Have a crack at something

Have a crack at something

Have a crack at something. This is a way of showing your enthusiasm to try to do something but making it clear that you don’t think you will be successfull.

HAVE A CRACK AT SOMETHING

  • an attempt to do something
  • usaully meaning that you don’t think you will be successful
  • can be used with ‘crack’, ‘go’, ‘stab’ or ‘whack’
  • can also be used with take
    • I’ve never ice skated before, but I took a crack at it this weekend and I rather enjoyed it.
    • Dad would like to have a go at it if you don’t mind.
    • Look, I know this isn’t your job, but would you mind taking a stab at it?
    • Can you have a whack at the new TV, please? I can’t figure anything out.

Expression Session

Now that you had a look at Have a crack at something, have a go at our other expression session posts:
Expression Session: be worth it
Expression Session: drop the ball

Cursos inglés

En la Escuela de Idiomas de la Cámara de Comercio de Alava, tenemos cursos de inglés para todos los niveles y necesidades para mayores de 16 años. Apúntate a un curso de inglés aquí o ponte en contacto con nosotros a idiomas@camaradealava.com

English Expression: be worth it.

English Expression: be worth it

English Expression: be worth it. In Spanish you say ‘vale la pena‘ and in English we say ‘it’s worth it’ The word ‘worth’ means having value.

TO BE WORTH IT (SOMETHING)

FORM

Subject + to be + worth + object

MEANING AND EXAMPLES

  • The value of something is more than what it cost
    • It’s expensive to have a financial advisor, but it’s worth it. You save in the long run.
    • I think buying a new car is worth it if you have the money.
    • It’s not worth getting upset over. We can replace the bike.
  • The value of something is more than the effort you put into it
    • I know therapy can be difficult, but it is worth it in the long run.
    • I don’t think being upset all the time is worth it.
    • Is it really worth all the time you put into studying?

TO BE WORTH IT (SOMEONE)

FORM

Subject + to be + worth + object

MEANING AND EXAMPLES

  • Someone is worth the effort you put into them (usually in a relationship)
  • Use when you want to emphasize that the worth is the person and not the effort.
    • You seem to be always fighting. Is she really worth it? (Is she more important than all the fighting?)
    • I know I am making a lot of effort with him, but I think he is worth it. (emphasis on he)
    • I know I am making a lot of effort with him, but I think it’s worth it. (emphasis on my effort)

English Expressions

Now that you have seen English Expression: be worth it, take a look at our other Expression Session posts:
Expression Session: drop the ball
Expression Session: kill time

Cursos Inglés

En la Escuela de idiomas de la Cámara de Alava en Vitoria, tenemos cursos de inglés para todos los niveles y necesidades. Ponte en contacto con nosotros para recibir más información.

English Expression: drop the ball

English Expression: Drop the ball

English Expression: drop the ball. I have to admit, I love baseball expressions. It’s a sport I started playing at age 6. And I promise that it was never a good thing to ‘drop the ball’. That’s why it is such a good way of expressing how you feel about a mistake you have made.

DROP THE BALL

  • to make a mistake by not doing something you should have done
  • to miss out on an opportunity because you didn’t do something you should have done
    • Joe dropped the ball and waited to too long to ask her out. She’s already dating someone new.
    • I really dropped the ball at work and am worried about getting fired.
    • Don’t drop the ball! We are all counting on you.

Expressions in English

Now that you have learned English Expression: drop the ball, take a look at our other Expression Session posts:
Expression Session: kill time
Expression Session: waste of time

Cursos Inglés Vitoria

En la Escuela de Idiomas de la Cámara de Comercio de Alava tenemos todos tipos de clases de inglés. Ponte en contacto con nosotros para buscar un nivel adecuado a idiomas@camaradealava.com o llamarnos a 945 150 190. Puedes recibir más información aquí

  • Business English
  • Preparación de Exámenes
  • Conversation
  • Inglés General
English Expression: Kill time

English Expression: Kill time

English Expression: Kill time. Another nice expression that translates perfectly into Spanish: matar tiempo. This makes it easy to remember and use so you can bump up your exam points or impress your boss.

KILL (THE) TIME

  • to do something not important while waiting for someone or something.
    • My flight doesn’t leave for another three hours, so I’m just killing time shopping and buying things I don’t need.
    • You know you always have to wait at the doctor’s office, so take something to kill the time.
    • Yesterday I had to wait for 30 minutes to talk to someone in customer service. Luckily, I was at home and killed time by cooking while I was waiting.

English Expressions

Now that you have learned English Expression: Kill time, take a look at our other Expression Session posts:
Expression Session: waste of time
Expression Session: it is what it is

Cursos Ingles Vitoria

En la Escuela de Idiomas de la Cámara de Comercio de Alava, tenemos cursos de inglés para todos los niveles y necesidades. Pincha aquí para recibir más información sobre las clases.

  • Preparación de Examenes de Cambridge, EILTS, Oxford Test of English
  • Business English – grupos presenciales y online
  • Business InCompany – individual o de grupos individualizados para tu empresa
  • Conversation classes
  • Inglés General
English Expressions: Waste of time

English Expressions: Waste of time

English Expressions: Waste of time. This is the perfect expression to say that something is ‘una perdida de tiempo’. It’s a perfect translation, which doesn’t happen very often.

WASTE TIME

A WASTE OF (SOMEONE’S) TIME (noun phrase)

  • a pointless activity that does not make good use of your time
  • Both examples below have the same meaning. Using someone may give a bit more emphasis to the person.
  • a waste + of + time
    • Having to talk to each person individually is a waste of time.
    • I hate commuting to work every day. It’s a waste of time.
  • a waste + of + someone’s + time
    • Having to talk to each person individually is a waste of their time.
    • I hate commuting to work every day. It’s a waste of my time.

WASTE (SOMEONE’S) TIME (verb phrase)

  • to not use your time correctly
  • to not use the time you have available in a productive way
    • You should be doing your homework and not wasting time playing video games.
    • Don’t waste my time. I have a lot of things to do today.
    • I don’t know why they waste their time calling everyone when they can just send a text message.

Cursos inglés

En la Escuela de Idiomas de la Cámara de Comercio de Alava tenemos cursos de inglés para todos los niveles y necesidades

English Expressions

Now that you have seen English Expressions: Waste of time, take a look at our other Expression Session posts:
Expression Session: it is what it is
Expression Session: level the playing field

English Expression: It is what it is

English Expression: It is what it is

English Expression: It is what it is. There are those times when you need to say ‘es lo que hay’ and this is the phrase you will need to use in this case.

IT IS WHAT IT IS

  • Used to say that we can not change the situation and that we have to accept it.
  • An expression to say ‘there’s nothing we can do about it now’.
    • If only I knew earlier that it was going to rain. I would have brought the clothes inside. Well, I can’t do anything about it now. It is what it is.
    • It is what it is. He doesn’t want to go to the game. We aren’t going to force him.

Cursos de inglés

Si estás buscando cursos de inglés, tenemos una oferta amplia en la Escuela de Idiomas de la Cámara de Comercio de Alava. Ponte en contacto con nosotros idiomas@camaradealava.com o llamanos a 945 150 190.

  • Inglés para negocios (niveles A2 a C1)
  • Preparación de exámenes de Cambridge y de Oxford Test of English. Somos centro examinador de Oxford Test of English. Puedes programar un examen hoy para la semana que viene.
  • Inglés general (niveles A1 a C2)
  • Clases de conversación una vez o dos veces a la semana
  • Cursos InCompany para ti y para tu empresa.

English Expressions

Now that you have seen English Expression: It is what it is, have a look at our other Expression Session posts:
Expression Session: level the playing field
Expression Session: turn over a new leaf

English Expression: Level the playing field

English Expression: Level the playing field

English Expression: Level the playing field. This week in class we are talking about inclusive language. This is hard to do with idioms, as they are notoriously not inclusive. In the example given today, someone may say that it is NOT inclusive because it uses sports and so you may need to understand baseball, in this case, to understand the meaning. However, I am using it today because I think it has an important message.

LEVEL THE PLAYING FIELD

  • Make a situation equal so that everyone has the same opportunity
  • Adjust a situation so that everyone has the same chance of succeeding.
    • Quotas were created at businesses to level the playing field for women.
    • In order to level the playing field, we need to make the class financially accessible to everyone.

A LEVEL PLAYING FIELD

  • Conditions that allow everyone to have the same opportunity to succeed in a situation.
    • It’s not a level playing field. How can children play in the same tournament as adults?
    • We have put quotas in place in order to create a level playing field.

English Expressions

Now that you have seen English Expression: Level the playing field, take a look at our other Expression Session posts:
Expression Session: turn over a new leaf
Expression Session: have skeletons in one’s closet

Cursos inglés

En la Escuela de Idiomas de la Cámara de Alava, tenemos cursos para todos los niveles y necesidades para mayores de 16 años.

English Expression: turn over a new leaf

English Expression: turn over a new leaf

English Expression: turn over a new leaf. This seems like the perfect idiom for this time of year when the leaves on the trees are falling. Turning over a new leaf means starting fresh and changing your behavior.

TURNING OVER A NEW LEAF

  • to say that someone is beginning to behave in a better, kinder way.
  • to behave in a positive way
    • I’m so glad that you spoke to Sarah. She’s really turned over a new leaf and even seems happier in her job.
    • You can’t expect him to just turn over a new leaf if he doesn’t even know that he is behaving poorly. Talk to him.

Expression Session

Now that you have seen English Expression: turn over a new leaf, take a look at our other Expression Session posts:
Expression Session: have skeletons in one’s closet
Expression Session: bear in mind

Cursos de inglés

En la Escuela de Idiomas de la Cámara de Comercio de Alava, tenemos cursos para todos los niveles y necesidades. Para poder inscribirte en un curso o para recibir información, pinche aquí.

  • Cursos para principiantes, nivel A1 y A2, inglés general y de negocios
  • Cursos de preparación de exámenes de niveles A2, B1, B2, C1 y C2
  • Inglés para negocios (grupales, individuales, presencial y online)
  • Conversación, nivel B2, C1, C2
English Expression: Have skeletons in one's closet

English Expression: Have skeletons in one’s closet

English Expression: Have skeletons in one’s closet. It’s Halloween time, so let’s take a look at this very Halloweeny idiom.

HAVE SKELETONS IN ONE’S CLOSET

  • to have a secret about something bad that you have done in the past
    • I’m not sure I trust him. I think he has some skeletons in his closet.
    • We all have skeletons in our closets. I promise I won’t judge you if you tell me them.
  • to have a secret about something embarrassing that happened to you in the past.
    • Don’t bring up all my skeletons in the closet in front of John. It’s too embarrassing.
    • Nobody’s family is perfect. They all have skeletons in the closet.

SKELETONS IN THE CUPBOARD

  • Has the same meaning as skeletons in the closet.
    • I don’t like talking about my skeletons in the cupboard.
    • He never talks about himself. I think he has some skeletons in his cupboard that he doesn’t want to talk about.

Halloween vocabulary

Now that you have seen English Expression: Have skeletons in one’s closet, take a look at our other Halloween-based posts:
How to carve a pumpkin
Vocab Rehab: synonyms for scary
Podcast: off the cuff: Halloween!

Cursos inglés

En la Escuela de Idiomas de la Cámara de Comercio, tenemos cursos de inglés para todos los niveles y necesidades. Ponte en contacto con nosotros: idiomas@camaradealava.com

English Vocabulary: Spot-on

English Vocabulary: Spot-on

English Vocabulary: Spot-on. Here is one of those words that really doesn’t have a specific translation in Spanish, although there are lots of words you could use in its place. You could say correcto (although correct exists in English), you could say precisamente (althouth precise exists in English). Basically spot–on is a way to say you are exactly right, emphasizing how impressed I am with how accurate something is.

SPOT-ON

  • to describe something that is exactly right
  • used to emphasize surprise at how accurate something is
    • You were spot-on about Josh. He really is generous with everyone.
    • Your predictions about the course were spot-on. The teacher is excellent and I am really enjoying it.
    • Unfortunetly, your predictions about the end of the year sales were spot-on. We will have to lay people off next year.

Cursos inglés Vitoria

En la Escuela de Idiomas de la Cámara de Comercio de Alava, tenemos cursos de inglés para todas las necesidades y niveles. Puedes ver todos los cursos aquí. Para poder apuntarse a un grupo, pincha aquí o ponte en contacto con nosotros: idiomas@camaradealava.com, 945 150 190

English Vocabulary

Now that you have seen English Vocabulary: Spot-on, have a look at our other Vocab Rehab posts:
Vocab Rehab: foresight
Vocab Rehab: sign up

English Expression: Bear in mind

English Expression: Bear in Mind

English Expression: Bear in mind. When speaking to adults, you don’t always want to tell them to ‘Remember…’ or ‘Don’t forget…’. So, instead we can use this nice expression to tell someone to take something into consideration.

BEAR IN MIND

  • to take something into consideration
  • to remember something when you are making a decision.
    • Please bear in mind that you only have 2 weeks to return the product.
    • Before we buy the refrigerator we need to bear in mind that we may also need to buy a wash machine soon.
    • Bearning in mind that she’s so young, she really knows how to play the violin.

KEEP IN MIND

  • this expression is the same as bear in mind.
    • Keep in mind that the plane leaves very late at night.
    • He told me to keep him in mind if we have a job opening.

English Expressions

Now that you have seen English Expression: Bear in mind, take a look at our other Expression Session Posts:
Expression Session: brush up on something
Expression Session: neither here nor there

Cursos Inglés

En la Escuela de Idiomas de la Cámara de Alava tenemos cursos para todos los niveles y necesidades. Para recibir más información sobre los cursos, ponte en contacto con nosotros: idiomas@camaradealava.com, llamar a 945 150 190 o inscribirte aquí.

  • Business English
  • Preparación de Exámenes de Cambridge, EILTS, Oxford Test of English
  • Inglés General
English Expression: Brush up on something

English Expression: brush up on something

English Expression: Brush up on something. It’s that time of year to brush up on your English. Hay cursos de inglés para todos los niveles este trimestre, así que no lo pierdes.

BRUSH UP ON SOMETHING

  • to improve your knowledge or skill on a topic that you previously learned.
  • to remember information or skills that you once knew.
    • I really need to brush up on my French. I was in France and kept using Spanish.
    • We are signing her up for a IT coourse to brush up on her skills before she returns to work.

English Expressions

Now that you have seen English Expression: Brush up on something, take a look at our other Expression Session posts:
Expression Session: neither here nor there
Expression Session: dodge the bullet

CURSOS INGLES

En la Escuela de Idiomas de la Cámara de Comercio de Alava tenemos cursos de inglés para todos los niveles y necesidades. También somos un Centro Examinador del Oxford Test of English, una prueba de nivel de A2, B1 y B2 con certificado. Para recibir más información sobre nuestros servicios de inglés, escribe a idiomas@camaradealava.com o llamar a 945 150 190.

  • Cursos para niveles A1, A2, B1, B2, C1 y C2
  • Inglés para negocios / Business English
  • Curos InCompany for empresas
  • Preparación de exámenes de Cambridge, EOI, EILTS, Oxford Test of English
  • Mantenimiento de nivel para B2, C1 y C2
English Expression: neither here nor there

English Expression: Neither here nor there

English Expression: neither here nor there. Want a nice way to say ‘ what you are saying is irrelevant’? Here is your expression. Although, like so many expressions in Enlgish, be careful with your tone.

NEITHER HERE NOR THERE

  • Used to say that something is not important
  • somethng is not relevant to the currect conversation or problem.
    • Whether she was drinking or not is neither here nor there. I just want to know if she is safe.
    • His looks are neither here nor there. I just want to know if he is a nice guy.
    • Their nationality is neither here nor there. Can they work?

English Expressions

Now that you have seen English Expression: neither here nor there, take a look at our other Expression Session posts:
Expression Session: dodge the bullet
Expression Session: hang in there

Cursos inglés

En la Escuela de Idiomas de la Cámara de Alava, tenemos todos tipos de cursos para las personas de 16 a 99 años.

  • Cursos de preparación de exámenes de Cambridge y Oxford B1, B2, C1, C2
  • Inglés General A2, B1, B2, C1, C2
  • Inglés para negocios / Business English A2, B1, B2, C1

Para ver más sobre los cursos que ofrecemos, pincha aquí.

English Expressions: Dodge the Bullet

English Expressions: Dodge the Bullet

English Expressions: Dodge the Bullet. As you can see in the photo, a bullet (una bala) is what comes out of a gun (pistola). To dodge something is to avoid something by jumping out of the way quickly. The expression comes from the idea that if you get out of the way of a bullet, you can save your life. Although the expression isn’t used in this way today, it does refer to dodging something bad.

DODGE THE BULLET

  • To avoid an unpleasant situation or even danger
    • I’m so glad she broke up with him. She really dodged the bullet because he has a terrible reputation.
    • We really dodged a bullet by not going on vacation because there was a hurricane where we

English Expressions

Now that you have seen English Expressions: Dodge the Bullet, take a look at our other Expression Session posts:
Expression Session: Hang in there
Expression Session: Hammer out the details

Cursos de inglés

En la Escuela de Idiomas de la Cámara de Comercio tenemos cursos de inglés para todos los niveles y necesidades. Pincha aquí para apuntarte ahora o escribirnos a idiomas@camaradealava.com

  • Cursos de preparación de exámenes de A2 a C1
  • Oxford Test of English – www.oxfordtestofenglish.es
  • Cursos de preparación para el Oxford Test of English
  • Business English
  • In Company – cursos deseñados para ti y tu empresa
  • Inglés General
  • C1/C2 Mantenimiento
English Expression: Hammar out the details

English Expression: Hammar out the details

English Expression: Hammar out the details. Although this expression sounds a bit strange, it’s actually used quite often. If you hammer something like a glass cup, it breaks down into many little pieces. So, the expression means we are going to figure out all the little details.

HAMMER OUT THE DETAILS

  • to discuss something in detail in order to come to an agreement
    • So, we know that we are going to Malaga this summer, but we still need to hammer out the details.
    • The course starts this Saturday but they still haven’t hammered out the details.

English Expressions

Now that you have seen English Expression: Hammar out the details, take a look at our other Expression Session Posta:
Expression Session: Catch someone’s eye
Expression Session: A ballpark figure

Learning and Using English Expressions

There are so many expressions in every language. Not living in an English speaking country can make it difficult to learn all of them. Here are some tips on how to learn and use English expressions.

  • Read – books and articles are full of English expressions. So, take advantage of them. Choose a book that is challenging but easy enough to enjoy. You don’t have to look up every word. Try to understand the meaning from the context.
  • Watch TV series in English – I know it can be difficult sometimes. You get home late and at the end of the day you just want to relax. Well, start watching something at breakfast or lunch time. Don’t leave it for the end of the day. Small hint – comedies use more colloquial language so it can be harder to understand. Find a story that is easy to follow and doesn’t jump around a lot.
  • Listen to podcasts – there are so many podcasts out there that are quite short. Look for ones that are 3 to 10 minutes, then work your way up to 20 minutes.
  • Try to use the expressions we post weekly in a conversation. Not having conversations in English? Think about how you could use it in a conversation in your own language. You don’t have to say it out loud, but you can think about how to use it.
  • Make a mind map! If you’re a visual learner, make a map of the expressions, separating them into categories.

Good Luck!

English Expression: Catch someone's eye

English Expression: Catch someone’s eye

English Expression: Catch someone’s eye. This expression has two meanings and eventhough they look similar, there are some important differences.

CATCH SOMEONE’S EYE

  • to get someone’s attention.
  • For this definition, ‘catch someone’s eye’ can be replaced with ‘get someone’s attention’.
    • Can you try to catch the waiter’s eye? or Can you try to get the waiter’s attention?
    • He’s been trying to catch her eye all night. or He’s been trying to get her attention all night.
  • something noticeable, usually pleasant.
    • Wow! Her earrings really catch your eye, don’t they?
    • I love the colors you have chosen for the walls. They really catch your eye.
  • If we replace the previous sentences with ‘get your attention’, it sounds as if you do not like them because they are too loud. Getting attention in this way in English is not usually seen as positive.
  • Tone can make a big difference here.

ENGLISH EXPRESSIONS

Now that you have learned about English Expression: Catch someone’s eye, have a look at our other Expression Session posts:
Expression Session: a ballpark figure
Expression Session: be on equal footing

CURSOS INGLES

En la Escuela Oficial de Idiomas de la Cámara de Alava, hay clases de inglés para todos los niveles y necesidades. Ponte en contacto con nosotros para encontrar una clase para ti.