mean the same thing, so be sure to visit the online lesson to find out what those are.
Of course autumn is the time of year when all of the leaves on the trees start to change colors, they fall from the tree, and a great expression to think about is it’s time to turn over a new leaf. To turn over a new leaf expresses the opportunity or the desire or ability to start something again, to start anew or to start fresh. Let’s use an example, maybe a typically negative situation would be to lose a job or to have a job change that is unexpected, and a really optimistic way to see that situation is, it’s an opportunity to turn over a new leaf. It’s an opportunity to do something new, maybe to try something new or to get a new profession. It’s an opportunity to refresh or begin again.
Finally, our last three idioms are related to weather that happens in the autumn season, because of course it’s a big transition from the heat of summer to this chilly, brisk air in the autumn season. The first idiom might be familiar to you because it is very common. To feel or to be under the weather. We use that expression to say that we’re not feeling well, maybe we’re ill or have a cold. A very simple, common example is, “I stayed home from work today because I was feeling under the weather, I was feeling ill.”
Our second autumn weather related idiom is to save something for a rainy day. We use this often when talking about money to say that we’re saving or reserving something for a future need. It might be something that is unplanned or unexpected in the future, something we want to be prepared for in the future. An example that I might use would be if I receive an unexpected bonus from my job. Maybe the company had a really good year and they give bonuses to all of the employees. I might say, “This is fantastic, I’m going to save this money, I’m going to save this bonus for a rainy day.” Which means I’m going to save it for something in the future. I don’t know what, but when I need it it will be there.
Our final idiom is to get wind of something. To get wind of something means to hear or learn about information, particularly information that was supposed to stay secret or private. Maybe you’re not supposed to know that information. An example that I might use is if I’m working at a company and I’ve decided that I’m going to look for a new job. Maybe I even have an interview tomorrow. I might tell my colleague, “I’m so excited, I have an interview for a new job tomorrow, but please don’t say anything. I don’t want our boss to get wind of the fact that I’m maybe going to leave.” I don’t want the boss to hear or to learn or to know that I’m planning to find a new job, you want it to stay a secret.
With that you have seven new idioms to start learning and using so that you can sound more natural when you communicate in English and understand native speakers more easily. As always, thank you for joining me. If you enjoyed this lesson please do share it. You can do so easily on Facebook or Pinterest. I look forward to seeing you next Wednesday for your Confident English Lesson.