Archive | Idioms


Show Some Respect!

In class today, my students and I were discussing Ben Franklin. Franklin is known for many things, but among them was a yearly almanac he published which, in his day, made him as famous as JK Rowling (Harry Potter author) is in our time. In his almanacs, Franklin published many sayings and suggestions about how […]

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Like moths to a flame... Like a bat out of hell! ESL Idioms Featured Image

Like Moths to a Flame / Like a Bat Out of Hell!

When something attracts us, we say we are drawn to it like a moth to a flame.  We can’t resist it—even though it may kill us!  We make a beeline towards it.  It calls to us. It tempts us.  We are obsessed with it.  We are addicted to whatever it is. Look at this vocabulary as it is used in the following paragraph:   Whenever I see a chocolate shop, […]

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What’s Hot and What’s Not: The New and the Old

How can we talk about what’s old and what’s new in English? Let’s start with describing what’s old.    Traditional Arab dress, the thobe (or thawb) Traditional Japanese dress, the kimono We can use the adjective traditional.  This means something that has been done in the same way for a long time.  There are traditional business practices (top-down), traditional families (father’s the boss), […]

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Don't Give Up!

Don’t Give Up!

You don’t need me to tell you that studying a foreign language is difficult.  When we attempt to do something difficult, it’s easy to get discouraged and want to quit.  The vocabulary in this lesson focuses on how we talking about giving up and not giving up.   Let’s start with not giving up (because that is what I hope […]

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English Help From PELA

What to Do? What to Do? – On the Horns of a Dilemma

Sometimes we must make difficult choices.  We call such choices dilemmas because there are two options (“di”—as in divide, diverge, dissect—meaning “two”) that we must evaluate.  When we face a dilemma, we think carefully about the pros and cons—the benefits and disadvantages—of each option. This is a scale.  It’s a good image to have in […]

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