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    Learn English > English lessons and exercises > English test #89078: Expressions and idioms
    > Other English exercises on the same topic: Idioms [Change theme]
    > Similar tests: - Vocabulary: greeting people - Adjectives and prepositions - Vocabulary: asking and answering - Vocabulary: on the phone - Vocabulary: at the restaurant - Return thanks - English idioms: Food II - Idioms; human body
    > Double-click on words you don't understand

    Expressions and idioms

      Useful idioms


     Twenty-four seven adv. / adj.(informal) : twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week 

         The self-service station facing the supermarket is available twenty-four seven.


     At nine o'clock sharp (sharp adv. fam.)  : precise time

                    The trial is adjourned until Wednesday morning at ten o'clock sharp.


     For ages adv. : for a long time

                That's wonderful, I hadn't seen a solar eclipse for ages!


     A month of Sundays (familier): a long period of time ( literally thirty Sundays or thirty weeks)

      I met Sarah yesterday. I hadn't seen her in a month of Sundays.

     As long as a month of Sundays: a very boring (endless) day.

     Never in a month of Sundays: never


     Just around the corner: that will happen very soon

       Now that your baby's birth is just around the corner, I'll give you some advice on feeding him.


     Shelf life: it's the length of time a product can be kept before it becomes too old for use.

       Bread, fruit, dairy products don't have a long shelf life.


     Five o'clock shadow: the beard a man has at 5 o'clock when he has shaved his face in the morning.


      When I met David he looked dazed and had a five o'clock shadow.




     To be broke : to have no money  (être fauché, sans le sou)

          My boyfriend often says he is broke. I think he is a bit stingy. 


     Make a killing (informal): to make a lot of money in a short time.

               My friend John made a killing on the stock market.


     Hand to mouth 
          a hand-to-mouth existence means that you have just enough money to live.

           In that situation you have a hard time making ends meet.

     Make ends meet 


     Penny-pinching  adj. (inf.)  unwilling to spend money 
                   Synonym: mean
                The government is looking at every possible way to pinch pennies.


     Chicken feed  n. (fam.) insignificant amount of money   (= peanuts) 

      The amount of money I could lend him was chicken feed compared to what he needed.


     Keep the wolf from the door to have enough money to be able to eat and live. 


         John and his wife didn't earn much, but it was enough to keep the wolf from the door.


     Loan shark   someone who lends money at very high rates of interest

        I advised Phoebe not to borrow money from a loan shark, but she didn't listen to me.

       It will cost her an arm and a leg. 

      To cost an arm and a leg


     Nest egg: money saved for the future.

         I often tell my friend Lucy that she should build a nest egg for her retirement.


     On a shoestring: (US inf.) with very little money  

              Fred had lived on a shoestring for years before he won the lottery.

      en anglais shoelace (lacet)



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     It has been raining , I'm bored with staying in the house. I'm going out for a walk.      


     My grandson Peter got a job for the holidays, but the salary was .


     My car is old so I'll have to save up money to buy a new one. But at the moment, I'm .   


     Since Hannah lost her job, she has had to live .


     When the days lengthen and the air warms, spring is just .            


      My great-uncle Derek is very rich, but he never gives presents to my children, he is a .


     Having four children at home is a  job.          


     Don't forget, the boss will be expecting you at 6 o'clock !


     Paranormal Activity 1, a supernatural horror film, was made :
         two actors, seven days of shooting. 
     It earned $ 194 million worldwide and is the most profitable film ever made.


     Stuart shaves every morning, but he has a  by midday. So he has to shave twice a day.

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