Common Idioms - A - About Time

Idioms - A

about to "do something"

- the time that a person it just ready to start doing something

I was about to eat dinner you when you called me.

about time

- something that one expected should have happened earlier

It is about time that you got a haircut, you hair was too long.


- someone who is always forgetting things

I have been very absent-minded lately, I have been forgetting all my appointments.

add up

- a situation that seems reasonable and believable.

The story the crook told the policeman really didn't add up.

ahead of time

- to do something early

I finished my test ahead of time so I was allowed to leave early.

air one's dirty laundry (linen) in public

- make someone's embarrassing secrets public.

Fred became angry when he heard that his ex-girlfriend aired his dirty laundry in public.

all along

- the entire time

She knew all along that teaching was a suitable job for him.

all at once

- suddenly, without warning

All at once a cat jumped out in front of my scooter.

all day long

- the entire day

He sat in front of the computer and played video games all day long.

all ears

- to be very enthusiastic to listen to someone

I'm all ears, tell me what happened to you last week.

all in all

- summing up, after considering everything, the main point

The weather not that good, but all in all we had a good vacation.

all of a sudden

- suddenly, without any warning

All of a sudden the little boy began to cry.

all right

- to be okay or satisfactory

He said that everything was all right with his new apartment.

all the time

- something that happens continuously, or very often

He says he doesn't want to go all the time, but in the end he usually comes.

all thumbs

- to have difficulty or problems using one's hands, to be clumsy

I can't type very fast, because I'm all thumbs.

an arm and a leg

- to be expensive, to cost a lot of money

Sally's new dress is beautiful, but it cost her an arm and a leg.

apple of one's eye

- to be someone's favorite

The youngest daughter is the apple of her father's eye.

as a rule

- what is considered normal or usual, someone's habit

As a rule most people are honest.

ask for trouble

- to behave in a way that trouble you are very likely to get into trouble

Johnnie is asking for trouble if talks to his girl firend again.

as long as

- provided that, on the condition that

As long as you study, you will pass the test easily.

as the crow flies

- a straight line between two places, going by the most direct route.

As the crow flies it is about 14 kilometers from Taichung to Feng Yuan.

as usual

- most of the time, as is the custom

As usual, he forgot to pay his phone bill again

as well as

- in addition to

You have to pay monthly rent as well as utilities.

as yet

- until now, up to the present

As yet, Mike has not told me about his new job.

at fault

- to be responsible or to blame for something

The taxi driver was at fault in the car accident.

at first

- originally, in the beginning

At first he didn't want to buy a new car, but once they lowered the price he decided to buy it.

at heart

- basically, fundamentally

Susan is a very nice person at heart I don't understand why she has no friends.

at last

- finally, after a long time

I was waiting all year for my vacation, at last we left for Thailand.

at odds

- in disagreement

He has been at odds with his brother since they were children.

at someone`s beck and call

- always ready to serve somebody

My mother is always at my beck and call when I return to Canada to visit.

at the end of one`s rope

- at the limit of one`s ability to cope

I am at the end of my rope about what to do about teaching my students idioms.

attend to someone

- take care or deal with someone

I have to attend to another customer before I can go home.

Idiom Quizzes - A

Type in the correct idiom then check your answer in the answer box

1. I am when I try play the piano.

(a) all thumbs (b) about time (c) all ears (d) an arm and a leg

2. Tracy wasto leave the house when the phone rang.

(a) as a rule (b) about (c) at heart (d) absent-minded

3. His mother loved her son very much, he was .

(a) the apple of her eye (b) an arm and a leg (c) as well as (d) at odds

4. a cat jumped onto the road and I slammed on my brakes.

(a) at his beck and call (b) all of a sudden (c) at heart (d) at fault

5. Charlie just bought a new BMW it must have cost him .

(a) at home (b) at odds (c) the apple of his eye (d) an arm and a leg

6. His wife is alwayswhen he wants her.

(a) as a rule (b) at heart (c) all thumbs (d) at his beck and call

7. Okay I`m tell me what happened.

(a) all ears (b) all thumbs (c) as a rule (d) at heart

8. I don`t think that he is for breaking the computer.

(a) at last (b) at fault (c) all thumbs (d) absent-minded

9. He is and is always forgetting where he put his keys.

(a) absent-minded (b) all thumbs (c) all ears (d) as a rule

10. She never agrees on anything and is always with her boss about something.

(a) as usual (b) at last (c) at odds (d) at heart

11. I usually don't drink coffee before I go to bed.

(a) at heart (b) all in all (c) all of a sudden (d) as a rule

↑ Top of page

Created by English in Taiwan.
Copyright c 1999 [English in Taiwan]. All rights reserved.

To Top