English Lesson: Idioms at Work

Idioms are expressions or phrases in a language that have a figurative meaning different from the literal interpretation of the words.

For example

“kick the bucket” is an English idiom meaning to die.

A piece of cake” means something is very easy to do.

During this lesson, you will learn about about a variety of idioms that you can use at work .

Task#1.1

Make pairs and try and check what these words mean

The sameTowel
UphillRocket
WrongHold
BrokeBark
FenceBasket
WrongWeather
BiteBullet
TieThrow

Since there are a lot of idioms, we are going to focus on the 20 most common ones.



Task: Let’s Learn about Idioms Together

Task#1.2

Make pairs and try to figure out what these 20 idioms mean

These are the idioms that we are going to study today

On the Same PageWhen pigs fly
Uphill BattleUp in the Air
Go For BrokeIt’s not Rocket Science
Throw in the TowelBite the Bullet
Piece of CakeUnder the Weather
Put the Cards on the TableBarking up the Wrong Tree 
On the Same BoatThe Elephant in the Room
Excuse My FrenchHold your horses
My Hands are TiedOn the Fence
The Upper HandPut all the Eggs in one Basket

You can see the different idioms by checking these interactive cards


Task: Meaning of Most Common Idioms

Task#1.3

Match the Idioms with their corresponding meaning.

To make this task communicative:

  • Student #1 reads the sentences and and students #2 looks for the idiom.
  • Use expressions such as I think that description refers to”
  • Student #1 confirms the response by saying “I agree with your response” or “I don’t agree with your response”

Task: Turn Phrases into Idioms

Task#1.4

Read the phrases and turn them into idioms.

For Example:

Original PhraseI feel a bit sick
Turned into an idiomI am under the weather

Main Task

Task#1.5

Make pairs and create a dialogue that includes three of the idioms studied today in class

Jose: Hi, I wanted to ask you a couple of questions

Manuel: Sure 

Jose:  Will you hire one more engineer?

Manuel:  I don`t know, that is still up in the air

Jose:  Do you  understand that completing this project with one engineer is an uphill battle?

Manuel: I am aware of that

Jose: Excuse my French but taking this project under these circumstances was a fucking terrible idea.

Manuel: I know, we are doing the best we can


Additional Work

Task#1.6

Do this in case you want to practice a bit more

Manuel Campos, English Professor

José Manuel

I am José Manuel and I am an English Teacher in Costa Rica who loves English. I have been teaching English for more than 8 years and I like sharing what I know with others