Tuyển chọn Idioms and collocations list note – Trong đề thi chọn học sinh giỏi Tiếng Anh lớp 10, 11, 12 THPT, Chuyên Anh

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Wide of the mark =Not accurate. Your answer is ... of the mark. Come again and retake the exam after  you have learned more. 

Give the cold shoulder =Treat sb in unfriendly way. Martin has been feeling low since he was given  the .... shoulder by another girl. 

Gain/get/have the upper hand =Get advantage over sb so that you are in control of a particular situation.  Ex: In this contest,your team can gain the upper hand if you prepare well. 

Get into hot water =Be or get into trouble. Ex: Nobody helped him when he got into hot water. 

Be on the safe side =To be certain. If you are on the safe side that you got the high mark, you will see the  result table again. 

Fall flat =Fail to make the effect that was intended. Ex: He intended to make her happy by a present, but  he fell flat. 

Be as large as life =Used to show surprise at seeing sb/st. It is said that he was abroad.Yet, he was as large as life walking the road in Ha Noi. 

Once in a blue moon =Very rarely. Ex: I cry once a blue moon. 

Be (still) in/of two minds about sb/st =Phân vân,lưỡng lự. Ex : he is in two minds whether to love her or  not. 

Throw good money after bad =Spend more moneyon st, when you have wasted a lot on it. Ex: he insisted  on buying the apartment that he threw good money after bad. 

Put a bold/face on st =Pretend that you feel confident and happy when you don't. Ex: After the accident,  she tries to put a bold face on it. 

Bore stiff/ bore out of the mind =Extremely bored. Ex: I am bored stiff about the film I have seen. See red =Very angry. Ex: he saw red when his children went home late. 

Hole sb in high esteem =Kính mến, kính trọng ai. Ex: FRankie has always been held in high... among his  workmates because of his exceptional skill at handling the most difficult tasks. 

Begin... from scratch =Bắt đầu từ đầu, từ hai bàn tay trắng.Ex: due to the computer malfunction all our  data was lost. So unhappily, we had to start all the calculations from ..... 

Seek refuge =Tìm nơi ẩn náu. Ex: hundreds of people arriving in America have sought ..... from political  discrimination in their countries. 

Plead not guilty/guilty =Không nhận tội# thú nhận. Ex: the terrorists were asked whether they ..... guilty  to the wrongdoing. 

Take exception to st =Phản đối mạnh mẽ ai, tức giận về cái gì.Ex: susan has taken ..... to peter's remarks  about her appearance. 

At a stroke =Bằng 1 hành động tức khắc.Ex: she couldn't have been very attached to the cat if she decided to give it away at a.... 

Be no good =Không hữu ích. Ex:It's no good persuading him to give up smoking.

Pay through the nose for st =Trả giá quá cao cho cái gì 

Be a chip on one's shoulder =Sẵn sàng đánh nhau. Because he was laughed at much, he got a chip on  his ..... 

Put one's back into st =Use a lot of effort and money to do st. Ex: did he do a good job renovating your  cottage? Sure, he put his.... into the work. 

At rest =Not moving. Ex: You can set your mind at rest now 

Pull/wear a long face =Have an unhappy or disappointed expression. Ex: Tommy pulled a long face when he was banned from watching television and playing in the backyard. 

A good/safe bet =Something that is likely to happen, to suceed or to be suitable. Ex: It's a safe bet that he  will be late again; he never comes punctually. 

Leave somebody to their own devices =Để mặc ai tự xoay sở, lo liệu. Ex: 

Be at odds (with somebody) over/on sb/st =Xung đột. Ex: Mr stanton has been at odds with his wife since he admitted having had a love affair with his secretary. 

Hold water =Vững vàng, đứng vững được (lý lẽ,lý do, lý thuyết ). Ex: the whole story simply doesn't hold water. It's a pack of lies. 

Give vent to one's anger =Trút nỗi giận dữ của mình . Ex: I'm telling you there's no better way to give  vent to your anger than by applying yourself to a heavy body workout in a fitness club. 

Come to terms with sb/st =Thỏa thuận với ai. Chịu chấp nhận cái gì 

At a loose end =Không có việc gì or không biết bạn muốn làm. 

At one's expense =Paid for sb. The cd player was repaired at Mark's expense. 

Be common/public knowledge =Be something that everyone knows. Ex: It's common knowledge that  newspaper is publishee by the right-wing party. 

Be up to sb =Be sb's duty, be for sb to decide. It is up to her whether the costs are to be reimbursed or not 

Burn one's fingers at it =Bị thất thế,bị thua thiệt. Ex: I wouldn't indulge in too much gambling if I were in  your place. Sooner or later you'll burn your fingers at it. 

By the skin of one's teeth/With very little margin. =Chỉ vừa mới.Ex: We only managed to catch the bus  by the skin of our teeth. We had to run all the way to the station. 

Come/get to grips with something =Begin to understand and deal with something. Ex: the technicians  were hestitant to get to grips with their duties until I offered to pay extra money for their service. 

Make a dash for something =Xông tới cái gì. Ex: No sooner had the guard switched on the light than he  saw somebody making a dash for the gate. But,it was too late to do anything anyway, so the culprit  escaped with a hault of ten thousand pounds in gold bullion. 

Deal sb/st a blow/ deal a blow to sb/st =Be harmful to sb/st. Ex: The fire that broke out in the opera house has dealt a severe blow to the performance of the Figaro, which was due next month.

Bear witness to st =Cung cấp bằng chứng cho cái gì. Ex: he was claimed to be an unskilled writer, but his  latest works have definitely borne witness to his great talent. 

Not to be outdone =Not wanting to do let sb else do better. Ex: Frank said his brand new Ferrari could do  250 kph and Tony, not to be outdone, claimee his Porshe could drive at 300kph. 

In defiance of= irrespective of= regardless of =Bất chấp gì. 

By the same token =Vì lẽ ấy, vì vậy.Ex: She didn't do anything wrong, but by the same token she did  nothing good. 

In great demand =Được nhiều người ưa chuộng. Ex: Martin has been in great demand ever since he  appeared to be so skilled a guitar player. Every band in town wants to have him at their concerts. 

To a large extent =Đến chừng mực nào đó.Ex: What she says may sound a little trational, still most of us  agree with her to a large extent. 

Out of touch =Không liên lạc. Ex: I don't have much to say about the local policies as I have been out of  touch with it for a long time. 

Act your age =Hành xử đúng tuổi. Ex: why don't you act your age instead of going on like a spoiled  child? 

Be at great pains to do st/ go to great lengths to do =Nỗ lực rất nhiều để.=put a lot efforts into Ving st  correctly. 

At will =Wherever or whenever you like. Ex: you aren't obliged to consult your every move with the  management. You may act at will as long as it brings profits for the company. 

Be done in =Extremely tired=exhausted. Ex: Don't push me into helping you in the garden now. I'm  completely done in and feel like having a short nap. 

A slip of the pen/tongue =A small mistake in st that you write or say. Ex: I said Ricardson, but I meant  Richardson. It was just a slip of the tongue. 

Bear a grudge against sb =Có ác cảm với ai. Ex: Are you still bearing a grudge against Peter because of  his criticism about your singing? 

Get (hold of) the wrong end of the stick =Misunderstand. Ex: You must have got hold of the wrong end of the stick. He said he was for the reforms, not against them. 

Let the cat out of bag =Tell a secret carelessly or by mistake. I wish I knew who let the cat out of the bag  and made the secret known to everyone. 

Know one's own mind =Có ý định rõ ràng sẽ làm gì. Ex: It's no use trying to persuade Cybil to give up the journey. She definitely knows her own mind and she won't change the decision. 

Break new ground =Make a discovery or do st that has not been done before. Ex: Louis Pasteur broke  new ground in medicine with his revolutionary discovery of the vaccine against rabies. 

Out of the blue =Unexpectedly, without warning.Ex: The question arose completely out of the blue.  Nobody suspected there might be any overdue bills to pay.

By/from all accounts =Theo những gì người khác nói. Ex: Mr Pooley is by all accounts the nicest teacher  in our school.Both the children and the staff like her a lot. 

On easy terms =Trả góp, dài hạn.Ex: It's a very tempting offer to buy a house on such easy terms, isn't it? 

As fit as a fiddle =In very good physical condition. Ex: Don't worry about his health. He is as fit as a  fiddle. 

Beyond a shadow of a doubt =With no doubt at all. Ex:Beyond a shadow of a doubt, this is the man  whom I saw kissing Cindy on front of the cinema. 

Off the peg =May sẵn. Ex:My wife never goes to a dress-maker. She buy her clothes off the peg only. 

Look a gift horse in the mouth =Refuse or criticize st given to you for nothing. Ex: I don't like the  presents they have given to me to Christmas. But, as they say, never look a gift...... 

On the assumption that =Because sb assume that 

Ex: I reported him to the police on the assumption that he was guilty of theft. 

Be subject to =Affected by something (bad). 

Under go st =Experience(trải nghiệm) 

Be prone to/ Be inclined to =Có ý ngả về, thiên về cái gì 

Vary from st to st =Different accord to st 

Bend/stretch the rules =Thay đổi luật cho phù hợp với người đặc biệt, hoàn cảnh. Ex: We can't bend the  rules and let them go unpunished as their offence was too serious. 

In recognition of =Sự công nhận. Professor Wallace has been given a prestigious award in recognition of  his pioneering research in treating the AIDS patients. 

Make a clean breast of st =Nói ra sự thật để không cảm thất tội lỗi. Ex: It was the solicitor who persuaded me to make a clean ...of everything in the court. 

Go without saying =Rõ ràng và dễ đoán. Ex: It goes without saying that Mr Abercrombie deserves the  prize for his imposing achievements in the field of archaeology. 

Past one's prime =Qua thời kì hoàng kim. Ex: She may still have a few fans in the world, but she is  definitely past her prime. 

Get to the very bottom of st =Tìm ra nguyên nhân 

Ex: I haven't established yet how the affair broke out, but I'm going to get to the..... of it. Fall to pieces =Rơi vỡ tan tành. 

Ex: The umbrella fell to pieces as I tried to open it. 

Break the news =Là người đầu tiên nói ai tin xấu. Ex: No matter how we asked him to break the news, he  would still refuse to tell us anything. 

Take one's word for st =Tin ai. Ex: You are reliable. So I take your word for what you say. Beat about the bush =Đánh lạc hướng.

Ex: Don't beat about the bush and tell me about the truth. 

Under the sun =Nhiều. Under the sun people can swim across this river. That's not surprise. 

By word of mouth =Truyền miệng. Ex: The sensational news was passed by word of mouth from one  staff member to another. 

Take st with a pinch of salt =Cẩn thận khi tin cái gì hoàn toàn đúng. Eddie is famous for playing tricks on  everybody, so be careful not to believr everything he says. Rather take it with a pinch of salt. 

Be worth sb's while =Hứng thú có ích với ai đó để làm việc gì 

Ex: Going to karaoke wasn't worth my while. 

Put sb off one's stride =Làm sao nhãng. Ex: His complaining really put me off my stride and I couldn't  concentrate on my work again. 

Have an easy/ a hard time of =Khi khó khăn, dễ dàng 

Make/hit/grab the headlines =Be an important of newspaper 

A bundle of nerves =Very nervous. Ex: Being notified about the accident, she was a bundle of nerves. 

Call to order =Dẹp yên lặng. Ex: After a while the friendly meeting was disrupted by a noisy group of  youngsters whom even the police couldn't call to order 

Carry weight with =Có tác động. Ex: Your instructions seem to carry little weight with the pupils who  ignore them all the time. 

Give the sack =Đuổi việc. Ex: When the new director takes over, the workers notorious for neglecting  their duties may be given the sack. 

A man of one's word =Người giữ lời hứa. Ex: Brian will never let you down, he's a man of ... and he  won't break his promise. 

Make any headway =... 

Cost the earth =A lot of money. 

At the crack of dawn =Tờ mờ sáng. Ex: Getting up at the..... doesn't appeal to me at all, so I think I'll give  up watching the sunrise this time. 

Take one's breath away for a while =Ngạc nhiên. Ex: Her prosperous dress took my breath away for a  while. 

Have an easy/ a hard time of =Khi khó khăn, dễ dàng 

Make/hit/grab the headlines =Be an important of newspaper 

A bundle of nerves =Very nervous. Ex: Being notified about the accident, she was a bundle of nerves. 

Call to order =Dẹp yên lặng. Ex: After a while the friendly meeting was disrupted by a noisy group of  youngsters whom even the police couldn't call to order 

Carry weight with =Có tác đọngo. Ex: Your instructions seem to carry little weight with the pupils who  ignore them all the time.

Give the sack =Đuổi việc. Ex: When the new director takes over, the workers notorious for neglecting  their duties may be given the sack. 

A man of one's word =Người giữ lời hứa. Ex: Brian will never let you down, he's a man of ... and he  won't break his promise. 

Make any headway =... 

Cost the earth =A lot of money. 

At the crack of dawn =Tờ mờ sáng. Ex: Getting up at the..... doesn't appeal to me at all, so I think I'll give  up watching the sunrise this time. 

Take one's breath away for a while =Ngạc nhiên. Ex: Her prosperous dress took my breath away for a  while. 

On the market =Available for people to buy. Those clothes are on the market, so you don't need to hurry. 

On assignment =Đang làm nhiệm vụ, công tác. Ex: Both journalists were killed by terrorists whilst on  assignment in Colombia. 

Have a go at sb for st =Criticize sb or complain about sb. Ex: Some people had a go at us for it, which  made us very angry. 

Have a go (at something/ doing something) =Make attempt to do something. Ex: I am having a go at  studying Math to obtain the high mark at the entrance exam of universities. 

Keep the woft from the door =Have enough money to avoid going hungry, stop sb feeling hungry. Ex: As  a student, he tried to take an extra job to keep the woft from the door. 

Beyond one's expectation =Ngoài sự mong đợi.  

Ex: Her success went beyond her expectation. 

Come/enter into force =(of a law, rule, etc.) to start being used. 

Ex: Now consumer protection legislation comes into force next April. 

under no obligation to V =không bắt buộc. We are under no obligation to change goods which were not  purchased here. 

on the verge of st =very near to the moment when somebody does something or something happens. Ex: I reckon Martin is on the verge of a nervous breakdown. 

In good faith =believing that what you are doing is right; believing that something is correct. Ex: Don't angry with Susan. All that she did was in good faith. 

In bad faith =knowing that what you are doing is wrong. 

Although what I'm doing in bad faith, I still have to complete. 

be flesh and blood =là người trần mắt thịt. 

one's (own) flesh and blood =a person that are related to.(có họ). But son, you are my own flesh and  blood.

in/by leaps and bounds =very quickly in large amounts. 

Ex: My English is progressing by leaps and bounds. 

be quick/slow on the uptake =to be quick/slow to understand something. 

Ex: Being quick on the uptake, the students made rapid progress. 

on the horns of a dilemma =in a situation in which you have to make a choice between things that are  equally unpleasant. 

Ex: At the moment the ruling party is on the horns of dilemma. 

take issue with somebody (about/on/over something) =to start disagreeing or arguing with somebody  about something 

Ex:I agree with a lot of what you've said but I have to ........ issue with your views on immigration. 

face the axe =đối mặt với việc bị sa thải. Ex: All staff have been warned that they face the axe should  productivity not improve, and that no one, no matter how senior, is exempt from having to up their  performance. 

run a tight ship =organize st in a very different way. Ex: The owners run a very tight ship and are highly regarded for what they have achieved with very limited resources in a very short space of time, owing  almost completely to their efficiency and excellent organisation of the business 

set one's sights on =quyết tâm. Ex: She 's set her sights on getting into Harvard. by far and away =(followed by comparative or superlative adjectives) by a very great amount. Ex: She's far and away the best player. 

table/put forward a motion =a formal proposal that it discussed and voted on at a meeting the chance of a lifetime =cơ hội nghìn năm có một. 

Ex: To be chosen to go to the moon would be the chance of lifetime. 

do the trick/job =thành công trong một công việc. 

Ex: Put some oil on that tight nut; that might do the trick. 

a leopard cannot change its spots =people cannot change their character, especially if they have a bad  character. 

Ex:He'll always be the same- a leopard never changes its spots. 

Let alone =chưa kể đến, huống chi. 

Ex: We failed to lay eyes on a tiger during our expedition, let alone film one. 

By dint of =bởi....mãi mà, do bởi. 

Ex:He became a millionaire by dint of hard work and a considerable amount of luck. in command of =điều khiển, chỉ huy.

Ex: General Wynding was placed in command of the southern army. 

on earth =used after negative nouns or pronouns to emphasize what you are saying. Ex: There are now six billion people living on earth. 

not have a clue =1.to know nothing about something or about how to do something. Ex:I haven't a clue what the Professor is talking about most of the time. 

2.to be very stupid 

Ex:Don't ask him to do it—he doesn't have a clue! 

at the snail's pace =đi chậm như ốc sên. 

Ex: An almost continuous line of traffic was moving at a snail's pace through the town. stab sb in the back =nói xấu ai sau lưng, công kích.. 

Ex: You can't trust Pauline. One day she's your best friend, and the next day she can stab you in the back. know somebody by sight =to recognize somebody without knowing them well. 

Ex: I know him by sight, but I have no idea what his name is. 

take a risk, take risks =to do something even though you know that something bad could happen as a  result. 

Ex: Driving a car with faulty brakes is taking quite a risk. 

lay claim to something =state that you have a right to own something. 

Ex: Both her novels can lay some claim to being classics of modern literature. 

as sober as judge =tỉnh táo không hề say. 

Ex: Look, Officer. I'm not drunk. I'm as sober as judge. 

failing that/this =nếu không có cái này hoặc cái đó thì... 

Ex: Unsalted butter is best for this recipe, but failing that, margarine will do. 

at a loss =lúng túng, bối rối. 

Ex:For a while I was at a loss to know what to say. 

take something into your own hands =to deal with a particular situation yourself because you are not  happy with the way that others are dealing with it 

Ex: All over the world, homeless people are taking the future into their own hands. 

make a move =begin a journey or task.Only highly reliable, talented and resourceful photographers make  this difficult move. 

take revenge of sb for st 

take revenge on st =trả thù ai về việc gì.

be left over (from something) =to remain when all that is needed has been used. Ex:There was one small sausage left over. 

tell a lie =nói dối. 

Ex:We first met in 2006, no, I tell a lie, it was 2007. 

run away from something =to try to avoid something because you are shy, lack confidence, etc. Ex: Older men, as a rule, find their ordinary lives too pleasant to run away from. 

for the sake of sb/st =vì lợi ích của ai. In wartime, a big ship cannot stop just for the sake of one man  overboard. 

the high/low incidence of căn bệnh =tỉ lệ mắc phải bệnh 

bear a striking resemblance to =giống hệt 

Ex: The painting bears a striking resemblance to El Greco's earlier works. 

be streets ahead of =vượt xa 

Ex: I think you'll find that the Americans are streets ahead of us when it comes to space research. pay tribute to =đề cao, ca ngợi ai, cái gì 

find the courage to =tìm thấy sự can đảm để làm gì. 

make a discovery =phát hiện 

drive somebody mad with (+Noun) =thích thú 

what with something =used to list the various reasons for something 

Ex: What with being so busy both at work and at home, she became increasingly tired and bad-tempered. real bargain =món hời. 

Ex:I only $3 for this dress. It was a real bargain. 

dig one's heels =giẫm chân tại chỗ 

Ex:They quite simply dug their heels in and refused to budge. 

awkward =inconvenient 

lúng túng, nguy hiểm, khó xử 

Ex:Everybody wanted to go to the cinema except Anne, who had to be awkward by saying she wanted to  go to the theatre. 

in smoke =đang cháy 

bear no grudge against<>have grudge against =oán giận,ác cảm 

Ex: I bear no grudge against him, despite what he did to me 

allay one's fear =...

in the red =mắc nợ 

in the pink =in good heath 

over the moon =extremely happy and excited 

out of the blue =unexpected=without warning 

Ex:It was such a shock to receive a letter like that out of the blue 

get hold of st =nắm chặt, nắm giữ 

be cut out for st =have the qualities and abilities needed for something 

Ex:Mr Horrid was a terrible teacher and obviously not cut out for teaching. 

fall/slot into place =if something complicated or difficult to understand falls or slots into place, it becomes organized or clear in your mind 

Suddenly I understood perfectly and everything fell into place. 

on probation =đang trong thời gian quản chế 

Ex: After considering the case, the judge put the young offender on probation for two years break new ground =make a new discovery or do something that has not been done before envy of/at =thèm muốn ghen tị 

Ex: The tutorial system at Oxford and Cambridge is the envy of many universities sign on the dotted line =sign a document to show that you have agreed to buy something or do something Ex: Sign your name on the dotted line 

to...extent =đến 1 chừng mực nào đó 

Ex: I can agree with you to a certain extent, Professor, but not entirely. 

as tough as old boots =rất dai, rất khó nhai 

Ex: The steak looked tender, but it was as tough as old boots 

in the same breath =một mạch, 1 hơi 

Ex:He praised my work and in the same breath told me I would have to leave. 

out of breath =having difficulty breathing after exercise 

with bated breath =feeling very anxious or excited 

Ex:Tom handed in the test and awaited the results with bated breath 

have something at your fingertips =have the information, knowledge, etc. that is needed in a particular  situation and be able to find it easily and use it quickly 

Ex:Don't tell me your name again. It's at my fingertips.

on the tip of your tongue =if a word or name is on the tip of your tongue, you are sure that you know it  but you cannot remember it 

take something to heart =to be very upset by something that somebody says or does Ex: He criticised her in the meeting and I'm afraid she's really taken it to heart. 

make a drama out of something =make a small problem or event seem more important or serious than it  really is 

Ex:Mr Discontent wanted to complain to the waiter but was afraid of making a drama time+on end =for the stated length of time, without stopping 

On Sunday, Vivian studied for seven hours on end. 

commit suicide=kill yourself =tự tử 

Ex:The man jumped out of the window and committed suicide 

there are plenty more fish in the sea =không thiếu gì người/vật tốt như thế 

Ex: I know your're upset about breaking up with Tony but there are plenty more fish in the sea. (straight) from the horse's mouth =theo nguồn tin đáng tin cậy 

Ex:It must be true. I heard it straight from the horse's mouth. 

let the cat out of the bag =tell a secret carelessly or by mistake 

Ex: Why did you let the cat out of the bag and mention the party to Roger? It was supposed to be a  surprise. 

put/set the cat among the pigeons =gây sự bối rối 

say or do something that is likely to cause trouble 

have kittens =to be very anxious, angry or upset about something 

Ex: I had kittens with what you did for me. 

take the bull by the horns =đối mặt với khó khăn nguy hiểm 

Ex: I think it's time you took the bull by the horns and told him you think things should be changed on bail =được bảo lãnh 

Ex: The judge released him on bail but he'll have to appear in court again next week. instigate=bring something about =-make something start or happen, usually something official -cause something bad to happen 

in honour of somebody/something, in somebody's/something's honour =để tỏ lóng với cái gì, tán dương  cái gìhinhd 

come to the fore =be/become important and noticed by people; to play an important partapera

blow a fuse =to get very angryflesh 

in the flesh =bằng xương bằng thịt 

Ex: I was thrilled to meet Paul McCArtney, in the flesh when I sat next him at the theatre. 

see/think fit (to do something) =to consider it right or acceptable to do something; to decide or choose to  do something 

Exx: Harry blew a fuse when his holiday was cancelled. 

deal somebody/something a blow, deal a blow to somebody/something =be very shocking or harmful to  somebody/something 

Breaking his leg dealt a blow to his chances of becoming a professional footballer. to your heart's content =tùy thích, như ý thích 

Ex: Once at the skating rink, Ivan was allowed to skate to his heart's content. 

hit home =if a remark, etc. hits/strikes home, it has a strong effect on somebody, in a way that makes  them realize what the true facts of a situation are 

gain ground =become more powerful or successful 

Ex:For busy people in today's society, lifestyle management is gaining ground. 

make/lose money hand over fist =make/lose money very fast and in large quantities fly off the handle =suddenly become very angry 

to all intents and purposes =hầu như, thực tế là 

Greg has. to all intents and purposes, finished his degree course, with the exception of his final  dissertation 

rough justice =punishment that does not seem fair 

Ex:It was rough justice for Ted to receive a parking fine when he was at the doctor's by and large =nhìn chung, rút cục 

Ex: There are more people employed, by and large in the service sector than in manufacturing nowadays on a knife-edge =very worried or anxious about the result of something 

Ex:We were all on a knife-edge until the very end of the Hitchcock film. 

safe in the knowledge that =confident because you know that something is true or will happen Ex:Enjoy your "Sunwoy" cruise, safe in the knowledge that everything has been taken care of. in a jiffy =very soon, ngay tức khắc 

Ex:This shoe repairer is so quick that he can sole and heel your shoes in a jiffy. take/begin legal action =the act of using the legal system to settle a disagreement, etc.

Ex: My neighbour has threatened to take legal action over our dispute about property boundaries. catch sb's eye =attract sb's attention 

on the mend =getting better after an illness or injury; improving after a difficult situation hit/touch a (raw/sensitive) nerve =mention a subject that makes sb feel angry,upset,embarrassed,.. Ex: I think you hit a nerve when you mention Ralph's forthcoming retirement overstep the mark/line =behave in a way that people think is not acceptable 

Ex: It will be overstepping the mark if you address the managing director by his first name. at/from the outset (of st) =at/from the beginning of st 

Ex: Frank was informed at the outset that the assignment would be no easy matter. in mint condition =new or as good as new; in perfect condition 

Ex:For stamps and coins to be of value, they need to be in mint condition 

be miles away =be thinking deeply about something and not aware of what is happening around you Ex:The professor looked as if he were miles away in a world of his own 

on/to the verge of something/of doing something =gần, sắp, suýt làm gì hoặc cái gì đó xảy ra. Ex:After losing the job, I was on the verge of nervous breakdowns. 

out of bounds =ngoài phạm vi quy định,cấm vào ,cấm đề cập tới 

Ex : The school playing fields are out of bounds while equipment is being set up for the cricket match. risk life and limb, risk your neck =liều mạng 

Ex:Some people like to risk their neck doing dangerous sports. 

go overboard =too excited or enthusiastic about something or about doing something opt out (of something) =quyết định không tham gia vào (cái gì) 

Ex:It is possible to opt out of the pension scheme if you do not wish to participate feel the pinch =to not have enough money 

Ex:Many people are feeling the pinch now that there is an economic recession 

take (great) pains (to do something), go to great pains (to do something) =put a lot of effort into doing  something 

Ex: Victoria went to great pains complete a high quality presentation 

be not a patch on somebody/something =be much less good, attractive, etc. than somebody/something  else 

Ex: Julia's work is not a patch on Natalie's 

bring/take somebody down a peg (or two) =làm cho ai nhục, làm cho ai hết vênh váo

Ex: Somebody as conceited as Ron needs bringing down a peg or two 

below/under par =less well, good, etc. than is usual or expected 

Ex: I have no appetite 

take the plunge =decide to do something important or difficult, especially after thinking about it for a long time 

quyết tâm hành động 

Ex:The economic situation makes many people unwilling to take the plinge and open their own  businesses. 

plumb the depths of something =be or to experience an extreme example of something unpleasant Ex:The new soap opera on Channel 3. plumbs new depths in term of tastelessness. keep somebody posted (about/on something) =thông báo kịp thời cho ai 

regularly give somebody the most recent information about something and how it is developing Ex:We'll keep you posted of any further changes in the examination. 

take somebody for a ride =cheat or trick somebody 

Ex: When my new motor kept breaking down, I knew I'd been taken for a ride by the second-hand car  salesman. 

in stitches =laughing a lot 

Ex: The audience were in stitches as they watched the latest Aykebourne comedy. a sore point =a subject that makes you feel angry or upset when it is mentioned 

đề tài dễ gây nhạy cảm (dễ ảnh hưởng đến người khác) 

Ex:Don't mention work to Ray, as it's a sore point with him at the moment. 

take the rough with the smooth =accept the unpleasant or difficult things that happen in life as well as the  good things 

Ex: It takes time to get a finacial system up and running after the introduction of a new currency. lose one's head =become unable to act in a calm or sensible way 

mất bình tĩnh, bối rối 

lose your rag =get angry 

Ex:Stephen really lost his head when his dental appointment was cancelled yet again. talk shop =nói chuyện làm ăn, kinh doanh, chuyên môn 

Ex:The trouble with socialising with colleagues is that they usually end up talking shop. shadow of st =một chút (a small amount of something)

Ex:The opposition will be elected into government at the next election. 

up the wall =crazy or angry 

Ex: That loud heavy metal music from next door is driving me up the wall. 

give somebody to believe/understand (that)... =make somebody believe/understand something Ex: Jack was disappointed not to be promoted as he was given to understand that the job would be his. on the safe side =being especially careful; taking no risks 

Ex: Take your mobile phone with you just to be on the safe side. 

get in/into the swing (of something) =get used to an activity or a situation and become fully involved in it Ex: It's hard to get back into the swing of things after a long holiday. 

not somebody's scene =not the type of thing that somebody likes or enjoys doing Ex: Noisy parties are really not my scene. 

have its/their/your uses =be useful sometimes 

Ex:Shift work does have its uses sometimes 

in no uncertain terms =clearly and strongly 

Ex: My husband told me in no uncertain terms that I would have to economise on household expenses. have a whale of a time =enjoy yourself very much; to have a very good time 

Ex: We had a whale of a time at Jason's party yesterday. 

be torn (between A and B)=hesitate =be unable to decide or choose between two people, things or  feelings 

Ex: Chris was torn between buying a new house and going on a round the world cruise. 

better safe than sorry =cẩn thận và quan tâm đúng mực vẫn hơn là hấp tấp và luộm thuộm để sau này gây  ra điều đáng tiếc. 

take a firm line/stand (on/against something) =tuyên bố quan điểm, ý kiến của mình. sit on the fence =trung lập, chẳng đứng về phía nào 

Ex:I wish you would stop sitting on the fence and decide whose side you're on. 

move with the times =change the way you think and behave according to changes in society be child's play =be very easy to do, so not even a child would find it difficult 

have the makings of something =have the qualities that are necessary to become something Ex: Your son has making of a fine musician. 

rip somebody/something apart/to shreds/to bits, etc. =destroy something; to criticize somebody very  strongly

Ex: Pulling the contract out of the envelope, she ripped it to shreds. 

go to pieces =be so upset or afraid that you cannot manage to live or work normally Ex:It's time we bought some new furniture. Look at these chairs. They're crumbling to pieces fall to pieces =become very old and in bad condition because of long use 

Ex: It's time we bought some new furniture. Look at these chairs. They're fallied to pieces. (keep) a stiff upper lip =keep calm and hide your feelings when you are in pain or in a difficult situation Ex:James never shows his emotions; no matter what happens, he always keep a stiff upper lip be gasping (for something) =want or need something very badly, especially a drink or a cigarette Ex: After three hours of walking in the hot summer sun , we were gasping for a drink. over the moon =extremely happy and excited 


in the long run =concerning a longer period in the future 

With unemployment at a record level, retraining programmes would pay off in the long run (as) right as rain =in excellent health or condition 

Ex: He took the pills and a week later he was as right as rain. 

(all) in one piece =safe; not damaged or hurt, especially after a journey or dangerous experience Ex: You dropped it down the stairs? You're lucky it is still in one pieces. 

a figment of somebody's imagination =something that somebody has imagined and that does not really  exist 


take the words right out of somebody's mouth =nói dúng những lời mà người ta định nói Ex:I wish you'd let me speak for myself and not take the words out of my mouth.