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No stone will be left
unturned in the
investigation into
the murder.
Both sides have
vowed to leave no
stone unturned in
t...
The first few months
were difficult, but I
think it’ll be plain
sailing from here on.
The French won the
game, but it wasn...
You can keep asking
until the cows come
home, but she’ll
never say yes.
I could sit here and
argue with you till
the cows ...
You can give her
advice, but it just
goes in one ear and
out the other.
Everything I say to
you seems to go in
one ear and...
When asked about
crime, the mayor’s
knee-jerk reaction is
to call for longer
prison sentences.
He said that they
were just...
They told me I was
too old for the job,
and then to add insult
to injury, they
refused to pay my
expenses!
He said my clot...
She knew he fancied
her, but preferred to
keep their
relationship platonic.
I thought he fancied
me, but I'd
completely mi...
He just clams up if
you ask him about his
childhood.
The politician
clammed up when the
reporters started to
ask about the...
She's got the
committee firmly
under her thumb -
they agree to
whatever she asks.
He's been under his
mother's thumb since...
How can you work in
a small room like
this? There's not
enough room to swing
a cat.
In our old flat there
wasn't enough ro...
All mothers of young
children should try to
find some me time.
When I have a million
and one things going
on, as many coll...
The business is in
trouble, but we are
just about keeping
our heads above
water.
I don’t have a job,
and I need to pay my
...
He always gets keyed
up about tests.
Why are you so keyed
up about nothing?
She is all keyed up
over her son's health.
They expect us to
work for peanuts.
I need a raise—I'm
sick of still working
for peanuts after
three years!
If you pay pea...
I've read the proposal
and it looks
promising, but the
proof of the pudding
is in the eating.
Let's see if this ad
actuall...
My coach yelled
'close, Mike, but no
cigar,' when I was
unable to break my
previous record on
the 100 yard dash.
Despite d...
When she started
borrowing my clothes
without asking, I had
to put my foot down.
The boss put her foot
down and refused to...
One more mistake
and you're toast.
If you're in the game
long enough, you're
going to be the toast
of the town one day,
an...
In my mad attempt to
get everything done I
had been burning the
candle at both ends,
staying up too late
and getting up to...
The company stopped
using certain
chemicals only after
some workers blew
the whistle on it.
It's time to blow the
whistle ...
He seemed so normal.
Who had any idea he
had so many
skeletons in his
closet?
I have no skeletons in
my cupboard,
because ...
Percy was always
buttering up the boss,
so he was surprised
when he failed to get
a promotion.
You'll have to butter
them ...
I need to get
something off my
chest: my name is
Martin and I have
a secret crush on
Theresa May.
Emily, I have to
confess...
They left me to sink
or swim on my own.
In this job, it's sink
or swim.
Congress cut off the
lifeline in 2014,
largely lea...
This problem is getting me
down. It's a hard nut to crack.
Thinking outside the box, like any skill,
is one that can be developed through
practice.
We were going to go bungee jumping, but
Sandra chickened out at the last minute.
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101 English Idioms

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This slide presentation contains a selection of idioms from the BBC Learning English Twitter feed. If you want to see the presentation as it is meant to be seen with the successive reveals, you'll have to download it. For some ideas on how to use them in class, see my blog post:

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101 English Idioms

  1. 1. No stone will be left unturned in the investigation into the murder. Both sides have vowed to leave no stone unturned in the search for peace .
  2. 2. The first few months were difficult, but I think it’ll be plain sailing from here on. The French won the game, but it wasn’t all plain sailing.
  3. 3. You can keep asking until the cows come home, but she’ll never say yes. I could sit here and argue with you till the cows come home, but it wouldn't solve anything.
  4. 4. You can give her advice, but it just goes in one ear and out the other. Everything I say to you seems to go in one ear and out the other. Why don't you pay attention?
  5. 5. When asked about crime, the mayor’s knee-jerk reaction is to call for longer prison sentences. He said that they were just a bunch of knee-jerk liberals.
  6. 6. They told me I was too old for the job, and then to add insult to injury, they refused to pay my expenses! He said my clothes didn't suit me, and then to add insult to injury he said I needed to lose some
  7. 7. She knew he fancied her, but preferred to keep their relationship platonic. I thought he fancied me, but I'd completely misread the signals.
  8. 8. He just clams up if you ask him about his childhood. The politician clammed up when the reporters started to ask about the scandal.
  9. 9. She's got the committee firmly under her thumb - they agree to whatever she asks. He's been under his mother's thumb since the day he was born.
  10. 10. How can you work in a small room like this? There's not enough room to swing a cat. In our old flat there wasn't enough room to swing a cat.
  11. 11. All mothers of young children should try to find some me time. When I have a million and one things going on, as many college students do, my running time becomes my daily “me time.”
  12. 12. The business is in trouble, but we are just about keeping our heads above water. I don’t have a job, and I need to pay my rent, bills, and buy food. I’m having a difficult time keeping my head above water.
  13. 13. He always gets keyed up about tests. Why are you so keyed up about nothing? She is all keyed up over her son's health.
  14. 14. They expect us to work for peanuts. I need a raise—I'm sick of still working for peanuts after three years! If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.
  15. 15. I've read the proposal and it looks promising, but the proof of the pudding is in the eating. Let's see if this ad actually helps sales— the proof of the pudding, you know.
  16. 16. My coach yelled 'close, Mike, but no cigar,' when I was unable to break my previous record on the 100 yard dash. Despite demographic changes, all signs are that it will be another case of close but no cigar.
  17. 17. When she started borrowing my clothes without asking, I had to put my foot down. The boss put her foot down and refused to accept any more changes to the plan.
  18. 18. One more mistake and you're toast. If you're in the game long enough, you're going to be the toast of the town one day, and the next day you'll be toast.
  19. 19. In my mad attempt to get everything done I had been burning the candle at both ends, staying up too late and getting up too early. If you continue to burn the candle at both ends, you‘re heading for a
  20. 20. The company stopped using certain chemicals only after some workers blew the whistle on it. It's time to blow the whistle on waste and fraud in federal agencies.
  21. 21. He seemed so normal. Who had any idea he had so many skeletons in his closet? I have no skeletons in my cupboard, because they're all out there to see.
  22. 22. Percy was always buttering up the boss, so he was surprised when he failed to get a promotion. You'll have to butter them up a bit if you want them to agree to our plan.
  23. 23. I need to get something off my chest: my name is Martin and I have a secret crush on Theresa May. Emily, I have to confess that I've had a crush on you since high school.
  24. 24. They left me to sink or swim on my own. In this job, it's sink or swim. Congress cut off the lifeline in 2014, largely leaving counties to sink or swim on their own.
  25. 25. This problem is getting me down. It's a hard nut to crack.
  26. 26. Thinking outside the box, like any skill, is one that can be developed through practice.
  27. 27. We were going to go bungee jumping, but Sandra chickened out at the last minute.

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