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Home » Blogs » kevin's blog » 10 Common Expressions in English

10 Common Expressions in English

10 Common Expressions in English

By: kevin

3 Feb 2013

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Valen: Hi there, my name is Valen and this is a lesson on very common English expressions. We are going to go through ten really-really common English expressions that you will hear in everyday conversation.

Okay, so in no particular order, we are going to start with one that you will hear a lot, this expression is “twenty four seven”. Okay, when someone says ‘twenty four seven’, what they mean is because there is twenty four hours in a day and seven days a week, is they mean every minute of every day, so an example is, ‘you can access our website 24/7’.

So I wrote it down just because sometimes you will see it written this way, ‘twenty four seven’ or numerically like this ‘24/7’. And what it means is ‘you can access our website, any minute of any day, all the time’. So if someone says, ‘oh I work 24/7’, they are probably exaggerating and what they mean is they feel like they work every minute of every day. “24/7”.

Okay, so our next expression is “get the ball rolling”. And now what this expression means is to start something. So, if you were going to start a project and someone said, ‘lets get the ball rolling’, what they mean is let’s start now. This is a pretty simple one, pretty sure you follow it, so let’s get the ball rolling, lets start now - ‘Get the ball rolling’.

Our next expression is “take it easy”. ‘Take it easy’; so if someone says to you, ‘I don’t have any plans this weekend, I think I will take it easy’, what they mean is relax, this is a simple one too. I am going to take it easy, I am going to relax - so ‘take it easy’.

Okay, the next one. “Sleep on it”. If someone says, ‘I will sleep on it’, what they mean is, I am going to take sometime to think about a decision; so if someone says, ‘I will get back to you tomorrow, I am going to sleep on it’, I will write that down. ‘I will get back to you tomorrow, I have to sleep on it’, what they mean is, I am going to think about my decision and talk to you tomorrow. ‘Sleep on it’, think about my decision and get back to you.

“I’m broke” - a really common one. So, ‘I am broke’, doesn’t actually mean, you are broken, its means you have no money. I am broke, I have no money. This is a really common expression that you will hear all the time.

“Sharp”. Okay, if someone says to you, ‘The meeting is at 7 o’clock sharp!’ what they mean is that the meeting is at exactly 7 o’clock. When someone says ‘sharp’, what they mean is, don’t be late, the meeting will start at exactly 7 o’clock. Something special here is ‘sharp’, the meeting is at 7 o’clock sharp; if someone says that to you it means ‘be on time, it will start exactly at 7 o’clock’.

“Like the back of my hand”. So what this means is the back of your hand is something that’s very familiar to you, you know it well, you see it all the time. So if I said ‘I know this city like the back of my hand’, it means I know this city very well, I am very familiar with it - very common expression, ‘like the back of my hand’. You know, you can also say, ‘he knows this city like the back of his hand’, same idea, you know something very-very well, it’s very familiar to you. ‘Like the back of my hand’.

Okay so, here is another one that uses the word ‘hand’, if you say “give me a hand”. So if someone says to you, ‘do you want to give me a hand’, it means do you want to help me. So for example somebody is carrying something and they say, ‘oh, would you give me a hand’, they don’t want you to put out your hand, they want you to help them. ‘Would you give me a hand, would you help me?’ ‘Give me a hand’.

“In ages”, what’s an example of this one. Okay. ‘I haven’t seen him in ages’; so what this means is ‘in ages’, for a long time, so I haven’t seen him in ages, I haven’t seen him for a long time; so ‘in ages’ means for a long time.

Okay, our last one. “Sick and tired” - okay so ‘sick and tired’ means I don’t like or I hate. So for example if you said, ‘I am sick and tired of doing homework’ that means you don’t want to do your homework anymore, you don’t like it. So ‘sick and tired’.

So those are ten really common English expressions. ‘Sick and tired’, ‘broke’, ‘in ages’, ‘give me a hand’, know something ‘like the back of your hand’, ‘sharp’ so be there at 7 o’clock sharp, ‘sleep on it’, ‘take it easy’, ‘get the ball rolling’ and ‘24/7’. Those were ten common expressions you will hear in everyday English conversation.

So take the quiz below and test your knowledge of English expressions and visit us at www.engVid.com.