“A penny for your thoughts” – English idiom

A penny for your thoughts

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Example sentences from the web:

  • A: What do you think of global warming?
    B: I don’t know.
    A: Penny for your thoughts?
    B: Well, if you want to know, I feel like people aren’t doing enough to stop it!
  • Noticing his friend was sad, Joe asked, “A penny for your thoughts?”
  • A: What do you think about Lisa? Penny for your thoughts?
    B: People don’t like Lisa very much because she is always giving her opinion, even if people aren’t asking for it.

A video on this idiom by Englishcafe:

‘In a pickle’ – English idiom

In a pickle

Example sentences from the web:

  • Listen, I’m in a little bit of a pickle right now. Could you come to my place and pick me up?
  • He was in a bind, a bit of a pickle, sort of distressed.
  • I noticed that you were in a bit of a pickle yesterday. I’m sorry, but I was in a hurry and I couldn’t help you. Did you manage to finish your essay in time?

Words and expressions from the example sentences you may not know:

  • TO PICK UP SOMEONE =>
  • IN A BIND => Like ‘in a pickle’, it means ‘in a difficult situation’; ‘in trouble’.

This idiom is well explained here: In a Pickle: And Other Funny Idioms.

“Social butterfly” – English idiom

Social butterfly

social butterfly

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Example sentences from the web:

  • Because he was not a social butterfly, he rarely went out in Washington.
  • Jessica is constantly out and about; she’s a real social butterfly.
  • Lulu is a social butterfly. She is always surrounded by people.

“To be/feel/look bushed” – English idiom

To be bushed

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Be/feel/look bushed

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Example sentences from the web:

  • After all that exercise, I’m bushed.
  • The poor kid is bushed, I’ll take her home. She’s not in any shape to take more right now.
  • “We’re off to bed now”, said Alfonso. “We are bushed!” Isabella laughed.
    “Well, we are”, said Ronnie, indignantly.
    “We’ve done a lot today, you know. And walked miles.”
    “I know that. I’m not laughing at you being tired, Ron. It’s just when we say in Australia that we’re bushed, it can also mean that we’re lost. Or confused. Like we don’t know what’s going on. Not just tired […].”
    Taken from Whitely, M, 2014, Bushed!, Elm House Publishing, p. 84.

Words and expressions from the example sentences that you may not know:

  • TO BE IN SHAPE => to be in good condition physically and functionally
  • TO BE OFF TO BED => .to go to bed; to go to sleep.

“The sky is the limit” – English idiom

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Example sentences from the web:

  • I have an anniversary coming up, and my husband said the sky is the limit. So I was thinking why not make it jewelry?
  • With two important film roles andmajor award, it seems like the sky’s the limit for this talented young actress.
  • Order anything you like on the menu—the sky’s the limit tonight.

To play cat and mouse with (someone) – English idiom

To play cat and mouse withExample sentences from the web:

  • The man is playing cat and mouse with his company about his plans to quit or not.
  • She loved to play cat and mouse with an admirer, acting by turns friendly, indifferent, and jealous.
  • The actor spent all the week playing cat and mouse with the press.

“To be a big fish in a small pond” – English idiom

To be a big fish in a small pond

Example sentences from the web:

  • As long as you stay, you’re a big fish in a small pond… …and can blame everyone for holding you back.
  • Steve has both a Ph.D. and an M.D., yet he’s content with his practice at a rural hospital; he prefers to be a big fish in a little pond.
  • I’ve got to get out of this town. It’s just too small. I’m tired of being a big fish in a small pond. I want to move to a big city like New York or Los Angeles.

NOTICE that this idiom could be used with a different meaning, referring to someone who is important in a small group or organization, but who won’t be so important in a larger one.

  • “If he is such a great actor, why doesn’t he move to New York City?”
    Reply: “He likes being a big fish in a small pond.”

This idiom is explained very well here: http://painintheenglish.com/ 

“For example, a man started his own heating / air conditioning repair company. He had 4 locations and a fleet of 10 trucks. He was a prominent businessman in the community and his business netted $1 million per year. In a town of 25,000 people, he was in the top 1% of incomes and because he brought so much money into the community, he had a certain leverage with the city council. They would be very careful to allow building permits near his businesses without checking with him first.

However, if that man moved to a large city, for example: New York City, then 4 locations, 10 trucks, $1 million / year would not be special at all. For a small town (pond), he had a big business (he was a big fish), but in a large lake (New York City), he was a much smaller business (much smaller fish) by comparison”.

“To have/get butterflies in (one’s) stomach”. – English idiom

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Example sentences from the web:

  • Her mouth was dry, there were butterflies in her stomach, and her knees were shaking so much it was hard to walk on stage.
  • The first day in front of a class, new teachers always have butterflies in their stomachs.
  • Before I went on stage, I had butterflies in my stomach.

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“It’s a piece of cake” – English Idiom

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Example sentences from the web:

  • I thought it was gonna be a piece of cake coming back here, but this is hard.
  • It should not be too painful for the Member States to meet each other half way under these circumstances; on the contrary it should be a piece of cake.
  • Climbing that mountain was a piece of cake.
  • With your experience, it should be a piece of cake.