Phrase of the day: go pear-shaped

Last night I was at our local pub quiz. For anyone who hasn’t experienced this, basically it’s an excuse for people to get together and drink, but at the same time it allows ourselves to feel that we are not…

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Phrase of the day: a big If

We use the phrase that’s / it’s a big if to show that we realise that what we are about to say – or what someone has just been speculating about – is really very unlikely indeed to actually happen.…

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Phrase of the day: Time is of the essence

Over recent weeks, we've been taking a fair few bookings for what will be our first ever London summer school. It's all very exciting, even if it does involve far more red tape than we'd initially anticipated. In order to…

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Phrase of the day: two-fingered salute

At some point during most courses we run, we end up taking whichever students are up for it to the pub. It's a grand British tradition and the pub is basically where we go to let our hair down, relax…

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Phrase of the day: deeply divided

Last Sunday, Turkey went to the polls to vote on whether to approve 18 proposed amendments to the Turkish constitution that had been put forward by the governing Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP). If implemented,…

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Phrase of the day: the mother of all

Last week, the US military dropped the largest conventional (i.e. non-nuclear) bomb it has ever used in combat on an area in eastern Afghanistan that contained a complex of tunnels and bunkers used by militants connected to Daesh, the group…

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Phrase of the day: second wind

I spent last week at the annual IATEFL conference, which this year was held in Glasgow. I've been speaking at the conference for almost twenty years now, and it's always an amazing experience. You get to meet loads and loads…

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Phrase of the day: do time

I was chatting to a Spanish friend of mine the other day and she was telling me the sorry story of her ex-husband. Apparently, after they separated, he drifted into a life of petty crime and started dealing – mostly…

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Phrase of the day: have a good innings

In one of my classes recently, we were looking at vocabulary connected to illnesses and there was a sentence about how diseases spread. I mentioned that they can spread around the world – from person to person – but also…

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Phrase of the day: pots and kettles

Going dutch and other negative traits So last week I was in the Netherlands and I was chatting with a group of teachers when someone asked why we have the phrase ‘’We can go Dutch’ in English. Actually, I personally don’t…

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